In surprising news, 7Search has completely shut down operations and is no longer in business. While advertisers are concerned about the loss of inventory, publishers are worried they may not get paid with a company shutting down so fast. The company has not answered questions, or returned calls from PACEDM inquiring about the business – but we spoke to a few employees about what was going on.
Charles Mayer, who has been with the company almost since its founding, and for many is the face of the company in Business Development and sales, wasn’t willing to speak to me much. He made it clear that he was under a NDA, and was only with the company for a little bit more to help “shut down,” and then was moving to Website Magazine to work there. However, he would not answer any questions beyond that saying that the company “sold its assets” and was shutting down. He would also not give me names or numbers of their PR/Management staff that could answer more questions.
Often when companies shut down like this and claim to have “sold their assets” it means they are going out of business. While we are not willing to say this is the case, any publisher should be concerned about the method they are shutting down, without a bankruptcy or notice to publishers about payments as it often signals what publishers fear the most: non payment, company running with the money.
7 Search started primary as an alternative search engine, with everything from interstitial placements to adware over the years. However, as Google and Bing became the dominant search engines (mainly Google, yes) it’s traffic quickly became so poor that it was often just used by brokers trading up clicks to other advertisers. However, because of the cheap price, in the Affiliate and Performance Marketing community, it often was very popular. However, the mass brokering of inventory in an environment where real time bidding and automated exchanges run the show, it was obviously very hard to compete.