Yahoo Research
Yahoo! Research - Yahoo! - More Y!

Dr. David M. Pennock
Email: PENNOCKD   -a@tt-   YAHOO-INC   d.o.t   COM

· Summary & Contact
· Blog
· Publications
· New and Noteworthy
· Curriculum Vitae
· What is Yahoo! Research?
· What do you do there?
Dr. David M. Pennock's Homepage FAQ [Computer Research Scientist, Yahoo! Research Labs, Overture, Electronic Commerce, Artificial Intelligence, FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions]
Q:    What is Yahoo! Research?
What do you do there?

Yahoo! Research is a fabulous new research lab with a mission to change to face of the Internet. As a Senior Research Scientist, my job is to dream up technologies that are disruptive and revolutionary, either commercially, scientifically, or both. The lab is dedicated to helping Yahoo! lead the next online revolution, both directly through technological advances, and indirectly through contributions to academic and scientific communities. We have researchers with expertise in many subdisciplines of computer science, including machine learning, data mining, information retrieval, algorithms, optimization, parallel computation, and electronic commerce. My broad areas of research are in electronic commerce and artificial intelligence. More specifically, my work focuses on information markets (a.k.a. prediction markets), Web algorithms, Web modeling, recommender systems, machine learning, uncertain reasoning, and decision theory. To get a more detailed view of my research, see my publications.

Q:    What is Overture?

Overture is a Web search advertising company, acquired by Yahoo! in 2003. Although most people have never heard of Overture, anyone who searches for anything on Yahoo! or MSN is using Overture without knowing it. In 2003 Overture was ranked as the fastest growing tech company in Los Angeles over a five year period. These popular press articles paint a good picture of what Overture does:
  • BusinessWeek June 2003: "If one company deserves credit for the Internet ad revival of 2003, it's Overture"
  • BusinessWeek March 2003: "...the Pasadena (Calif.) outfit was hatching a business model that is now resuscitating the Internet advertising business"
  • AP: "Overture has become one of the Internet's biggest moneymakers this side of eBay"
  • The Street: "Internet advertising ... is growing again -- thanks in large part to pay-per-click advertising from leaders like Overture Services"
Overture pioneered sponsored search, probably the single most influential factor in the post-dot-bomb revival of Web search and advertising. Many imitators have since followed. Advertisers who want to appear when users search for, say, digital cameras, or las vegas travel, or any other search phrase, compete in a real-time auction to determine whose ad appears in the 'sponsored' section of the search results page. Advertisers only pay if their ad is clicked on: thus they only pay for legitimate referrals of users actively looking for products or services related to their business. Overture's editorial team verifies that advertisers bid only on terms that are relevant to their business. Advertisers pay an average of about forty cents per click. Overture earned about $1 billion in revenue worldwide in 2003. Imagine a billion dollars, collected forty cents at a time! At the height of the dot-com era, the dream for web sites and portals was that eyeballs would somehow translate into revenues. Thanks in large part to Overture, that dream is closer to reality than ever before.


Copyright © 2004 David M. Pennock & Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.