Query log data for ad targeting
A WWW2006 paper out of Microsoft Research, "Finding Advertising Keywords on Web Pages" (PDF), claims that query log data is particularly useful for ad targeting.
Specifically, the researchers extracted from MSN query logs the keywords some people used to find a given page. They tested using that as one of many features for ad targeting. In their results, it was one of the most effective features.
Very interesting. It has always been harder to target ads to content than to search results because intent is much less clear.
By using the query log data in this way, the researchers were effectively using the intent of the searchers that arrived at the page as a proxy for the intent of everyone who arrived at the page.
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