Lijit, a four year old Boulder startup that enables publishers to offer a single search box for all their content across multiple sites and advertisers to track website visitors' cross-site interests and in-network search activity, announced today that it now sees 1 billion monthly pageviews across the thousands of sites that use its technology. The company said that 20 million searches were performed with its technology last month.
Lijit is based on a beautiful idea: a search experience is created that includes selections of content across multiple different sites like your blog, your Tweets, your bookmarks and photos. It's not Web-wide though, it's all about the constraints. There's no reason why use of the service would be limited to your own content, it could be a collection of any topical, trusted sources. Tens of thousands of sites around the Web have implemented Lijit.
Admittedly, the company had said last year that it expected to hit the 1 billion mark by September. Its website also reads less like a celebration of the beauty made possible by constraints, like Robert Frost's love of iambic pentameter, than it does like a chilling song sung to the golden calf of targeted advertising, sung by a creature born a shining unicorn, hollowed out by the cold wind of consumer indifference and turned into a Gollum-like single-minded money machine.
In other words, all things of beauty online in time become ad networks. (And thank goodness for ad networks!) Fortunately Lijit's core technology is and will likely remain available indefinitely.
And as ad networks go, Lijit appears to be building a viable one.
Disclosure: I use Lijit on my personal blog, or as I refer to it "my precious."