About.com Implements User-Driven Publishing Model

NEW YORK Primedia today launched a new About.com that is designed to present content and related advertising based on users’ past actions on the property.

The site, which claims 20 million unique visitors per month, will use behavioral targeting technologies and dynamic page creation to capture reader interests and automatically deliver customized pages with relevant content and advertising.

“As this person clicks on more links, we will target accordingly,” said Peter Horan, CEO of About.com, an online source of original content from 475 writers or “guides,” who dole out information and advice about subjects ranging from boxing to home parenting.

“The objective is to have the reader spend more time on that topic on About.com,” said Horan, who joined the 7-year-old Primedia unit last December. “The advertiser then has a greater opportunity to work with that customer. They have a prolonged opportunity to send users their message.”

Advertising on About.com consists of a combination of Interactive Advertising Bureau-recommended units and sponsored links provided by Google. The property also uses Tacoda Systems for behavioral targeting.

As a part of the redesign, About.com replaced its text-intensive home page with a visually driven one in an attempt to be more contemporary and appealing to its female-skewing audience.

A trade campaign promoting the improved site is set to break in a couple weeks, said Horan.