Microsoft unveiled a new behavioral advertising system that links the habits of users with other personal information to deliver targeted personalized advertisements:
With the use of small data files known as cookies, Microsoft can link information users provide when they sign up for Hotmail e-mail and other services with data on what they view and search for on various Microsoft sites, such as those for maps, Web journals and finance.
Microsoft uses that information to build a profile for a certain class of users - women over 30 who read financial news, for example - and sell marketers the opportunity to reach that targeted group as they surf Microsoft properties.
The company joins Yahoo Inc. and other major Internet sites in implementing personalized ads based on Web surfing habits, a practice known as behavioral targeting. Microsoft's spin on the tactic, which brings demographic information together with online behavior, may make targeting more accurate, said Emily Riley, advertising analyst for JupiterResearch.
Microsoft says users click as much as 76 percent more on these behavioral targeted ads.