Quova Digs Deeper To Identify Location of Web Traffic

By Joe Francica

The introduction of GeoDirectory Server 6.0 a few weeks ago established new functionality from Quovaï¿1⁄2s core product that more accurately identifies the location of incoming traffic to websites. Where previously GeoDirectory Server could identify only the location of the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the most recent proxy server, the new version can identify the originating Internet connection. The improvements provide the ability to support the delivery of more personalized content as well as to help eliminate Internet fraud.

For example, if a website visitor is trying to mask his identity and his true location, he may try to use several proxies to reach a website. An online retailer, who must apply the appropriate tax to Internet sales, can be assisted here by GeoDirectory. Likewise, if someone is trying to purchase technology from a country that forbids export of certain goods, GeoDirectory can verify the location and prevent an illegal transaction. A customer who places an online order using a credit card with a United States address but whose IP address is coming from, say, Cuba, would have his transaction blocked.

GeoDirectory works by identifying the IP address and passing back a report on city and state plus a confidence level to the user. Other information includes the deliver network characteristics such as the top-level domain and organization name. Subsequent details can include whether the Internet-route taken to a website was from a corporate server or gateway. Quova will soon be adding functionality to identify if part of this route was from a mobile wireless device.

"When the company was founded, we wanted to give you the address of the person visiting from the Web based on IP address location. But just the location was not enough; the gambling industry pointed out flaws," said Marie Alexander, president of Quova. In the past, when a browser hit a website, the IP address was identified from a database and the geographic information would be provided. If the IP address was behind a proxy server, Quova would have stopped the location identification process there. Now it can look that up and go beyond the proxy. With 1.5 billion IP addresses in its database, about 15% are behind proxies. "With the Proxy Locator," said Alexander, ï¿1⁄2you can confirm in real-time if a person is connected via a proxy and then deploy the most effective technique to locate that device, whether it is IP geolocation or another real-time locating technique. It doesnï¿1⁄2t matter how many proxies are used to get back to the originating connection point. Weï¿1⁄2ve filed patents on this.ï¿1⁄2

Major League Baseball (MLB) uses Quova's GeoDirectory Server. As the seller of rights to ï¿1⁄2liveï¿1⁄2 broadcasts of baseball games, MLB needs to identify the location of Web visitors who want to watch a game so that MLB is not violating the terms of either national or local broadcast restrictions to which they are bound. The connection visitors make may also be wireless. As such, Quova has collaborated with Mexens Technology to deploy the Navizon(TM)Wireless Locator as an integrated function within GeoDirectory Server.

With the increasing use of the Web for online advertising, retailing and local search, the need to accurately locate visitors is an essential part of establishing a sound return on investment strategy. The growing sophistication of products like GeoDirectory Server aids online merchants with the tools to not only increase sales but to reduce fraudulent activity.

Published Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Written by Joe Francica

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