Bob Hammond is SVP of Technology at Vibrant Media and the guru of context and relevance. He is in charge of stoking the tech engine that powers campaigns for top-100 advertisers, across 6,500 premium publishers and to an audience of more than 250 million worldwide. He recently opened up the “black box,” to walk readers through the process of how his team makes end-to-end relevance happen:
So when I come across an article the first thing that catches my eye is the title of the story. Chances are that if the title doesn’t interest me I’ll just skip right by. But when that title grabs me then I start reading that story expecting that the story content will expand on the title and pull me ever deeper into that story.
It’s really the same with hyperlinks on the page. As I’m reading down a page and I see a hyperlink it too needs to catch my eye, and if that hyperlink has strong relevancy to the content there is a better chance that I will be interested and mouse over and/or click on that link.
At this point my interest shifts from page relevancy to the relevancy of what’s behind that hyperlink. The content had better have a strong connection to that hyperlinked word or phrase or I’m just not going to be interested in reading on. This is true if the hyperlink goes off to another page of content or if content or an ad are displayed. So end-to-end relevancy is super important: without context consistency across the experience, the reader is going to move on.
So with this in mind, Vibrant accomplishes this end-to-end relevancy by first discovering and hyperlinking words on the page that have the highest relevancy rating with respect to the page, using the VXPlatform we’ve developed over more than 10 years. Our algorithms use information that is gathered directly from the page as well as data that is supplied from systems whose job is to gather, store and analyse keyword data across Vibrant’s publisher network.
Once the keywords are found then the algorithm moves to find the right content to associate with them. The content is prioritised, and the main goal is to select the right content that will have the biggest impact with respect to the page content. The VXPlatform ensures that the selected page keywords have a strong relevancy link to the selected content. We do this by working directly with advertiser to assign relevant and impactful keywords to the content.
Next, the algorithm looks to find the same keyword in both the relevant page keyword list and the content keyword list. Once found, you know you have a keyword match that is relevant to the page and to the content. Now when the keyword is hyperlinked and the content is displayed, there is end-to-end relevancy and the user will have a great experience.