Kanoodle, through ContextTarget, places contextually-relevant ads on participating content providers' websites. I spoke yesterday with Lance Podell, Kanoodle president, about their new ClickFactor system of determining ContextTarget relevance.
Some of you may be pooh-poohing the advance, thinking that because Kanoodle only serves contextual ads to MarketWatch, Motley Fool, and Quicken, an advance in their ad ranking won't mean much to advertisers outside the financial market. Lance told me their narrow focus is going to change on Wednesday.
He said that they now contextually target about 8-10 topics. Wednesday, when they announce their new content partner, they'll have about 200.
This is big news to contextual advertisers everywhere - Overture and Google will soon have serious competition, and Google will have yet another major competitor who allows separate bidding on search and contextual advertising.
Kanoodle's big news today is ClickFactor, their method of determining where an advertiser's listing appears in relation to other advertisers of the same bid price. If users click your ads more you'll get a higher ClickFactor and rank above those competitors at the same bid price.
Jayde.com, a B2B search engine, was first to the search market with ClickRelevance, which considers user clicks in determining the relevance of its results. ClickFactor works in a similar manner, though for ads, not for organic listings.
If your ClickFactor starts slipping the interface suggests that you make changes to your ad (for the lazy or time challenged it also shows the price you must pay per click to achieve your desired ranking). If you make changes to your ad then your ClickFactor starts out at neutral again (the average ClickFactor for your chosen topic), and you can watch what your changes do to your click throughs.
What if you already had a high ClickFactor and want to make changes to your ad? Well, you'll be dropped back to neutral. Lance pointed out that your natural ability for writing ads will raise your ranking quickly. I'd suggest that if your ClickRank is already above the average that you'd get to keep the ClickFactor you earned.
I asked him about click fraud, and the possibility of an advertiser clicking repeatedly on his own ads to raise his ClickFactor.
He said there are cheaters in every market, and everywhere he's worked (including Ogilvy & Mather) cheaters made up about 1-2% of all business. The industry, he said, polices itself. They've not had that issue in their content network thus far. (Of course, I haven't started advertising there yet...)
Regarding future innovations at Kanoodle, Lance said to watch for an automated content network (read: a full-on AdSense self-serve interface) in the next 4-6 weeks.
I invited Kanoodle into WebProWorld where they'll be happy to answer any questions you have regarding ClickFactor or any other Kanoodle products.