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Friday, October 24, 2003

Google Acquires Sprinks: Gains Access to Advertiser Base and Ad Placement on About.com and Primedia Online Publications

Sprinks, an innovator in the pay-per-click keyword-targeted ad space, is no more, following an acquisition by category leader Google, Inc.

Sprinks ads currently show up on 450 topic-specific About.com Guide Sites as well as 127 magazine-related websites targeting readers of major Primedia publications.

As part of the deal, Google has signed a four-year revenue-sharing agreement to show ads on these sites.

In the area of so-called contextual pay-per-click ads (ads near relevant content, not triggered by search results), Sprinks had been a recent thorn in the side of the industry leaders, Google, Overture, and Findwhat. Its ContentSprinks offering gave advertisers superior "channel control" than the often unpredictable contextual ads shown by its competitors. It's not clear if the acquisition will lead Google to rethink how it shows some of its contextual ads.

According to Marshall Simmonds, Director of Search for Primedia and About.com, the two parties have set a 45-day integration schedule to integrate Sprinks staff into Google and after which Google AdWords ads will begin showing on Sprinks' former network.

As for how the integration might affect Google's approach to contextual advertising, Simmonds says: "It's difficult to speculate. The main thing is that Google will now have access to our large network of topically-relevant sites."

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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