free html hit counter Niche Ad Network: Pointing the Way? - John Battelle's Search Blog

Niche Ad Network: Pointing the Way?

By - September 13, 2004, a niche publisher, is launching an online advertising network that is focused only on the B2B marketplace and uses categories and content, rather than keywords, to drive adjacencies.

Others have taken the category route – Industry Brains, Kanoodle – but this is the first time it’s been verticalized, that I am aware of. Should be interesting to watch. Story is here, in Infoworld, though I just broke IDG’s lame linking policy by pointing you to it. (Incidentially, I’m told, by sources that are reliable, that IDG is reviewing the policy and has determined that it will force registration from offending linkers, as opposed to threatening lawsuits. That’s progress…)

Update: This is fun: a writer at eWeek, which competes with IDG, sent me a mail saying he’d be happy for some link love, and that his employer, Ziff, won’t sue me! So here you go, eWeek’s story on ThomasB2B….

(Hat tip to Gary)

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4 thoughts on “Niche Ad Network: Pointing the Way?

  1. “Using categories and content, rather than keywords to drive adjacencies” is not a new concept at all — buying guides and yellow pages all do this, and most of them are successfully selling this way on the Web as well. What makes really interesting and exciting is that it is marrying this categorical structure with pay per click pricing, which I believe will give search engines a run for the money in the B2B world.

  2. It’ll be real interesting to see what CPC’s ThomasB2B drives, as that’ll be a good benchmark for the B2B inventory in Google and Yahoo.

  3. I know it’s not the primary focus of your post, but IDG’s “solution” may be “progress” but it still seems pretty stupid.

    Do they really *not* want the traffic? As a Big Media Comapny, that seems completely backwards.

  4. Jeff Coyle says:

    I don’t see this style of feed syndication/licensing as a new concept. has been doing the “serve my higher cost ads first, then 3rd party ads to fill the gaps” category play with Google for more than a year and a half.

    Right now, a vast majority of the ads on this site are simply part of their Findwhat feed agreement…it gives a great illusion that they have lots of customers. Overall, it is a re-brand of the Thomas Directory ( with better packaging.

    I agree with Zaharias completely, it will be interesting to find out what level they can drive CPCs, but I would say it is WAY too premature to make this the benchmark for B2B traffic…(especially in the B2B IT space 🙂 )

    Side note:
    At a minimum bid of $.25 / click, some of this traffic can currently be purchased cheaper at FWHT directly if you don’t mind being part of the rest of FWHT’s network.