Internet Brands was founded in 1998 as CarsDirect.com. Today the organization’s portfolio of web sites has grown to include over 100 vertically-focused sites that collectively receive over 79 million unique visitors each month.
In addition to CarsDirect.com the Internet Brands team is responsible for developing such sites as CorvetteForum.com, BBonline.com, Ultimatecoupons.com, and such products as vBulletin community bulletin board software.
Internet Brands is intensely focused on quality online content and user experience: over 98% of their sites’ visitors come from organic (non-paid) sources.
Internet Brands monetizes their vast network of content via direct ad sales and several strategic partnerships.
Like all companies, they are continually looking for ways to do better. A key priority for Internet Brands is ensuring they are maximizing the value of every page of content. But, they are sensitive to a visitor’s experience on their sites and the number of ads viewed.
As a result, Internet Brands chooses to limit their ad inventory at times while still looking to optimize revenue in a variety of ways.
In 2008 Internet Brands implemented VigLink, and by doing so found an additional revenue stream that didn’t require new ad space.
VigLink leverages the actual content on a site to earn revenue (specifically by monetizing the outbound links within site content) rather than delivering advertising in the white space around a site’s content. When a visitor leaves one of their sites via an outbound link, VigLink tracks the click and automatically secures a commission for Internet Brands if a purchase is made.
With a high volume of links to merchants being shared within each site, the service has proved to be a valuable addition to Internet Brand’s monetization efforts by delivering a truly incremental new revenue source.
In terms of revenue, Alvin Fong, VP of Business Operations, admits “we weren’t sure what to expect when we first deployed VigLink, but we have been happy with the revenue it has generated, as well as the fact that it is non-intrusive and doesn’t require additional ad unit inventory.”
Posted in Building Communities & Forums, Content Monetization, Publisher Spotlight