Hydra Launches New Education Website to Meet Changing Student Needs

Beverly Hills, CA, January 06, 2010 — Hydra, the largest pure performance-based advertising network, today announced the launch of a new website to serve those seeking higher education. Called MyDegreeFinder.com, this comprehensive online destination provides information and resources to help prospective students evaluate the wide variety of higher education degree programs available both online and in traditional academic settings. It also provides a personalized matching service that allows degree seekers to quickly and easily identify those accredited schools that best meet their career and life goals.

What makes MyDegreeFinder.com different from most other education web sites is that it adapts itself to how prospective students prefer to search for information in order to provide a more personalized experience. Degree seekers can self-navigate through MyDegreeFinder.com’s categorized directory of schools and obtain detailed information on the schools that interest them. Alternatively, they can answer a short questionnaire so that the site’s matching engine, called "Degree Advisor," can recommend the schools that best meet their needs for pursuing their chosen area of study or degree program. Designed to dynamically adjust based on the degree seekers’ responses, the questionnaire is able to capture the information required to provide an accurate match with minimum steps.

“There is incredible demand for higher learning, but more and more people fall outside the traditional student profile,” said Cezanne Huq, Director Search Media at Hydra. “We specifically created MyDegreeFinder to be able to serve the full spectrum of people seeking to pursue degrees or additional learning.”

A recent study by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation underscores the changing face of higher learning. According to that study, 45 percent of individuals attending a four-year university work more than 20 hours per week and 23 percent of all college students are working moms or dads. Traditional students – those attending school full-time and living on campus – make up only 25 percent of today’s degree seekers per the study’s findings.

MyDegreeFinder.com relies on classic online marketing strategies such as SEO and SEM to attract users. But according to Huq, the site is employing a more highly targeted and compliant search strategy than others in order to provide a more personalized experience for searchers and better qualified leads for the site’s advertisers. Additionally, the site is using highly targeted display media buys intended to provide outreach to that portion of the audience that relies less heavily on search, and has already entered into strategic partnerships with MSN, Yahoo!, and Google to do so.

“Hydra has made significant investments to bring in talented individuals at all levels of the organization with direct education portal and lead generation experience,” said Hydra CEO Zac Brandenberg. “We’re excited to see it come to fruition so quickly with MyDegreeFinder.com.”

According to Brandenberg, the portal development team was able to draw on its deep experience to identify and implement “best practices” in product development, consumer experience, internal marketing methodologies, analytics, and accreditation adherence.

About Hydra
Hydra delivers performance-based online advertising for new customer acquisition on a pure cost-per-action (CPA) basis. Combining a network of over 13,000 publishing partners with its own internal media management groups, Hydra distributes direct response online ad campaigns via search, email, display and social media to deliver millions of new sales and leads each month for many of the largest and best-known consumer product and service companies. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, the company’s pioneering achievements earned it recognition as the 2009 Internet/New Media Company of the Year by The Technology Council of Southern California as well as three straight years on the INC 500. Learn more at www.hydranetwork.com.

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