Microsoft AdCenter classifies web users into 18 categories

Microsoft’s adCenter online advertising product includes behavioral targeting, a way to predict a customer’s age, gender, and other demographic information based on search queries and web browsing behavior. Yesterday Microsoft began incorporating behavioral targeting into adCenter, classifying users into 18 “audience segments.”

Web users tracked by Microsoft are currently identified in one or more categories including mobile users, Internet power users, gamers, movie watchers, new/expecting moms, parents, and several categories encompassing travel searchers, and auto buyers and researchers.

Once a user is classified, a site such as can suggest the best homepage gadgets for an expectant mother, gamer, or movie watcher. I hinted at some of these adaptive personalization technologies in the adaptive personal homepage section of my customized homepage post published on Monday.

You might never realize the information and profiling gathered at every swipe of your Costco card or every visit to a portal, but it’s being used by marketers and product planners every day.