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What happens after an ad click?: quantifying the impact of landing pages in web advertising

What happens after an ad click?: quantifying the impact of landing pages in web advertising,10.1145/1645953.1645964,Hila Becker,Andrei Z. Broder,Evgen

What happens after an ad click?: quantifying the impact of landing pages in web advertising  
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Unbeknownst to most users, when a query is submitted to a search engine two distinct searches are performed: the or- ganic or algorithmic search that returns relevant Web pages and related data (maps, images, etc.), and the sponsored search that returns paid advertisements. While an enor- mous amount of work has been invested in understanding the user interaction with organic search, surprisingly little research has been dedicated to what happens after an ad is clicked, a situation we aim to correct. To this end, we define and study the process of context transfer, that is, the user's transition from Web search to the context of the landing page that follows an ad-click. We conclude that in the vast majority of cases the user is shown one of three types of pages, namely, Homepage (the home- page of the advertiser), Category browse (a browse-able sub- catalog related to the original query), and Search transfer (the search results of the same query re-executed on the tar- get site). We show that these three types of landing pages can be accurately distinguished using automatic text clas- sification. Finally, using such an automatic classifier, we correlate the landing page type with conversion data pro- vided by advertisers, and show that the conversion rate (i.e., users' response rate to ads) varies considerably according to the type. We believe our findings will further the under- standing of users' response to search advertising in general, and landing pages in particular, and thus help advertisers improve their Web sites and help search engines select the most suitable ads.
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