AdSense Using Search Referral Data to Target Ads?


IncrediBILL has done some AdSense targeting testing. He saw different AdSense ads based on weather the page viewer came from another content page or from search. If they came from search that specific search query may have been used to drive many of the ads:

We discovered this little AdSense behavior of weighting ads on search keywords while checking the SERPs for a web site that obviously had AdSense on it. For some reason we decided to click a few of the links to the web pages from the various search engines and noticed that 2-3 of the ads in a skyscraper were different when clicking from a search than by directly accessing the page or from navigating to the page via site navigation. Based on our intial observations it seemed that secondary keywords using the same landing page are displaying ads weighted for that particular audience based solely on the search keyword.

Read about the test at IncrediBILL


It's in the patent

The AdSense patent actually mentions this, how the search terms and search history are used as part of the ad selection algorithm. It's in the last few items near the end of the claims list, go take a look....

Jenstar knew about it I just found out

Thanks for pointing out the patents as it didn't occur to me to read those, but then again just because it's in the patent doesn't mean it's been implemented, now I know for sure ;)

I thought I'd read just about everything about AdSense and this has never been discussed in AdSense forums for more than a year since I've been reading them.

Hey, at least people that weren't aware of it have something to discuss!

Who can remember all the details?

Don't feel bad, it's not like it's easy to remember all the details, especially when the AdSense terms and conditions keep changing. Personally, I think those last few claims are actually the most interesting aspects of the patent, since they show that good SEO is absolutely critical to getting good results from AdSense. I think everyone focuses on the 50 claims that come before those two claims....

It makes you hope...

...that this type of information is used in their fraud detection algorithms too. We can only hope.

Higher payouts

It wouldn't surprise me if the payout algorithms take this info into account and you get higher payouts because of it. Not just indirectly because of better ad targeting (which would increase payouts by choosing higher-priced, more relevant ads) but perhaps even directly by detecting the visitor came to the site via a search engine and so is worth more.

Good point about click fraud detection, though.

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