Whether looking for a rhyming lyric, a good quote, or the defintion of some exotic symbol, Israeli startup Stands4, may just have the answers
The Internet includes mountains of information. Sites on the Web offer us answers to all our questions,generating new questions in some never-ending process. A large portion of these questions are directly related to language and the way it continues to evolve. Stands4, an Israel based startup is consolidating all the answers to questions related to language, synonyms, definitions, and even quotes and Lyrics. Get to know the company closely.
Words and phrases as databases
Stands4 was founded in 2001 by Yigal Ben Efraim to be a niche search engine for acronyms and abbreviations. Over the years the company has grown to include more than 11 websites on various topics including definitions in over 40 languages (Definitions.net), synonyms (Synonyms.net), idioms and phrases (Phrases.net) Famous Quotes (Quotes.net) Song Lyrics (Lyrics. net), dimensions and weights (Convert.net) and more.
The goal behind this lineup of sites is to provide updated information for a wide variety of disciplines, all presented within an intuitive user interface. The information offered by the Company focuses on elements that search engines and standard dictionaries are not able to provide in an ideal fashion to satisfy the needs of such a specialized set of user base groups.
These groups include students, academics, librarians, members of Law and Justice organizations, and really any user looking for relevant information of depth on the sites’ covered topics.
Combined, the company’s network of sites attract over 6 million users per/month, from all over the world, with links to various universities and educational institutions. Operational activities see the addition of over 100 new acronyms per/day, supplied by a community of editors which includes over 2,500 volunteers, all taking care to make sure that the information presented across the sites is indeed updated and verified.
In an interview with Geektime, Yigal explained that Stands4 was actually the name of the first site they had, which was a search engine for acronyms and abbreviations. Early on, the company realized the great significance of category-defining domain names so they looked to rebrand in an effort to better position the company in search engine results. As a result, the company acquired its first domain: Abbreviations.com .
Once the move proved successful, the company continued to add a range of other services, all under their own independent domain names. Yigal explains that the split helped brand each site separately, and helped maximize the benefit of search engine optimization using the domain names that doubled as definitions for what the sites actually did. Yigal added that over the years the company has invested close to $0.5M on domain names alone, a worthwhile effort according to Yigal.
Although separate with regard to domain names, all sites are built on the same platform, ‘speak’ the same interface language and complement each other with regard to content. For example, clicking on a word in a song that appears on Lyrics.net will lead the user to its dictionary definition in Definitions.net – and so with translations and synonyms etc. This internal collaboration helps increase company exposure while keeping users browsing on their sites longer.
The company’s main competitors are the classical dictionaries such as Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, as well as questions sites like Answers.com – not to mention search engines, of course. Yigal explains that the main advantage of Stands4 is its coverage and focus on niche specific information, for example; acronyms and rhymes in Rhymes.net, symbols in Symbols.net, and the so on. The niches aren’t large enough to attract big competitors, but are still big enough for Stands4 to be able to dominate the market with their comprehensive approach.
Presently the company is located in Netanya and has a total of three employees in Israel and two in the U.S. Most of the work is carried out by volunteer editors, but that does not mean the company’s taking it easy. Stands4 is looking to expand, and recently launched a new website that provides information on thousands of signs and symbols under the brand: Symbols.net.
Stands4 has been bootstrapping since its inception, having already turned profitable in 2004. Most of its revenues come from advertising, sponsorships and content licenses. Due to the high profile of the users, they can now get advertising contracts with well-known international agencies. Today, more than 5,000 organizations and developers use the company’s content through their API offering.