Abstract Implicit feedback techniques may be used for query intent detection, taking advantage of user behavior to understand their interests and preferences. In sponsored search, a primary concern is the user’s interest in purchasing or utilizing a commercial service, or what is called online commercial intent. In this paper, we develop a methodology for employing the content of search engine result pages (SERPs), along with the information obtained from query strings, to study characteristics of query intent, with a particular focus on sponsored search. Our work represents a step toward the development and evaluation of an ontology for commercial search, considering queries that reference specific products, brands, and retailers. Characteristics of query categories are studied with respect to aggregated user clickthrough behavior on advertising links. We present a model for clickthrough behavior that considers the influence of such factors as the location of ads and the rank of ads, along with query category. We evaluate our work using a large corpus of clickthrough data obtained from a major commercial search engine. In addition, the impact of query intent is studied on clickthrough rate, where a baseline model and the query intent model are compared for the purpose of calculating an expected ad clickthrough rate. Our findings suggest that query-based features,
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