Yahoo gets a whopper of a patent for domain name parking optimization.
Yahoo, one of the largest providers of advertising to parked domain names, has
filed a patent application been granted a patent for optimizing the keyword links on “two-click” domain parking pages.
U.S. patent 7,647,316 (pdf) for “Link Optimization” was filed March 5, 2007, and issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office yesterday. It describes a system that optimizes the keyword links shown on parked domain names in many ways:
Number of Keyword Links – Yahoo explains that reducing the number of keyword links on a page may increase the total revenue realized per visitor. Its system optimizes both the number displayed and which keywords are actually displayed, as well as the order of the links. It is partially determined based on the click-through rate of ads delivered following the click of the keyword link (i.e., the actual ads on the second page of a two-click lander).
“The reduction of keywords is valuable to prevent cannibalization of user clicks. Underperforming keywords linked on a web page have the effect of lessening the overall monetization of the web page via a number of factors. One of these factors is the frequency by which users who click on an underperforming keyword wind up not clicking on perhaps a more valuable or likely to be monetized keyword. This may be due to the user, for example, deciding only to click on one keyword before giving up.”
User-targeted Keywords – The system can target keyword links based on a user profile. This may include the web site visitor’s location or browsing habits.
“For example, the keywords displayed on a particular web page may be keyed towards the particular keywords most likely to get a response from the user. A user profile for the user may be accessed in order to aid in this analysis. Certain presumptions may be made based upon this user profile. Additionally, metrics such as geographical location and time of day may be utilized as well.”
Mobile Optimization – Domain parking pages on mobile devices may show fewer links due to the smaller screen size, and may also be optimized for geo-location.
“As an example, a typical domain matching technique may be used to extract 10 keywords for a particular domain name. By applying various optimization techniques described above, the “bestâ€ 7 keywords may be displayed for users viewing the corresponding web page on a traditional computer, whereas the “bestâ€ 4 keywords may be displayed for users viewing the corresponding web page on a mobile device. In the mobile device embodiment, additional metrics may be utilized as well. For example, rather than using a user profile to determine geographical location, Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality built into the mobile device may be utilized for such purposes.”
Text display optimization – This is a dynamic optimization of font, font color, font size, and spacing to maximize overall earnings per visitor.
Yahoo’s patent notes that this optimization is not limited to domain parking, and can be applied to contextual ads as well, such as contextual keyword ad links on web page (think Google Adsense’ Adlinks, or even Google Adsense text ads).
Update: Thanks do a DNW reader for pointing out that I was asleep at the wheel this morning: the patent has been issued, not just applied for. The story has been updated accordingly.