Digital Equipment?s Alta Vista search site, one of the most viewed sites on the Web, is to lose its advertising innocence this week, a year after it was first launched.
Alta Vista logs over 24 million hits a day and its decision to accept ads marks a turning point for marketing on the Web. Other major search engines like Yahoo, Infoseek, Excite and Lycos already sell adverts and Forrester Research has said it expects Web advertising spending to be worth more than $2.57 billion by 2000.
Digital has signed a pact with Double Click, a New York interactive advertising network that will have the right to sell banners and create sponsorship deals on Alta Vista. Ads, which will be priced at about $50 per thousand impressions, will flash up when users type related keywords into their Alta Vista searches.
Digital officials said they had held off putting ads on the site until now because they weren?t convinced that Web advertising represented a real business. They were also concerned that hosting ads might slow down the site.
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