Improving Ad Relevance in Sponsored Search

author: Dustin Hillard, Yahoo! Research Silicon Valley
published: March 18, 2010,   recorded: February 2010,   views: 3678


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We describe a machine learning approach for predicting sponsored search ad relevance. Our baseline model incorporates basic features of text overlap and we then extend the model to learn from past user clicks on advertisements. We present a novel approach using translation models to learn user click propensity from sparse click logs.

Our relevance predictions are then applied to multiple sponsored search applications in both offline editorial evaluations and live online user tests. The predicted relevance score is used to improve the quality of the search page in three areas: filtering low quality ads, more accurate ranking for ads, and optimized page placement of ads to reduce prominent placement of low relevance ads. We show significant gains across all three tasks.

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