SOURCE: Proximic

October 01, 2007 15:38 ET

Proximic Empowers the Web Publisher for the Post-2.0 World

New Startup Launches the World's First "Contextual Content Network," Enabling Publishers to Better Merchandise Content on Their Own Sites, as Well as Across the Web

New Global Network Is Supported by Groundbreaking Pattern-Recognition Technology Designed to Deliver Superior Ad Performance and System Scalability

PALO ALTO, CA and MUNICH, GERMANY--(Marketwire - October 1, 2007) - A new company came out of stealth this morning with a radical new approach to search and online advertising. The company is building the world's first dynamic "contextual content network," a platform that enables publishers of all sizes to better merchandise content on their own sites and across the Web. Based on a groundbreaking search technology called "pattern proximity," the network serves relevant content and ads at superior levels of performance. A number of leading publishers have already joined the network, including The Independent, one of the largest U.K. daily newspapers; and the Nature Publishing Group, a leading publisher of science and medical publications.

Solving the Publisher Problem for the Post-2.0 World

Increasingly, publishers are under great pressure to find better ways to monetize their online properties. Existing search-advertising technologies are not providing publishers with significant revenue. Contextual advertising technologies based on key words often fail to grasp the core meaning of articles, resulting in irrelevant or inappropriate advertisements. Aside from performance issues within large-scale deployments, semantic approaches often cannot keep up with the demand of sorting new content into the preset and trained categories they require to serve up contextually relevant ads.

Proximic has overcome these limitations with a language-independent approach that automatically reads and matches relevant content according to interconnected "patterns" that are not even based on words but which exist within each document. The approach enables publishers to automatically serve up meaningful content -- articles, ads, products -- without the need for keywords or preset categories. It's similar to querying a search engine with a complete set of 200+ words, and finding the most relevant and similar results to that query.

"We are, of course, interested in finding ways to generate money while at the same time keeping the service free and open," said Ian Mulvany, product manager at Connotea,'s free online reference management for researchers, clinicians and scientists. "The obvious first step for doing this is online advertising. At the moment, on some select pages, we display Google ads. But for some reasons the targeting of these ads to the specific content is not strong. As we roll out Proximic, we hope to be able to include channels with information such as nature news, links to nature articles, and related ad links that we hope will be of value to our readers."

Another way that Proximic is helping to solve the publisher problem is the content network. By joining the network, publishers not only have a way to serve up relevant content to their readers; they also have an automated way to syndicate their content across the Web, to wherever potential readers congregate.

"To be effective as a publisher today, you need to understand that it is no longer enough to have a destination site," said Philipp Pieper, CEO and co-founder of Proximic. "Publishers need to catch their readers' attention wherever they go on the web and at the same time monetize effectively once they are attracted. The Proximic network was designed to do that -- in a completely automated way -- while generating ecosystems of content connections for like-minded users."

From Computer Chess to Pattern-Based Search

The result of five years of R&D, Proximic's patent-pending technology has benefited from the perspective that one of its founders gained in the world of computer chess. CTO Thomas Nitsche, the 1984 world computer chess champion, looked for ways to highly optimize the process of matching content across increasingly large sets of documents.

"You need to remember, this was 1984, when we had to design for computers with 5 kilobytes of memory," said Nitsche. "We took that same discipline when designing the underlying technology for Proximic which then resulted in a rat's tail of positive effects. The Proximic system requires very little memory or computing power. We can scale to index the entire Web, at the same time we don't have to build massive data centers."

About Proximic

Proximic provides publishers with a better way to monetize their content on their own sites and across the Web. With the Proximic Contextual Content Network, publishers automatically serve up highly relevant content -- articles, ads, or merchandize -- on their sites, as well as syndicate their content to other sites throughout the network. Powered a radical new search technology called "pattern proximity," the network delivers relevant content to the reader at performance levels that outclass other technology approaches. Proximic is a privately funded company based in Palo Alto, California and Munich, Germany. Investors include Wellington Partners and the Holtzbrinck Group, the publisher of numerous publications including Scientific American. To learn more, visit

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