LookSmart Leaves MSN and Introduces New Ad Program
Yesterday, LookSmart announced that their results will no longer show up on MSN Search after Jan. 15, 2004. According to a SearchDay report, MSN will move up Inktomi results (which already display when no matches in LookSmart are found or when you use the advanced search) when LookSmart results are gone. Eventually, Microsoft plans to also replace Inktomi with its own custom-built search product, but that product is not ready yet.
So will LookSmart survive? Today, LookSmart announced that it is getting into the ad bidding engine business with what they call a "bid for placement" program. This will compete with pay-per-click ad bidding programs at Google and Overture. LookSmart continues to have several partners including CNET, Road Runner, InfoSpace, LookSmart.com, Cox Internet, and others, but MSN delivered over half its income from such sources. They also still have the WiseNut search engine, but there has not been much publicly-visible development of WiseNut and it tends to have quite old data.