Skip to Main Content
Analysis of data from a major metasearch engine reveals that sponsored-link click-through rates appear lower than previously reported. Combining sponsored and nonsponsored links in a single listing, while providing some benefits to users, does not appear to increase clicks on sponsored listings. In a competitive market, rivals continually strive to improve their information-retrieval capabilities and increase their financial returns. One innovation is sponsored search, an "economics meets search" model in which content providers pay search engines for user traffic going from the search engine to their Web sites. Sponsored search has proven to be a successful business model for Web search engines, advertisers, and online vendors, as well as an effective way to deliver content to searchers. The "impact of sponsored search" sidebar describes some of the model's notable benefits.