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Fewer Ads, More Clicks

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Bing users might not notice, but the Microsoft search engine tends to show fewer advertisements alongside search results than its rivals do. The reason might be that advertisers are drawn more to Google, but Microsoft says the difference also comes from an artificial-intelligence technique that aims to deliver only the most relevant ads.

The technique will soon get a wider test—Yahoo is now making the switch to Bing to power the search results on its site. And that is prompting Microsoft researchers to share more details about the algorithms Bing uses to try to please users and advertisers alike.

Although often annoying to users, the ads that appear next to search results play a crucial role in the online economy. They generate more than $25 billion in revenue each year.

But most of that money flows to Google, which handles about 63% of U.S. search requests. Yahoo processes about 19%, while Bing has a nearly 13% share, according to the latest data from comScore, a marketing research company. Microsoft intends to reach a wider audience of Web searchers through its partnership with Yahoo.

From Technology Review
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