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Keyword Targeting Optimization in Sponsored Search Advertising: Combining Selection and Matching

by   Huiran Li, et al.

In sponsored search advertising (SSA), advertisers need to select keywords and determine matching types for selected keywords simultaneously, i.e., keyword targeting. An optimal keyword targeting strategy guarantees reaching the right population effectively. This paper aims to address the keyword targeting problem, which is a challenging task because of the incomplete information of historical advertising performance indices and the high uncertainty in SSA environments. First, we construct a data distribution estimation model and apply a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method to make inference about unobserved indices (i.e., impression and click-through rate) over three keyword matching types (i.e., broad, phrase and exact). Second, we formulate a stochastic keyword targeting model (BB-KSM) combining operations of keyword selection and keyword matching to maximize the expected profit under the chance constraint of the budget, and develop a branch-and-bound algorithm incorporating a stochastic simulation process for our keyword targeting model. Finally, based on a realworld dataset collected from field reports and logs of past SSA campaigns, computational experiments are conducted to evaluate the performance of our keyword targeting strategy. Experimental results show that, (a) BB-KSM outperforms seven baselines in terms of profit; (b) BB-KSM shows its superiority as the budget increases, especially in situations with more keywords and keyword combinations; (c) the proposed data distribution estimation approach can effectively address the problem of incomplete performance indices over the three matching types and in turn significantly promotes the performance of keyword targeting decisions. This research makes important contributions to the SSA literature and the results offer critical insights into keyword management for SSA advertisers.


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