Times Online uses Fast tech

Fast Search & Transfer, the leading developer of enterprise search technologies and solutions, announced today that Times Online has selected the FAST Enterprise Search Platform to power its new online Travel Channel.
The Times Online’s combination of strong editorial content with innovative contextual advertising enables it to be the first media owner to categorize and index its travel content in such a sophisticated way - offering the site’s users more relevant results and its advertisers greater insight into the preferences of particular target markets.

With the rapid growth of travellers researching and booking their holidays online, users of popular Web portals’ search quickly become dissatisfied when the first five pages of results to any travel-associated search are unrelated advertisements for cheap flights or hotels.

Times Online Travel Channel is using FAST technology and the FAST Search Best Practices consultancy services to create a scalable search infrastructure that indexes each piece of editorial, past and present, from The Times, The Sunday Times and Times Online to provide a wide range of relevant intelligence to those researching any destination. As part of the project, Times Online Travel Channel will also provide associated content such as local weather reports and currency and exchange rates.

Anne Spackman, Times Online Editor-In-Chief, said, “FAST’s solutions allow all the content on great travel locations and holidays that readers have grown to depend on - from our cache of well-known travel writers and contributors such as Bel Mooney, Dom Joly and Michael Palin - to be easily recalled on site via our optimized search functions. Users can choose holiday information by country, type of holiday and subcategories within each type, such as diving or walking holidays, offering relevant information on the type of holiday you’d really like - all in one place.”

In addition to enhancing the experience for its users, Times Online’s investment in FAST will create innovative contextual advertising solutions for its advertisers.


Zach Leonard, Digital Media Publisher, Times Online, said “No other media company can offer such a complete package of information to readers. It will act as an invaluable resource while making use of the vast amount of travel information available from The Times, Sunday Times and Times Online. The combination of the power of the channel to amalgamate information and the extremely diverse audience of Times brand readers should prove an extremely successful offering to our advertisers.”

“From our vantage point, the Times Online travel site now offers one of the most sophisticated contextual advertising solutions in the travel market today,” says John M. Lervik, CEO of FAST. “Times Online has taken full advantage of FAST’s robust, highly configurable enterprise search platform to offer an increased level of relevancy of search for its users and to create new opportunities for targeted messaging for advertisers. FAST continues to power innovation across the globe as evidenced by our support for differentiating the Times Online travel brand.”