Rubicon Project Buys Chango: New Opportunity to Leverage Search Query Data to Create More Relevant Display Campaigns

Post by Isiah Drake, Product Manager

This week, the Rubicon Project, a programmatic ad exchange, announced the acquisition of Canadian start-up Chango, which specializes in intent marketing technology, including retargeting based on search queries.  This acquisition gives marketers new opportunity to leverage Chango’s search query information to optimize programmatic buys across Rubicon Project’s reach.


Back in 2013, Google encrypted all organic searches, citing privacy concerns.  In other words, marketers could no longer see which organic keywords were driving traffic to their sites.  In analytics, keyword values are now attributed to the infamous “not provided” keyword—and marketers have more difficulty realizing the return on effort for optimizing certain keywords to drive organic traffic.

Beyond seeking to protect searcher privacy, Google’s encryption was also an attempt to protect itself from search keyword mining retargeters like Chango, Magnetic and  These retargeters pull search query information (e.g. the organic keyword used) from the referring URL that directed to a site.  Then, they convert this search query information into cookies for targeting on display media.  This data could be used on any demand side platform (DSP), traditional publisher or programmatic guaranteed media buy.

Despite Google’s keyword encryption, retargeters like Chango still obtain search query information from native site searches, comparison shopping engines (CSEs) and tier-two search engines.  Thus, advertisers can still leverage search queries for retargeting.

And now, Chango is bringing its search query data to all the programmatic inventory that the Rubicon Project can buy.  Rubicon Project can also now use the search query data to optimize its already impressive algorithm (yield optimization) to serve better targeted ads, based on advertiser creative or overall relevancy.  As a result of Chango’s insights from search query data, Rubicon Project will also be able to bring other pricing structures to the market for non-guaranteed media.


Savvy advertisers are now leveraging search query data to create more relevant and personal display campaigns.  Performics engages in this type of media buying for many advertisers; we can execute in a self-service manner by accessing pure Rubicon Project inventory, as well as data from search prospecting vendors like Chango.  To increase display performance, all advertisers should explore layering search query data on top of programmatic buys.

For more information on Rubicon Project’s Chango acquisition, please contact your Performics Account Team today

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