24/7 Real Media
announced on Wednesday that it had renamed its search optimization arm, Website Results. The unit will now be known as 24/7 Search, offering a full suite of optimization tools for marketers operating paid search programs.
The name change comes as search occupies a central role in the online advertising industry’s revival. According to Jupiter Research, which is owned by the parent company of this site, search marketing will make up 26 percent of total ad spending this year. Two years ago, it represented just 10 percent.
24/7 Media, the name of the company prior to its October 2001 merger with Real Media, acquired Los Angeles-based Website Results in August 2000 in an all-stock deal valued at $95 million. At the time, 24/7 was looking to capitalize on renewed emphasis on pay-for-performance ad models among clients. Since those days, the dot-com bust has accelerated the transition, making paid search a key driver of the online advertising industry.
24/7 Search offers a wide range of optimization services, helping nearly 1,500 customers navigate the ins and outs of the paid placement bidding, XML paid inclusion, and Web site optimization. The cornerstone of the unit’s services is its paid inclusion program, which allows marketers to submit pages of their sites to be crawled by search engines. Instead of individually submitting sites for inclusion, 24/7 Search handles it through a partnership network with a number of search providers, including Ask Jeeves and Overture Services.
Yesterday, 24/7 Real Media reported positive financial results, as the company nears breakeven after a wrenching overhaul in the wake of the dot-com meltdown. The company lost $1.6 million, a 63 percent improvement from the same period a year earlier. Revenues grew 15 percent to $12.2 million. In the fourth quarter, 24/7 Real Media expects to reach pro forma profitability.
The search unit saw flat revenue growth, however, gaining just 2 percent compared to the year-ago period to take in $2.3 million. 24/7 Real Media said the number of valid visitors rose 6 percent over the year to 11.3 million during the quarter. The unit was hurt by lower traffic from one its larger partners, which was not identified.
24/7 Real Media has paid more attention to the search market. Last month, it said that it determined its patent for delivering targeted advertising applies to paid-listings companies. The company threatened to file lawsuits against companies that do not license the patent.