US20100125523A1 - Method and a system for certifying a document for advertisement appropriateness - Google Patents

Method and a system for certifying a document for advertisement appropriateness Download PDF

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US20100125523A1
US20100125523A1 US12615279 US61527909A US2010125523A1 US 20100125523 A1 US20100125523 A1 US 20100125523A1 US 12615279 US12615279 US 12615279 US 61527909 A US61527909 A US 61527909A US 2010125523 A1 US2010125523 A1 US 2010125523A1
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document
digital
certificate
appropriateness
method
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US12615279
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Amiad Solomon
Moshe Koppel
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CERBERUS BUSINESS FINANCE AS COLLATERAL AGENT LLC
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PEER 39 Inc
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0241Advertisement
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0241Advertisement
    • G06Q30/0251Targeted advertisement
    • G06Q30/0254Targeted advertisement based on statistics
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0241Advertisement
    • G06Q30/0277Online advertisement

Abstract

A method for selecting advertisement spots. The method comprises certifying a digital document having a placeholder for at least one advertisement, identifying at least one characteristic indicative of appropriateness of the digital document, assigning an appropriateness score to the digital document according to the at least one characteristic and associating a digital certificate indicative of the appropriateness score with the digital document, wherein the digital certificate is used for associating an advertisement with the placeholder.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/115,562 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/115,564, both filed on Nov. 18, 2008. The contents of the above Applications are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention, in some embodiments thereof, relates to a system and a method of online advertising and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to a system and a method for diminishing and/or preventing the presentation of advertisements in undesirable locations.
  • Internet based advertising is an important mechanism that enterprises use to communicate with customers. Development of the Internet has introduced new advertising and communication opportunities with customers that offer the potential of greatly enhanced and more effective advertising techniques for businesses.
  • Online visitors to websites on the Internet may be directed to a company's website in several ways including, for example, paid-for advertisements that link to a merchant's website or links presented in the natural search results presented by a search engine, such as Yahoo!™, MSN™, or Google™ in response to a visitor's query.
  • Consumers show an increasing preference for using the Internet to search for purchases, as compared to traditional media outlets. These conclusions are supported by the increasing demand for, and proliferation of, high-speed Internet connections throughout the United States and the world. As Internet popularity and perceived necessity grow, expectations for volume growth of business advertising and communication grow correspondingly.
  • One objective of advertising is to avoid presenting an advertisement where the advertisement is likely to be ineffective or have undesired results. Advertisers want to avoid placement of advertisements in contexts that are hostile, disreputable, unsavory, unfavorable, or that may negatively impact the reputation of or marketing strategy for the advertised product. For example, some advertisers wish to avoid placements of advertisements on pages comprising pornography. In another example, a manufacturer owning facilities in an under-developed country may wish to avoid advertising on sites that highlight exploitation of third-world workers. In yet another example, the marketer of an expensive luxury product may wish to avoid advertising that product on a site primarily frequented by teens.
  • For example, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/170,725, filed on Jun. 29, 2005, describes a method for reviewing the suitability of websites for participation in an advertising network by accepting a collection including one or more documents, determining whether or not the collection complies with policies of an advertising network, and approving the collection if it was determined that the collection complies with the policies. Another example is provided in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/207,253, filed on Aug. 19, 2005, that describes methods and applications for sequestering content by receiving content for use in an application, reviewing the content, automatically sequestering the content from the application based on the reviewing, and forming a reason associated with the sequestering of the content.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a method for certifying a digital document having a placeholder for at least one advertisement, including identifying at least one characteristic indicative of appropriateness of the digital document, assigning an appropriateness score to the digital document according to the at least one characteristic, and associating a digital certificate indicative of the appropriateness score with the digital document, wherein the digital certificate is used for associating an advertisement with the placeholder.
  • Optionally, the assigning includes assigning the appropriateness score according to the compliance of the at least one characteristic with at least one rule.
  • Optionally, the rule is dynamically modified according to statistical analysis of the characteristic and the appropriateness score in a multiplicity of documents.
  • Optionally, the rules are automatically modified according to a machine learning process that analyzes document characteristics and appropriateness scores.
  • Optionally, the digital document is a member of a group consisting of a forum webpage, a webpage, a video file, a picture file, an audio file, a multimedia file, an email message, a text file, a spreadsheet file, a word processor file, an audio stream, a video stream, a multimedia stream.
