Website Magazine contributor Dante Monteverde discusses behavioral
targeting with AlmondNet CEO Roy Shkedi.
WM: Give us the bare bones – how do you define BT?
AlmondNet defines BT as enabling Internet users to see relevant,
privacy-sensitive ads wherever they go. Basically, delivered ads are based on
Internet users’ recently demonstrated purchase-intent behavior.
Where did the need for AlmondNet materialize?
We recognized that the Internet advertising market was inefficient. Most
advertising inventory is unsold or sold for very low rates, and moreover, most
delivered ads are untargeted. We saw a solution. By enabling the delivery of
targeted ads to consumers wherever they go, we help all online constituencies---
consumer see relevant, privacy-sensitive ads, data providers receive incremental
revenue, publishers sell their ad space for a higher price, advertisers reach
their target audience.
What are the top three factors that make AlmondNet different from your
1) Largest aggregator and distributor of data online;
2) Focused on purchase-intent data that delivers conversions for advertisers;
3) Pro-active approach to privacy
What are “Post-Search” ads and how do they benefit consumers, advertisers and
Post-search ads are behaviorally-targeted ads delivered to consumers wherever
they go based on their recently conducted search or demonstrable purchase-intent
behavior. Consumers benefit from relevant, privacy-sensitive ads wherever they
go, instead of irrelevant ads. Advertisers reach a target audience that is in
purchasing mode, wherever that audience goes, for a lower price than on search
engine pages and with minimal clutter and competition from competing
advertisers. Media-owners receive a higher price for their inventory, since they
are able to deliver targeted ads for a reasonable price instead of delivering
lower-priced run of site ads or no sold ads at all.
Behavioral Targeting advertising often has negative connotations; how does
AlmondNet allay privacy concerns?
We allay privacy concerns on a few different fronts. First, AlmondNet is a
member of three self-regulatory organizations (Network Advertising Initiative,
Truste, Internet Advertising Bureau) and exceeds the privacy principles adopted
by each of them. We feel it’s important for companies like us to be ingrained
within these groups.
We also uphold more than a few privacy polices internally. We do not collect
personally-identifiable information. We use non-persistent cookies that expire
after 60 days. And, AlmondNet does not permit its media owner partners to use
AlmondNet data for more than 30 days OR to link it with personally-identifiable
information of any kind.
We also have a privacy officer that audits the privacy policies of all data
provider partners and requires insertion of the NAI consumer opt-out and other
policy modifications prior to integration. AlmondNet requires all of its partner
where consumer data is collected.
We’ve always taken a pro-active approach to privacy. For example, AlmondNet was
the first company to call for an industry-wide “opt-out within every
Are there any challenges to deploying your technology correctly?
Integration with AlmondNet is seamless for data providers and media-owners.
How do you emphasize privacy to new partners?
We require all data provider partners to sign a contract verifying the
-They will not pass personally-identifiable information to AlmondNet;
We also require all data distributors to sign a contract verifying that:
-They will not merge AlmondNet data with personally-identifiable information;
-They will not use AlmondNet data for more than 30 days;
What do you see as a next big trend in BT in the next five or ten years?
Behaviorally-targeted and other data-driven ads will become commonplace
(i.e. the majority of delivered ads online) as they are the only solution for
monetizing content that is difficult to monetize via contextual means.
Are there are any other trends in BT that you feel are important to website
We’d like to emphasize to website owners that the behavior of their users within
their site is valuable information that they should be monetizing outside their
site via partnerships with companies such as AlmondNet. No website should allow
any ad network or other company to drop cookies on its users within its website
and use that information elsewhere without compensating the website. Websites
spend lots of money to drive traffic to their sites. It is time they started
leveraging the behavior of their site visitors when those site visitors are off
their sites--- 99% of their time!