Search company granted patent for delivering ads based on user profile and behavioral information.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent 7,680,786 (pdf) to Yahoo! today for “Optimization of targeted advertisements based on user profile information”.
The invention covers using both behavioral and user profile information in combination with traditional keyword and event driven factors to deliver targeted ads. For example, a user might enter a search query for “Madonna tickets” on Yahoo. Traditionally, ads related solely to those keywords would be displayed. The invention adds an additional layer, taking into consideration user information (e.g. user profile data, behavioral data) to determine which ads to show to the user. This targeting isn’t limited to searches; keywords in the domain name or the content of the page being viewed can also be considered when delivering the ads.
Yahoo! filed the patent application on October 30, 2006.