PredictAd is a web site plugin that ads search box auto completion to your site, and then monetizes it with contextual text ads. The core service is a plug-n-play embeddable script that adds predictive auto completion to any search box — similar to Yahoo!’s Search Assist feature. What PredictAd does differently is sell ads against that suggested text to monetize searches while the user is searching.
Much like any other auto compete plugin, PredictAd uses AJAX to make keyword refinement suggestions while a user is still typing their search query. Using the text of those suggestions, however, PredictAd also displays a contextually matched text ad inside the suggestion drop down. The ads are separated from the content by being displayed in bold on an off color background — though they might not be marked out as ads enough for some users. They’re not intrusive, and are generally only 3-4 words in length, which makes them fit in well with the search suggestions.
According Tomer Molovinsky, VP of Business Development at PredictAd, the ads shown in the auto complete area are effective because the user is already placing his attention there and showing intent by performing a search. “PredictAd does not take up valuable real estate on websites, but rather creates new real estate that is displayed within the users focal zone as theyre performing a search,” he told us.
Of course, PredictAd wouldn’t be useful at all if their auto completion wasn’t up to par. In my testing this morning, I found that the suggestions it made were very good — at least as good as similar services from major search engines. One problem with PredictAd is that because it is a hosted service, it can sometimes be slow. There were times when the suggestions didn’t appear until well after I was done typing my query and my browser taskbar showed that something from predictad.com was still loading.
PredictAd’s revenue sharing model is 50/50 on run of network ads and 80/20 on site specific ads. Ads are sold on a cost per click basis, and use a keyword bidding system similar to Google Adsense, but site specific ads may be purchased that show up regardless of search text (i.e., they are targeted by site instead of contextually). You can see PredictAd live on Web2Center and test it out for yourself.