An interesting side note (the ad compass rose is merely amusing ) is the note that infrequent, i.e. likely web ignorant, people query differently (possibly as if asking another person rather than a database?) resulting in fewer returns and increased ad relevance.
Comparing How Commercial Different Search Categories are for Search Advertising
A Yahoo patent application describes some information ... that Yahoo refers to as a Search Category Commercialization Index (SCCI).
The Yahoo patent application introduces the idea of a search category commercialization index, which could be calculated by looking at two or more metrics from a group that would consist of:
1. Number of searches within the category;
2. Number of searches within the category that result in results pages having sponsored search results;
3. Number of total advertisers in the category;
4. Average number of sponsored search listings for results pages in the category
5. Click-through rate for advertisements in the category;
6. Share of sponsored search results that are clicked versus other items that are clicked on results pages in the category;
7. Average price per click on a sponsored search result advertisement; and,
8. Lifetime value of users who perform searches within the category.
There is a lot of meat and even more leftover hash potential for the thoughtful and imaginative competitive webmaster in Bill's article (and the patent filing itself).
...it was unexpectedly discovered that light users have the best likelihood of clicking on advertising, while searching for certain categories on the search results page. It was also unexpectedly discovered that a significant proportion of light user activity has no coverage.
My very first thought when reading those 8-points (quoted above) was: that is basic traffic data analysis. Second was: that is patentable? But then those are common thoughts about the US Patent Office.
My slings and arrows directed towards the USPO aside I see two very useful discussion directions:
1. When you collect/analyse site/niche traffic data are you doing so via a prescribed comparative methodology such as Yahoo's Commercialization Index? What other process(es) could reveal content relative strengths and weaknesses?
2. How best can a site pick up those ad-happy-clickers who query SEs 'differently'? Where, outside of SE internal data, are relevant profitable long tail 'real language' queries resident?