NetMetrics debuts ad-supported site preview tool

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San Francisco-based NetMetrics unveiled WebTurbo at Internet World in Chicago Wednesday; the browser plug-in enables Net surfers to preview the contents of Web sites. The free tool, available for Netscape and Microsoft browsers, displays a synopsis of the contents of sites and will be sponsored by small ad banners sold by NetMetrics.

Using NetMetrics employs spider technology similar to that of search engines to catalogue all the Net's Web sites in advance, so when users search for a site, the preview is served quickly from NetMetrics' database. As a result, NetMetrics is able to capture all of a user's WebTurbo search activities, which the company will use to target advertisements to users according to their surfing preferences.

To register the free software, users are required to note various personal demographics, such as zip code, age and gender, which NetMetrics will also use for ad targeting.

The company plans to wait till 25,000 surfers are actively using WebTurbo before selling ads for the system, a spokeswoman said.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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