Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Two Directories are Better Than One? Find.com Allies with ThomasB2B

The announcement of a new alliance between Find/SVP and ThomasB2B to provide Find.com with ThomasB2B's advanced pay-per-click ad matching technology will deliver highly targeted ad content to Find.com's end-users, a significant improvement over the more broadly targeted ads in the current Find.com product. It's an interesting mix of capabilities: ThomasB2B.com provides strong categorized listings of industrial components and a rich array of complementary ads tied to these categories, while Find.com uses search technology from TripleHop to consolidate business-oriented listings from the open Web or enterprise content and complementary premium research listings. Somewhere between these two approaches there may be a highly successful business instead of two reasonably successful businesses. There's a strong need for well-integrated business product content and it's still early days in these efforts to draw it together into an effective framework. Thomas adds effective technology and integration to a tried and true business model, while Find/SVP experiments to find an effective business model with a wider range of content and capabilities. It would help if these combined efforts would focus more on distinguishing research needs from purchasing needs: I may not think of going to Froogle to find durometers to buy, but all things being equal I can find them - along with some very effectively targeted contextual ads. Still a ways to go in getting business product content up to full speed for facilitating high-powered ecommerce.
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