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Infoseek launches targeted ads

The Ultramatch system zaps targeted advertising to Web users judged to be the most likely to respond.

Advertisers and Internet directories are getting to know you, better than ever.

The latest proof: Infoseek Corporation today launched "Ultramatch," a system that zaps targeted advertising to Web users judged to be the most likely to respond.

Ultramatch relies on technology from Infoseek and from Aptex Software, which will be responsible for selling the product, an Aptex spokesman said.

When users conduct online queries, Ultramatch "learns" their interests and summarizes them. A spokesman called the profiles "anonymous," and said specific individuals would not be identified.

"Ultramatch eliminates the guessing game by helping marketers reach those consumers who, based on their actual behavior and preferences, are most likely to be interested in specific products and services," said Infoseek chief executive Harry Motro in a statement.

The idea is catching on. Magellan Internet Guide uses a similar technology. For example, if a visitor does a search for "golf," the results page bears a banner for GolfWeb's site.

Andersen Consulting's LifestyleFinder intelligent agent technology, which it licenses to other sites, asks users for information to infer interests, then uses that data to suggest Web sites they might like. The same information, but not the users' identities, is shared with marketers who send related ads.