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Interest and Behavior Advertising Online

Forbes reports on the ads around which Google has built its Web empire -- and that Yahoo! and Microsoft yearn to match -- have thus far revolved mostly around searches. But searching is only one of many popular Web-based activities.

More and more, content portals and publishers are realizing that they can spoon-feed us ads based on our other online behaviors -- not just search queries -- and get advertisers to pay a premium for the privilege of reaching such specific categories of people. So behavior-based ad targeting is becoming the hot button for Internet media -- a trend, along with its developing technologies, that promises to accelerate into the new year.

Dishing out targeted ads based on behavior may be in its early stages, but 2005 showed an awakening among content providers and advertisers. About 15 percent of medium- and large-sized advertisers tried a behavior-based campaign this year, up from 5 percent the year before, according to Harry Wang, an analyst with Parks Associates. He added that in the coming year, many more companies will start to experiment with such behavior-based models.

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