Israeli hi-tech company develops ad technology to rival Google's

While Google identifies keywords on each page and places ads based on those keywords, Peer39's model reads entire page before placing ads.

By BEN SALES
July 2, 2008 16:06
3 minute read.
Israeli hi-tech company develops ad technology to rival Google's

peer39 224. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Seeking to break Google's dominance of the online advertising market, Israeli hi-tech company Peer39 has developed an internet advertising technology that they say will bring the industry to the next level. The technology, which launched on Monday after being in the works since 2006, differs from Google's in the amount of attention it pays to each site. While Google's technology identifies keywords on each page and places ads based on those keywords, Peer39's model will read the entire page before placing ads, thus showing ads that are more connected to the content of the page and, as the developers' hopes, to the readers' interests. "If [a site] is about a car or a trip our technology can understand that," said Peer39 CEO Amiad Solomon. "We can target advertisements toward that specific page. We're solving the problem of understanding the page in real time." Contrary to Google, Solomon said, Peer39's advertising does not use cookies to choose ads for each page, thus avoiding the invasion of users' privacy. "We don't look at your interests," said Solomon. "Google is looking at a word level. They collect a lot of data about the specific user." Google could not be reached for comment. Another advantage, according to its developers, is that Peer39's technology protects advertisers from showing their advertisements on pages that criticize them. By reading an entire site, Peer39 can tell if the site's content hurts a company and as a result, can keep that company's ads off the site. "You don't want to be on a page where people say bad things about the product or service you create," said Solomon. "A lot of customers are reluctant about advertising [for that reason]. We provide these brands with a safety net where they're not exposed to things they're afraid of." Chief Marketing Officer James Oppenheim said that others in the hi-tech world appreciate Peer39's new model and that as a result, the company has high expectations of where it will go in the near future. "A lot of the inventors of this technology are coming to Peer39," said Oppenheim. "They see this and understand that our pages are the holy grail of internet advertising. When we started the company it was about being very big. We're a next-generation type of company. Why it's exciting is that it's a major entry into the market." Because of the early reputation that Peer39 has garnered, it has attracted experts and investors from the top of the hi-tech world, including preeminent engineers from the Technion, and has hired Matthew Goldstein, formerly of MTV Networks, to be its COO. The company has also secured investments from JP Morgan, Canaan Partners and the CEO of Shopper.com to a total of over $12 million. This following, says Oppenheim, gives Peer39 a step up in trying to out-perform Google, which, though difficult, is a task that the company's top echelon believes it can accomplish. "[Google] is still obviously a great company but the same way that they replaced Yahoo and Alta Vista, we look at things in a different way," said Oppenheim. "We're seeing an increase in our results compared to any other technology around." While the company conducted its research and development in Israel, it has moved most of its activity to the United States in anticipation of launching its product. Though Peer39 is focusing on its American customers, Oppenheim said that originating in Israel has raised the company's marketability. "When we travel through the States, whenever any clients hear that we have technology in Israel, it's always an advantage," Oppenheim said. "The status in Israel of hi-tech is fabulous. That's an advantage not just for the company but for Israel as well."


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