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BizReport : Research archives : December 28, 2006

Microsoft To Target Using User Information

Microsoft Corporation is making a push to be a bigger challenger to search advertising giants Google and Yahoo. The company will sell behaviorally targeted ads using information gather from the email property.

by Kristina Knight

The ads will be available for the news pages and other Microsoft properties, and according to Reuters the company has already begun harvesting information from Hotmail users by monitoring their search preferences.

For marketers, the move could allow for better targeting of ads because they will potentially know which ads will interest specific users. By allowing fewer intrusive or untargeted ads to users, marketers can potentially make more online revenue.

However, some privacy pundits may not like the idea of Microsoft using user information “against” the users themselves.

Microsoft trails Google and Yahoo for search performance, they have been steadily in the third slot throughout 2006. In November, Google held steady with 49.5% of all searches, Yahoo rose to 24% and Microsoft’s Windows LiveSearch dropped to only 8.2% of all searches. Microsoft was the only property to drop is search rankings. AOL’s search function and, which currently trail Microsoft, did grow their November search numbers.

Tags: behavioral targeting, Microsoft, search marketing

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