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360i Press Release: Clearspring & 360i Partner to Provide First-Ever Search Optimized Widgets

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NBC Universal first customer to incorporate new enhancements to ensure high visibility for its widgets

NEW YORK & Washington DC — May 15, 2008 — Clearspring and 360i, a leading independent digital agency, today announced that they have partnered to integrate search engine optimization (“SEO”) techniques and best practices into Clearspring’s widget syndication platform.

The Clearspring widget platform is now SEO optimized, providing marketers and content providers with expanded visibility for their sharable assets. NBC Universal, a mutual client of both companies, is the first to test this capability during a beta phase in which the optimization enhancements are being incorporated into NBC widgets developed using the Clearspring platform. NBC Universal’s widgets can be viewed at http://www.nbcuwidgets.com/.

Search is the starting point for most Internet users today. At the same time, social media – especially portable and shareable digital assets – has grown significantly as more consumers decide how and where to engage with content.

“Until now, these two pervasive methods of promoting content have been siloed,” said Bryan Wiener, CEO of 360i. “Through this partnership, a virtuous cycle will be enabled where improved search results will drive increased traffic to marketers’ widgets which in turn will enhance the search results for the main destination site.”

Top rankings in search engines can be achieved by improving the structure of a web site, as well as increasing the quality and quantity of inbound links to the site. As widgets are added and shared across the Web, each link from the widget goes back to the brand’s web site and helps improve search engine rankings. However, these benefits can only be achieved if the widgets are properly optimized for search. Through the Clearspring-360i partnership, widget headers and footers can be created so that search engines can understand the content of the widget, determine its relevance and then link back to the appropriate web site, thereby improving rankings across the engines.

“NBC Universal has fully embraced and clearly understands the value of both search engine optimization for all of our online properties and the importance of viral distribution of our content, including through widgets. By working with 360i and Clearspring we have been able to connect these various initiatives into a powerful interconnected digital program that has produced measurable results for NBC’s brands,” said George Kliavkoff, Chief Digital Officer of NBC Universal.

“Clearspring’s partnership with 360i represents a significant milestone for the widget industry,” said Hooman Radfar, CEO of Clearspring. “By enabling search engine optimization in our platform, our clients widgets can now be discovered more effectively via the most ubiquitous distribution channel online – search. Moreover, their widget programs now deliver increased ROI as they not only extend their brands to audiences on the social web, but also improve the search rankings of their websites. In other words, it now pays to distribute content as widgets.”

During the testing phase, 360i and Clearspring worked closely with NBC Universal to incorporate this new enhancement across their widgets. As a result of this test, NBC expects improved rankings for strategic keywords to their destination sites, while also promoting the widgets themselves. The distribution and promotion of these NBC widgets on the Clearspring platform should help NBC rank higher for more relevant keywords and increased consumer engagement with their widgets. SEO professionals can learn more about how this is done at http://www.clearspring.com/platform/seo