AltaVista Seeks NZ Audience

Internet search service AltaVista has followed its October Australian launch
by opening for business in New Zealand, with an index of more than three
million NZ pages and access to its 550 million-page global index.

AltaVista has launched the NZ service on the back of survey data on the
proportion of New Zealanders online. AC Nielsen has put the figure at 40 percent, or roughly 1.6 million people, accessing the Web form home.

“New Zealand is attractive to AltaVista,” said AltaVista Australia and NZ
managing director Mel Bohse. “Adoption of new technologies is rapid here and
New Zealand is one of the leading technology nations in Asia and the South
Pacific.”

Bohse added that AltaVista was drawn to the NZ market by Forrester reports
that the country9s Internet growth is extending beyond home use, with the
NZ online advertising market is expected to grow to be worth around $44
million this year.

To help take advantage of the opportunity it sees, AltaVista NZ has
appointed Auckland-based Internet-focused advertising agency WebMasters
Network as its advertising sales partner.

“The Australian site continues to grow with traffic and revenue building
rapidly and we look to repeat if not exceed the pattern in the New Zealand
market,” Bohse said of AltaVista’s expectations of the NZ service. “Online
advertising is not dead, as with traditional marketing it is all about
target marketing and optimising your online strategy and tools.”

“Search is still the second most popular activity on the Internet after
email, and AltaVista is primed to offer a compelling online advertising
strategy,” she said.

International sites are becoming increasingly important to AltaVista9s
business, with more than half of the service’s 65 million monthly users
visiting the altavista.com core site from outside the US. The company has
also reported a 500 percent growth over the past year in page view views
among AltaVista9s international sites.

AltaVista has adopted a localised strategy toward the 19 international
markets in which it has launched its service, according to Bohse. “A one glove fits all approach is not suitable for the varied international
marketplace,” she said. Bohse maintained that the strategy of developing
country-specific Web sites indexes allowed sites to “be indexed more
deeply than could ever be done for a world index,” so that users could
obtain more relevant search results.

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