Sounds like a marketing product name, eh? Actually this is a link to a research paper Orion mentioned, a 20 page PDF about AdWords and Generalized On-Line Matching, which covers the idea of allowing search services to extract the maximum ad revenue out of advertisers.
One problem current search related ad systems have is that after one advertiser exhausts their budget the competing sites may get ads below their fair market value.
If a college student wanted to get a job at Google you could bet that writing a research paper about making AdWords more profitable would be a good idea :)
In related news...
AdWords Smart Keyword Evaluation Tool:
Sometimes without human review it disables some exceptionally well targeted terms even before you get a chance to display your ads. That is not so smart, as it frustrates advertisers and prevents them from selling part of their inventory.
You can't know how well an ad will perform based on past advertising experience since so much of Google's ad space is full of "Buy dead animal at eBay" type ads.
Why Disabling Some Generic Term Makes more Money:
I advertise one product line on Overture where part of the name is an acronym. I can use that acronym to make a decent number of sales on Overture for a good sum of money. If I want to advertise for that term on Google AdWords, even with like 20 negative keywords (filtering out unrelated traffic), the term consistantly gets shut off, despite getting a clickthrough near their minimum rate and converting exceptionally well.
Then again, maybe Google does not want me to get those conversions for a nickel. In how broad search engines allow you to advertise they are also trying to control the way searchers search. If a person searches for a short acronym Google would prefer that person to give them more data, so they can gain a better understanding of what the person wants, and deliver more targeted and hopefully more expensive advertising.
In my example for targeted terms I pay over 10 times as much per click, which really sucks since the acronym had a conversion rate higher than the campaign does.
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