Technology

Overview

Linkstorm's technology represents a new way to navigate the Web. Instead of clicking serially through page after page searching for what you want, you can preview multiple relevant destinations within a single menu by hovering over a link, image, ad or any other anchor to "unfurl" the menu.

In the case of ads, customers are able to navigate and act based on their true interests, which technologies like Behavioral Targeting can only guess at. At best, targeting and contextual placement merely approximate the match between a customer's interests and an ad; after that, only the customer herself can cross "the last mile" to what she really wants.

Result: Linkstorm ads are more useful to the customer, and therefore perform better for the advertiser.

Linkstorm ad menus can be easily modified via a centralized system regardless of where the ads are deployed, thus improving advertisers' and agencies' control of live ads. Changes appear immediately and universally, without having to re-master or re-traffic the ad.

These "on-the-fly" updates are informed by the deep customer insights provided by Linkstorm's unique reporting capabilities. Advertisers and agencies can measure customer interests and menu interactions at a remarkably granular level. These insights can be used to optimize the ad menu in mid-flight or in follow-on flights, with minimal effort.

Linkstorm menus, while used primarily for ads, can be created on a one-off basis for other applications such as personal IDs, or they can be created automatically in high volumes for content objects. As a result, Linkstorm menus become navigational aids for articles on a publisher site, videos on an aggregator site, or products in a catalog. The menus can also be posted onto other sites, thus "exporting" a site's object-level navigation to any other site on the Web, while still retaining centralized control over the menus.

The look and feel of a Linkstorm menu is highly customizable using industry standard HTML and CSS and can be incorporated into any type of online content, from banner ads to text in an article, user-posted content, videos, logos or other rich media content including social networking profiles.

Linkstorm's technology is based in part on key principles of the Handle System® platform developed by Dr. Robert Kahn, co-inventor of the Internet. This is an object-oriented, massively-scalable routing system where via Linkstorm's patent pending extensions, a one-to-one hyperlink can be replaced with a Linkstorm menu representing multiple URLs and where control of that menu remains centralized regardless of what based media it anchored to or wherever it goes on the Web.

Ad Serving

Linkstorm has developed a robust back end to enable high-volume serving and tracking of Linkstorm ad menus. Our high-capacity ad servers can further utilize third party Content Delivery Networks for asset delivery support. Linkstorm-enabled ads can be trafficked through most major ad serving systems including those run by DoubleClick and Atlas.

More details about the ad serving process can be found in this PDF document.

See also our FAQs for Ad Serving and Publisher Certification.

Ad Rendering

Ad design and rendering

Linkstorm offers a lightweight ad rendering mechanism with flexible styling and design capabilities. It uses standard CSS & HTML in its implementation. As such, it enjoys wide browser support and makes it possible for agencies to design their own Linkstorm menus, should they so desire.

IFrame Escape

As publishers often choose to serve ads within IFrames, which prevent expanding ad formats to behave as intended, we offer a publisher-side file that allows Linkstorm cascading menus to perform correctly for advertisers, without any modifications to the ads or the publisher page, and while maintaining full security for the publisher. Linkstorm maintains an active publisher certification program to assist publishers with this implementation and to verify to advertisers and agencies that their Linkstorm ads will run as intended on publisher sites.

Universal IFrame Solution

Even in cases where a publisher has not been Linkstorm certified to enable Linkstorm cascading-style menus to escape the boundaries of the IFrame, Linkstorm's ad serving platform automatically detects this condition and serves a version of our navigation system that operates entirely within the boundaries of the IFrame. Therefore advertisers can be confident that Linkstorm menus will operate successfully even if there has been no communication between Linkstorm and the publisher, e.g. in the case of widespread distribution through ad networks.

See also our FAQs for Ad Serving and Publisher Certification.

Analytics & Reporting

Impressions and Load measurements

Our system offers advanced insertion-level tracking and analytics that go far beyond the industry standard. Like most ad technologies, Linkstorm tracks impressions served, but unlike others, Linkstorm is able to track when ads are actually loaded successfully by the browser. Having both these measurements allows for a more accurate gauge of a campaign's performance, as well granular diagnostics, performance reporting and troubleshooting all the way down to the insertion level if needed.

Analytics you can act on

Linkstorm offers advertisers and agencies a further set of metrics, new to traditional campaign performance reporting (see below). By harnessing Linkstorm's ability to measure customer interaction, in addition to the resulting click-throughs and conversions*, advertisers and agencies gain deeper insight into the customer's decision process from brand impact to product selection to conversion.

Analytics

In addition to Linkstorm's metrics system, we enable third parties to count impressions and clicks via industry-standard redirect URLs and tracking beacons.

* We integrate with 3rd party tracking and analytics for post-click analysis and can offer consolidated reports & analysis.

Cache Busting

Web browsers, proxy servers, web servers, firewalls or similar mechanisms may cache ads and cause an incorrect impression count from third-party ad servers, as well as prevent the serving of "fresh" creative. To ensure that the ad is not cached when it is served, our systems supports "cache busting" whereby every request to the ad server returns a new ad impression.