Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Microsoft Research Beneficial to Search Engine Marketing

Microsoft last week invited its top advertisers to Redmond to dazzle them with the latest and greatest bits of its adCenter advertising platform. The research done to create the platform may prove to be very beneficial for those in the SEM business. The project has focused a lot on keyword optimization and soon web applications will be deveoloped to help better analyze keywords.

Keyword optimization efforts are built upon the Keyword Service Platform (KSP), a set of services that third-party developers can use through APIs to build Web applications to analyze keywords. Microsoft released the APIs to developers last week, and Colborn said partners are currently working on various applications to more effectively suggest, categorize, monetize and forecast traffic and extract keyword terms.
"We're making it an open network by publishing and sharing the algorithm," said James Colborn, product manager for adCenter Labs. "We're excited to see how our partners will build on the KSP."

Microsoft has developed its own set of tools in adLabs based on the KSP, including a keyword forecasting tool, a search funnel analysis tool, and a search result clustering tool. A vertical competitive analysis feature allows advertises to dig deeper into the "long tail" keyword suggestions, and more accurately test budget predictions. Marketers will also be able to extract trends in search campaigns to create modeling and forecasting tools to apply to their broader business, since the search queries will capture user intent around the marketer's products and services, he said.

One of the more developed keyword optimization projects underway in adLabs include tools to improve the detection of commercial intent. This tool returns a probability score reflecting the likelihood that a word or phrase is part of a search with commercial intent. The tool can also help marketers target ads to users that can help move them to the next stage of the purchase funnel, or target them with information or services appropriate to their non-commercial query. Learn more...

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