The research center has unveiled its first tools for paid search, contextual advertising, behavioral targeting and emerging markets.
Microsoft today launched the first set of advertiser tools to come out of its adCenter Labs initiative, first announced in January.
The new adLab site offers demo versions of several tools for advertisers, in the categories of paid search, contextual advertising, behavioral targeting and emerging markets.
Search tools include several offerings for keyword research, such as tools to find related or alternate keywords, identify common misspellings, and expand acronyms and abbreviations. More advanced tools include search funnel analysis, to see what keywords searchers look for before or after a selected keyword; and search result clustering, to show semantically related groups of keywords. Another tool identifies the seasonal performance of certain keywords.
A keyword price estimation tool and a hierarchical keyword suggestion tool are coming soon, according to the site.
For contextual advertising, Microsoft offers tools to group sites or keywords into content categories, and promises it will soon offer keyword extraction and site analysis tools to optimize ad placement and targeting.
Behavioral tools analyzes the behavior of users to divine their demographic information and commercial intent, such as likelihood to buy or sell.
Under the "emerging markets" category, Microsoft is demonstrating a tool to serve local ads by IP address. The tool is currently limited to Redmond and a few other cities around Microsoft's headquarters.
The adLab project is an incubator for advanced targeting and reporting capabilities in Microsoft's adCenter platform. The researchers are mostly working on long-term features and capabilities that might appear in adCenter in years, not weeks or months.
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
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