Lijit CEO Todd Vernon on Securing $7.1M, and the Search Ad Network
Lijit is a search company that lets you mash all your online presences into one, and search them. We’ve just recently implemented them here on The Blog Herald, and b5media is among their clients. The news that they had secured $7.1 million in Series C funding reached the blogosphere yesterday, as did further hints of their upcoming ad network. Basically, it seems like they’ll be sharing the search revenue garnered by their search widget with publishers, being mostly bloggers I guess.
Lijit CEO Todd Vernon agreed to answer a few questions regarding this.
Congratulations on securing another $7.1 million, supposedly to launch an ad network. Could you tell us a little bit more about your plans?
Thord, the recent raise of capital is to continue operations of the company and its 22 employees, build out our infrastructure to support our growth goals for the next year, and finish the development of our self serve search based ad network offering for publishers.
Will you share your ad revenue with the publishers (i.e. blogs, sites, whatever that uses your search widget), and what numbers are we talking about here?
Publishers will compensate Lijit by providing us a share of revenue they generate from ads within search results. The model is very unique as this will be the first search based ad network that allows publishers (if they choose to) to sell search based keywords within search on their own site. In addition, Lijit can fill the inventory not sold by the publisher with ads Lijit has sold, or backfill with our ad partners including YPN!, Google, as well as about 8 other networks. Publishers can block any ad’s they wish. When we announce the ad network beta in a few weeks, complete information regarding splits will be available as well as comprehensive information about the entire program. It will be an opt-in program that publishers don’t have to participate in. If they don’t participate the service will work exactly as it does for them today. This is an enhancement for publishers that want to generate revenue from the search terms being entered on their site.
In your blog post, you seem very positive to Lijit’s growth the last six months. Were do you see Lijit in another six months time?
Our network size is available on our home page and updated in real time. We expect our publisher network of page views to grow to approximately 100M a month by the end of this year.
I’d like to thank Todd Vernon for doing the interview. We’ll keep a close eye on this one, so expect more as it develops. At this point, it certainly sounds like a win-win for publishers already using Lijit, and it could be a turning point for people who’ve been eying it curiously, perhaps.
Check out Lijit for more, and a tutorial by yours truly on how to integrate it into your site, if you are interested..
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.