  • Optionally, the assigning includes separately assigning at least one sub-score to at least some of the at least one characteristic, and aggregating the at least one sub-score for calculating the appropriateness score.
  • Optionally, the at least one characteristic is a member of a group consisting of a textual feature indicative of a target audience of the digital document, a visual feature indicative of a target audience of the digital document, an audible feature indicative of a target audience of the digital document, the publisher of the digital document, the type of the digital document, the business method of the publisher of the digital document, and the attributes of visitors of the digital document.
  • Optionally, the at least one characteristic is a member of a group consisting of pornography, hate speech, objectionable material, a product, a class of products, a service, a class of services, a company, a class of companies, an organization, a class of organizations, a person, a class of people, a place, a class of places, an activity, a class of activities, an ideology, a class of ideologies, a religion, a class of religions, a philosophy, a class of philosophies, a methodology, a class of methodologies, a profession, a class of professions.
  • Optionally, at least one of the at least one characteristic is determined by analysis of statistical properties of the digital document or a part of the digital document.
  • Optionally, the digital certificate includes a timestamp indicating the date and time that the certificate is created, the timestamp being available for validation testing.
  • Optionally, the digital certificate expires after a date and time indicated in an expiration timestamp.
  • Optionally, the digital certificate is encrypted to prevent unauthorized persons or automated processes from analyzing the content of the digital certificate.
  • Optionally, the digital certificate includes a digital signature to enable verification of the creator of the digital certificate.
  • Optionally, the associating a digital certificate indicative of the appropriateness score with the digital document includes embedding the digital certificate in the digital document.
  • Optionally, the associating a digital certificate indicative of the appropriateness score with the digital document includes storing the digital certificate in a database residing on a network node.
  • Optionally, the associating a digital certificate indicative of the appropriateness score with the digital document includes embedding a validation data segment in the certificate to allow the validation thereof by a delivering of the advertisement.
  • Optionally, the associating a digital certificate indicative of the appropriateness score with the digital document renders the digital certificate invalid when the digital certificate is associated with a digital document other than the digital document.
  • Optionally, at least one of the at least one characteristic is determined by an absence of a predefined feature in the digital document.
  • According to some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a system for certifying a digital document having a placeholder for at least one advertisement, including a document analyzer for identifying and analyzing at least one characteristic indicative of appropriateness of the digital document and assigning an appropriateness score to the digital document according to the at least one characteristic, and a digital certificate generator for creating a digital certificate indicative of the appropriateness score, wherein the digital certificate is used for associating an advertisement with the placeholder.
  • Optionally, the system further includes a user interface configured for enabling a user to define rules for the digital certificate generator.
  • Optionally, the system further includes an encryption module configured for encrypting the digital certificate, and a decryption module decrypts the encrypted the digital certificate.
  • Optionally, the system further includes a statistical analysis module analyzes document characteristics and appropriateness scores to enable a machine learning process.
  • According to some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a system for delivering advertisements, the system including an advertising server configured for selecting a placeholder pertaining to a digital document according to a digital certificate related thereto, wherein the digital certificate is indicative of the appropriateness of said digital document in relation to the advertisement.
  • Optionally, the digital certificate is embedded in the digital document. Unless otherwise defined, all technical and/or scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of embodiments of the invention, exemplary methods and/or materials are described below. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and are not intended to be necessarily limiting.
  • Implementation of the method and/or system of embodiments of the invention can involve performing or completing selected tasks manually, automatically, or a combination thereof. Moreover, according to actual instrumentation and equipment of embodiments of the method and/or system of the invention, several selected tasks could be implemented by hardware, by software or by firmware or by a combination thereof using an operating system.
  • For example, hardware for performing selected tasks according to embodiments of the invention could be implemented as a chip or a circuit. As software, selected tasks according to embodiments of the invention could be implemented as a plurality of software instructions being executed by a computer using any suitable operating system. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, one or more tasks according to exemplary embodiments of method and/or system as described herein are performed by a data processor, such as a computing platform for executing a plurality of instructions. Optionally, the data processor includes a volatile memory for storing instructions and/or data and/or a non-volatile storage, for example, a magnetic hard-disk and/or removable media, for storing instructions and/or data. Optionally, a network connection is provided as well. A display and/or a user input device such as a keyboard or mouse are optionally provided as well.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Some embodiments of the invention are herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of embodiments of the invention. In this regard, the description taken with the drawings makes apparent to those skilled in the art how embodiments of the invention may be practiced.
