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BizReport : Search Marketing : March 01, 2007

Is Microsoft developing a new paid search platform?

A new patent application from Microsoft could change the way organic search results are tabulated. An organic result is an unpaid search listing that shows up in a search listing as opposed to paid search or pay-per-click search results. The more often these organic results show up in search listings, the more probable that consumers will find a website's products or services.

by Kristina Knight

The patent hints at the ability of search engines to filter out organic results when more than one URL points to the same webpage in a search result listing. If the patent is approved and Microsoft builds the platform, it could also filter out results from a URL when a paid search listing appears on the same page.

Paid search is by far the largest online advertising outlet. It accounted for about 40% of the online ad spend last year at $14 billion globally. Paid search is expected to continue leading online advertising efforts as more marketers realize how they can control the campaigns and tweak results quickly as the campaign is running.

If the Microsoft patent comes to fruition, it could irreparably harm paid search campaigns by filtering out URLs when a paid search ad from the same URL is present.

Tags: Microsoft, paid search, search marketing

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