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It has become a cliche that newspapers are stumbling in their transition to the Web, largely because they just can’t make as much money from their websites as they can from print. A startup called Perfect Market is unveiling a tool today aimed at changing that.
Dubbed The Vault, the new service is basically the data and analytics side of Perfect Market’s services. The Altadena, Calif., company already works with newspapers like The Los Angeles Times and The Baltimore Sun to optimize stories for search engines, then to deliver customized news pages for visitors who come in from clicking on search results.
The idea is that those visitors from search are very different from visitors who read the newspaper every day, so Perfect Market will strip pretty much everything away from the page except for the story and the ads. Even more important from a revenue point of view, it will deliver ads that are specifically targeted towards that search. You can see a comparison at Search Engine Land.
The Vault gives publishers access to the data powering Perfect Market’s technology. It includes a dashboard showing traffic and engagement across a publisher’s content, an editing tool based on content analysis, and a real-time index showing which articles could bring in the most money from current search trends. Tying everything together (and helping to distinguish the Vault from other analytics tools) is an emphasis on revenue, not just traffic. So The Vault might suggest that one article could get the most traffic, but that another article might actually bring in more revenue (based on the advertising that would run alongside).
It’s already paying off, Perfect Market says, with early users seeing their advertising revenue increase by 20 times.
Perfect Market was spun out of incubator Idealab and has raised more than $19 million from Trinity Ventures, Tribune Co., and others. The company has focused on big, top-200 newspapers so far, said president and chief executive Julie Schoenfeld, but it plans to create a “self-serve” product that it can sell to smaller publishers.
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