“If you think about the [advertising technology] stack there’s lots of necessary elements but it seems to me the meat in the sandwich is the intelligence layer. It’s the engine that figures out, if-this-then-this. If you think about what the most important part is that seems to me to be at the nucleus.”
-Terrence Kawaja, LUMA Partners, March 5th, 2011
I haven’t blogged much lately because I’ve been busy with the amazing team we’ve put together at Yieldbot building our realtime intelligence layer for intent. However, we’re about to come out of beta, launch a real website and open up our invite list to a few hundred more publishers (request an invite firstname.lastname@example.org) in anticipation of a full opening of the platform to every publisher in the world as soon as we can. That being the case, I figured it’s high time I share with you some of the things we’re doing to create new monetization opportunities for websites and optimizing relevance for advertisers.
Let’s start with the basic facts. Yieldbot is technology built for publishers. Yieldbot is free.
Our mission is to empower publishers with automated understanding of the intent on their site and provide them with turnkey solutions (yes, that’s plural) to monetize it. Visitor intent is something Publishers have not understood or monetized for far too long. This is despite the fact that Search built an intent based channel from publishers and others like Demand Media built publishing channels from intent.
Yieldbot was built to fix this glaring lack of publisher side analytics, data mining and ultimately, monetization around the intent arriving, existing, created and leaving site owners and their digital domains. Intent is the business of the web and with Yieldbot publishers finally have technology to capture, harvest and make intent actionable in realtime.
It’s well established the best proxies we have for intent are words and actions (clicks). Thus, words and clicks are core to Yieldbot.
Words are the currency of digital advertising. They are the backbone for every forward thinking channel. Search of course, but also increasingly Social. With 1/3 of all display impressions and a brilliant team of engineers Facebook could have built any type of advertising platform they wanted. They chose to copy Search Advertising. The fastest growing digital channel, mobile, is a word based buying medium — as is Twitter. In fact, it was David Ogilvy that said, “Advertising is a business of words.” With Yieldbot publishers can begin to directly be in that business.
Yieldbot was built by a small team (we are now 7) but is world-class enterprise level technology. We’ve seen roughly 150M unique visitors, over 1B page views and have made roughly 50M realtime decisions through Yieldbot in the past year. I confidently put our tech up against anyone operating in the automated/realtime big data space. We have patents pending on our core IP and we’re excited to start open sourcing some of the innovative things we’re done in other areas. In the future we'll also provide APIs so publishers can build on top of the platform.
Yieldbot starts by structuring together all three publisher unique data sources — referrer, page level & site event/click-stream. This is done across multiple dimensions and using historic, realtime and predictive analytics. The first output is a multi-dimensional intent map that covers every event on a website. Each day every click, every level of engagement, every landing, every exit and everything in-between gets quantified in a word based intent profile for the media consumption patterns on your site. Then, those profiles are reviewed and automatically organized into intent based segments that Yieldbot discovers and presents to you.
However automated creation and segmentation of intent is only half of Yieldbot. Yieldbot is built to deliver realtime-matching rules for that intent as well. In the near future publishers will be able to send Yieldbot matching rules anywhere like a CMS or CRM system but for now Yieldbot is able to send these rules to ad servers. This enables publishers to use and sell words and automatically match against them in realtime the exact same way Search does (Yieldbot even uses familiar match types and negative keywords). Why is this important? The top 100 publishers collectively generate 2,000% more page views than Google, yet less total revenue. This revenue delta is due in part to the fact they are not selling or matching their media the same way as Search. Yieldbot was built to solve that problem.
Built for Publishers
We discovered numerous opportunities in our beta for publishers to better match their content to the interests and intents of their visitors. Who should use Yieldbot? We feel that Yieldbot would be right at home at a number of areas within a publisher (in no particular order).
Ad Operations: For large publishers the growing importance of data understanding and performance rest in the brilliant minds of Ad Ops. Yieldbot will be a powerful addition to their toolset since we quantify the relationships of visit intent and inventory and move the conversation to sessions not impressions.
Site Analytics: For far too long publishers have been using legacy analytics technology that was built for e-commerce and based on page flows. Search and social media dynamics only make these tools more antiquated. Yieldbot analytics are built around the interests and intent of people first, not pages first.
Editorial: We’re excited about the editorial benefits Yieldbot can bring to web publishers. The value of providing information that matches the needs of your audience is becoming more and more obvious to publishers. Yieldbot captures this understanding in meaningful metrics that are as valuable to editorial teams as they are to ad sales.
Sales: For large publishers Yieldbot enables the direct selling of publisher inventory to advertisers using our word classifications and realtime ad matching capability. This connects SEM, a monster channel always looking for more keyword inventory (a $46B channel in 2013 according to eMarketer) with Publishers looking for new methods of monetization. For mid-small publishers Yieldbot provides a programatic and automated selling solution of their intent.
SEO: Most SEO tools have been created for webmasters. Yieldbot may be the first tool that exposes SEO and its benefits clearly to site marketers understanding and quantifying what happens with that word based intent once visitors reach the site. Yieldbot also resolves and measures intent to the word and page view level for Facebook and Twitter traffic.
Built to Last
We don’t claim that Yieldbot is perfect but we know Yieldbot is unlike anything ever before. We continue to take a measured approach to launching it so we can continue learning and making it better. Soon we will open it up to every publisher in the world at no charge.
Everyone at Yieldbot is righteous about keeping web media an advertiser supported enterprise and we’re insanely focused on making those ads helpful, useful and relevant people. We know there is a way to bring simultaneous value to the people, publishers and advertisers in non-Search based media.
Yieldbot corrects the shape of data that has made publishers get the short end of the media stick. With Yieldbot the publisher is no longer the underdog. Media intelligence from the richest data source –publishers and their audience in the way millions of advertisers prefer to buy it (realtime word matching) is a sustained competitive intelligence advantage that Yieldbot will now and forever bring to publisher's media.
If you have a website and you would like to get Yieldbot please email us email@example.com