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Online advertising spend is increasing but are advertisers getting their money’s worth?

Crystal Semantics, the context-targeting company, today argued that despite a massive increase in online advertising revenues, many companies are still not getting value for money. Despite $3.85 billion revenues from advertising associated with search results in 2004*, Crystal Semantics claims that companies are missing out on vast amounts of additional revenue as too much of it is poorly targeted.

Revenues from search advertising currently work out to be 40 per cent of total online advertising revenues, yet existing keyword-based techniques are delivering results that are untargeted and out of context meaning that users are ignoring lots of search advertising. A recent survey from Crystal Semantics into user experiences of internet searching revealed that 46 per cent of respondents had encountered advertising that was ‘bizarrely unrelated to their search.’ For example, people researching a ‘knife attack’ are offered adverts for famous brands of kitchen knives.

The same survey also revealed that 81 per cent of respondents would be more inclined to click-through on an online advert if the subject matter was directly related to their search, which further demonstrates that many companies are missing a significant revenue opportunity.

Crystal Semantics has developed Textonomy Advance to help eradicate this problem. Powered by the world’s first ‘Sense Engine’, Textonomy Advance provides rapid contextual analysis of users’ search terms to identify the proper theme of each site and deliver the most relevant advertisements in an appropriate manner. Textonomy Advance analyses the content of a web page to identify not just the keywords, but the context in which they are presented, drawing upon human understanding of language to go beyond the basic methods or the inadequate mathematical algorithms currently used by search and contextual advertising technology.

Ian Saunders, managing director of Crystal Semantics, said: "Online advertising has the potential to be extremely powerful, if used in the right way. Many companies are spending a great deal of money on online advertising and but if ads are being seen in the wrong place by the wrong people, they may as well have not been commissioned. Online advertising needs to make more sense if it truly is going to reach its full potential."


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*Interactive Advertising Bureau/PricewaterhouseCoopers – Advertising Revenue Report 2004


About Crystal Semantics (www.crystalsemantics.com)
Crystal Semantics has developed Textonomy, the first Sense Engine to deliver significantly more accurate and powerful Internet search results. By applying human "senses" and concepts that current algorithms, semantic systems and other statistical techniques cannot match, Textonomy uniquely uses human linguistic intuition, tapping into the semantic relationships between words and the contexts in which they occur. The Textonomy suite of products includes solutions for search and navigation, e-commerce and contextual advertising.

Based in Holyhead, UK, Crystal Semantics is a division of Crystal Reference Systems Limited – a context targeting company. The company was founded in 2001 by Professor David Crystal, a world authority in linguistics, and managing director, Ian Saunders. It has provided online content for many major publishers including Penguin Books, A&E Television Networks and Webster Publishing and is one of the fastest growing online content publishers in Europe.

Further information
Alex Crawshaw / David Pincott, Pirate Communications
tel: +44 20 7297 3350
alex@piratecomms.com / david@piratecomms.com


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