  • In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram illustrating elements of a system for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness;
  • FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram illustrating an advertising server interrogating an appropriateness certificate embedded in a document to decide whether to present an advertisement in a placeholder to user via a client terminal;
  • FIG. 3 is a simplified block diagram illustrating communication/data flow between a system for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness wherein a certificate is embedded in a document and an advertising server interrogating the certificate;
  • FIG. 4 is a simplified block diagram illustrating communication/data flow between a system for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness wherein a certificate is stored in a database and an advertising server interrogating the certificate;
  • FIG. 5 is a flowchart of a method for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness;
  • FIG. 6 is a flowchart of a method for interrogating a certificate to determine advertising appropriateness;
  • FIG. 7 is a simplified block diagram illustrating elements of a system for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness, wherein an appropriateness rules database may be modified by an administrator; and
  • FIG. 8 is a simplified block diagram illustrating components that may be comprised in a digital data object serving as an advertising appropriateness certificate.
  • DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention, in some embodiments thereof, relates to a system and a method of online advertising and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to a system and a method for diminishing and/or preventing the presentation of advertisements in undesirable locations.
  • According to some embodiments of the present invention, there is provided a system and a method for creating a digital certificate, henceforth called an advertising appropriateness certificate, which is optionally a digital data object that indicates a level of appropriateness for presenting an advertisement when a client terminal presents a document such as a web page. Associating an advertising appropriateness certificate may be done as follows. Optionally, the certificate is embedded in the document, for example in the metadata. Optionally, the certificate embedded in the document may be visible to and/or otherwise detectible by the user of the client terminal. Additionally or alternatively, the certificate is stored in a database hosted on a server. Optionally, the certificate comprises a link to at least one remote site that includes current appropriateness credentials which are related thereto. The certificate may be interrogated by a system that delivers advertisements in visual data displayed or audio data played via a network client to determine whether the context of the advertisement may be inappropriate.
  • The following terms are herewith defined for subsequent use:
  • A user: a human that interacts with a computer system via an interface, or an automated device that interacts with a computer system via an interface in a manner that mimics human behavior.
  • A client terminal: a device comprised of hardware and/or software and/or firmware that acts as an interface between a computer network and a human or between a computer network and an automated device. Examples of a client terminal include: a personal computer connected to a computer network, a mainframe computer terminal emulator, a personal digital assistant (PDA), and a cellular telephone.
  • A client terminal display: a component of a client terminal that presents information to a human or to an automated device.
  • A network node: one or more client terminals which are connected to a communication network, such as the internet, or any hardware, software, and/or firmware, which are connected to and/or addressable by a network.
  • A document: a digital data file or stream of digital data of types including but not limited to a forum webpage, a webpage, a video file, a picture file, an audio file, a multimedia file, an email message, a text file, a word processor file, a spreadsheet file, an audio stream, a video stream, a multimedia stream.
  • A placeholder: an area of a document that is reserved for subsequent replacement by a digital object, such as an advertisement.
  • According to some embodiments of the present application, a certificate generator comprises a document analyzer. The document analyzer may analyze a document on a network node to determine attributes of the document and/or to assign at least one of a plurality of appropriateness scores to the document. The certificate generator generates an advertising appropriateness certificate according to the analysis results.
  • According to some embodiments of the present application, a certificate generator resides on a network node. The certificate generator may comprise a document analyzer, and an appropriateness rules database. As used herein the terms “advertising appropriateness” and “appropriateness” are used for describing the suitability of one or more advertisements for presentation in a certain document according to one or more presentation rules. In addition, an appropriateness score is designed to reflect the suitability of a document to an advertisement having a certain target audience, for example the level of suitableness of the content and/or messages to the target audience. The certificate generator may create a certificate comprising attributes derived from characteristics of a document. The certificate may further comprise at least one of a plurality of appropriateness scores wherein the at least one of a plurality of appropriateness scores is derived from at least one of a plurality of attributes of the document.
  • Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not necessarily limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components and/or methods set forth in the following description and/or illustrated in the drawings and/or the Examples. The invention is capable of other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways.
  • Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which is a schematic illustration of elements of a system 100 for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness, wherein a digital data object, henceforth called an advertising appropriateness certificate or a certificate, is associated with a document, according to some embodiments of the present invention. The system 100 comprises a certificate generator 105, a document analyzer 106, and/or an appropriateness rules database 107. The appropriateness rules database is henceforth called the rules database. The system 100 may generate an advertising appropriateness certificate 103 embedded in a document or stored in a database.
