Google’s Scoring for Content-Relevant Advertisements

A new patent application from Google describes how relevancy factors may be calculated into the scoring of advertisements shown on web pages, and other properties.

Keep in mind that this is a patent application, and describes one possible variation of a scoring system that Google may or may not implement. It appears to be related to a number of other recent patent applications from Google, like the ones I mention in a post from earlier this month on The Suitability of Websites for Participation in an Advertising Network.

The process described in the filing involves accepting ads that are relevant to a document, and then scoring each of the accepted ads by using a price parameter associated with the ads, an indication of relevancy of the ads to the document, and a performance parameter.

Under the method described, the price parameter could be:

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Search Articles from E-LIS

I was searching through the E-prints in Library and Information Science (E-LIS) web site for search related articles over the past year, and came across some articles that weren’t highly cited, but provide some interesting perspectives on Google Scholar, and on research involving user behavior on the web and how to understand it better.

Google Scholar

Examining the Claims of Google Scholar as a Serious Information Source
by Bruce White (09 November 2006)

A thoughtful and detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Google Scholar from a member of the library community. Bruce White’s conclusion points to the use of Google Scholar as an essential informational resource but not a one-stop-shop for searching academic journal literature.

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Nokia Patents Voice Tagging of Pictures

From Pier 39 in San Francisco

You’re walking along Pier 39 in San Francisco, and you decide that what you see in front of you would make an excellent photo. You pull out your camera phone, point it in the direction of your view of the fog rolling down the City, from the Pier. Snapping the shot, you tell your phone “vacation” and “San Francisco,” and the picture is stored in two different folders – the vacation one, and the San Francisco one. Sounds good to me.

When we think of tagging, it’s normally in the context of typing a word into a text box or clicking upon a previously created tag while labeling an image, or a link to a web page, or a video.

A patent granted to Nokia today talks about creating voice enabled tags to make it easy to file images taken with a camera phone, and similar devices.

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Does Alexa Use Search Results to Identify Related Pages?

Alexa collects and displays a fair amount of information about web sites, though I’ve always wondered about the value of that information because it appears to only collect information from people who have an Alexa Toolbar installed on their browser.

A new patent, granted to Alexa this morning but originally filed back in 1999, describes some of the data that could be collected from people with the toolbar, and how Alexa might use it to identify sites that are related to each other in some fashion. (The Alexa Privacy Policy, last updated 2003 (now Updated 16 July 2009), seems to describe an even greater use of the information collected.)

Alexa’s Patent on Meta Data for Related Sites

Analysis of search activities of users to identify related network sites
Invented by Brewster Kahle and Paul van der Merwe Sauer
Assigned to Alexa
US Patent 7,165,069
Granted January 16, 2007
Filed June 28, 1999

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User Interfaces for News Aggregators

I mostly use bloglines to read RSS feeds, though I’ve been seeing some opinions from others on different feed readers, including Peter Da Vanzo’s recent endorsement of Google Reader.

A new Microsoft study, prepared for CHI2007, looks at the features and attributes of different feed readers based upon interviews with 34 participants, who described how they use a feed reader.

The study also tries to come up with some common terms to use to describe feed readers: Taxonomies for News Aggregator Interfaces and User Patterns.

The paper doesn’t go into a tremendous amount of detail on the results of the study, but it does lay out some interesting groundwork for future studies.

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Studying the User Behavior of Non-Human Web Searchers

Pier 39 in San Francisco

Humans aren’t the only ones who submit queries through search engines.

There are individuals and organizations that use search agents to find and collect information through search engines, focusing upon a number of different informational needs including search augmentation services that help searchers as they surf the web, and agents used by recommendation sites, metasearch engines, and shopping comparison sites.

A study from November, 2006, provides some details about search agents, and how their interactions may differ from human searchers, and what that might mean for search engines. The paper is on the fairly techical side, so I decided to look up a number of the search agents referred to in the document, which are kind of interesting in their diversity and multiple purposes.

I listed and linked to a number of the agents, or to papers that describe them, and I’d recommend looking at a number of the agents to get a sense of their scope and uses before tackling the paper, which I’ll point to first.

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