  • Reference is now made to FIG. 2 which is a simplified block diagram illustrating an advertising server that interrogates an appropriateness certificate embedded in a document to decide whether to deliver an advertisement to and/or to associate an advertisement with a placeholder for presentation to user via a client terminal, according to some embodiments of the present invention. An advertising server 109 may perform an interrogation of the certificate 103 to decide whether to deliver an advertisement, for example, a banner or a pop-up, to a placeholder 104 to enable presentation to a user via a client terminal.
  • Reference is now also made to FIG. 3, which is a simplified block diagram illustrating relationships between elements of the system and interfacing systems, according to some embodiments of the present invention.
  • The certificate generator 105 analyzes the document 102, and the certificate generator 105 may create an advertising appropriateness certificate 103 for embedding in the document 102 and/or in a database which is linked by the document 102, for example as described below in relation to FIG. 4. As commonly known, advertising servers, such as shown at 109, may deliver one or more advertisements to placeholders which are associated with a webpage. The delivery allows the presentation of the one or more advertisements to visitors who access the associated webpage it. The advertising server 109 may condition the delivery of an advertisement, or the presentation thereof, on the existence of the certificate 103 embedded in the document 102 and/or linked by it. The advertising server 109 may further condition the delivery of an advertisement or the presentation thereof on at least one of a plurality of scores and/or other attributes comprised by the certificate 103.
  • The certificate generator 105 accesses the document 102 wherein the document analyzer 106 analyzes the content and/or attributes of the document 102 based on rules in the rules database 107. The analysis includes identifying a plurality of characteristics indicative of appropriateness of the document. In some embodiments of the present invention, the document analyzer 106 analyses the content in the document 102 according to one or more rules which are stored in the rules database 107.
  • Optionally, one or more rules in the rules database 107 instruct the document analyzer 106 to analyze the text content in the document 102. The analysis may examine the frequency and/or combinations of particular words and/or phrases.
  • Optionally, one or more rules in the rules database 107 instruct the document analyzer 106 to analyze the graphic content in the document 102. For example, commonly known techniques such as content-based image retrieval (CBIR) may be used. “Content-based” means that analysis of actual image content is performed. The term “content” may refer to colors, shapes, textures, and/or other information derived from the image itself.
  • Optionally, one or more rules in the rules database 107 instruct the document analyzer 106 to analyze audio content in the document 102. Analysis may include known techniques such as speech recognition to identify spoken words. Frequency and patterns of words and/or phrases may be analyzed.
  • Optionally, one or more rules in the rules database 107 instruct the document analyzer 106 to analyze the publisher of the document 102. Analysis of documents published by parties deemed by the document analyzer 106 to publish material deemed to be inappropriate may result in assignment of a poor appropriateness score.
  • Optionally, one or more rules in the rules database 107 instruct the document analyzer 106 to analyze visitor data of document 102. The analyzer 106 may use demographic information, internet service provider (ISP) information, or other intelligence about attributes of visitors to a document as a factor in calculating an appropriateness score for a certificate associated with a document. Optionally, one or more rules in the rules database 107 instruct the document analyzer 106 to analyze other documents that refer to the document 102. Analysis of referring documents deemed by the document analyzer 106 to be inappropriate may result in assignment of a poor appropriateness score to the document 102.
  • Optionally, one or more rules in the rules database 107 instruct the document analyzer 106 to analyze third party ratings of the document 102, the network node 101, and/or the publisher of the document. The document analyzer 106 may include third party ratings in its analysis and assignment of an appropriateness score to the document 102.
  • Optionally, the document analyzer 106 performs one analysis of a document for substantially all advertisements processed by the document analyzer 106. For example, the document analyzer may be configured to analyze the level of pornographic content in a document and to assign a single appropriateness score to the document.
  • Optionally, the document analyzer 106 performs a multiplicity of analyses wherein separate analyses are performed for separate advertisements and/or classes of advertisements. For example, the document analyzer 106 may be configured to perform one analysis of a document for an advertisement of children's clothes and a separate analysis for an advertisement of a prescription pharmaceutical. A rule may be configured either to be operational in every analysis or to be operational only in one or more analyses for one or more advertisements or classes of advertisements. The document analyzer 106 calculates at least one of a plurality of appropriateness scores related to the analyzed document 102 for each advertisement or class of advertisements. The certificate generator 105 creates an advertising appropriateness certificate 103 comprising at least one appropriateness score calculated by the document analyzer 106 and may imbed the certificate 103 in the document 102. Optionally, the certificate generator 105 imbeds the certificate 103 in the content of the document 102. Optionally, the certificate generator 105 imbeds the certificate in metadata the document 102. An advertising server 109 may interrogate the certificate 103 for deciding whether to deliver an advertisement in a placeholder 104 for subsequent presentation to the client terminal 111.
  • Reference is now also made to FIG. 4, which is a simplified block diagram illustrating elements of a system for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness, wherein a certificate is stored in a database. In some embodiments of the present invention, the system 400 comprises a certificate database 202 in which an advertising appropriateness certificate 203 may be stored. The advertising server 109 may deliver an advertisement to the placeholder 104 or to the document that host the placeholder 104 to enable presentation to visitors that access the document. The advertising server 109 may condition the delivery of an advertisement on the existence of the certificate 203 in the certificate database 202. The advertising server 109 may further condition the delivery and/or presentation of an advertisement on at least one of a plurality of appropriateness scores and/or other attributes comprised by the certificate 203. For example, a certificate generator may examine the home page of Washingtonpost.com™. The lead article in the online newspaper may be about a recent airliner crash. Based on information in the rules database and the content of the web page, the document analyzer may calculate a poor appropriateness score for commercial airline advertisements. The certificate generator creates a certificate and stores it in the certificate database. For example, an advertising server that delivers advertisements on Washingtonpost.com™ homepage interrogates the certificate in the database and blocks the placement of an advertisement for Continental Airlines™ as a result of the interrogation.
  • Optionally, a certificate may be associated with a static webpage, for example an online newspaper archived article. In such an embodiment, the certificate may be configured for infrequent renewal/replacement.
  • Optionally, a certificate may be associated with a dynamic webpage, for example an online newspaper home page. In such an embodiment, the certificate may be configured for frequent renewal/replacement, for example by including an expiration timestamp or validity data for comparison to the webpage's content.
  • Optionally, a certificate may be associated with an entire website, for example, the Scientific American™ website, www.sciam.com. In such an embodiment, the certificate may be configured for use in an environment where all of the documents are assumed have common attributes. In such an embodiment, the certificate may also be configured for use in an environment where a poor attribute score for any individual document associated with a site is extrapolated to affect all documents associated with the site.
  • Reference is now also made to FIG. 5, which is a flowchart 500 of a method for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness. A certificate generator accesses a document 501, for example a web page of a blog entry. A document analyzer analyzes the document 503 based on rules stored in the rules database 502. The certificate generator creates a certificate based on the analysis of the document analyzer 504. If the certificate generator is configured to store the certificate in the document, it will do so 506, otherwise it will store the certificate in a database.
  • Reference is now also made to FIG. 6, which is a flowchart 600 of a method for interrogating a certificate to verify a document for advertising appropriateness. A user access a document on a network node such as an online newspaper home page via a client terminal 601. An advertising server that provides advertisements to the network node for presentation to the user interrogates a certificate associated with the document 602. The certificate provides an appropriateness score to the advertising server 603. If the appropriateness score yielded by interrogation of the certificate is valid for an advertisement, the advertising server will deliver the advertisement for presentation 605; otherwise the advertising server will block presentation of the advertisement 606.
  • Reference is now also made to FIG. 7, which is a simplified block diagram illustrating elements of a system for certifying a document for advertising appropriateness, wherein an appropriateness rules database may be modified by an administrator. In some embodiments of the present invention, the system 700 comprises an administrator interface 312 that enables an administrator to configure the system. An administrator may add, delete, and/or modify rules in the rules database 107. Optionally, an administrator may configure the system such that all rules in the rules database 107 are always used by the document analyzer 106 for every document 102. Optionally, an administrator may configure the system such that a rule from the rules database 107 is only incorporated in an analysis by the document analyzer 106 when a particular condition exists. For example, an administrator may configure a rule to be incorporated in an analysis only when the advertisement that is a candidate for presentation relates to camera manufacturers. Optionally, an administrator may configure the system such that a rule from the rules database 107 is always incorporated in an analysis by the document analyzer 106 except when a particular condition exists. For example, an administrator may add a rule to a rules database 107 causing the document analyzer to generate a very poor appropriateness score for advertisements of pork products. In one variation, the administrator may configure the rule causing a very poor appropriateness score for pork products to be implemented for sites identified as being frequented primarily by Muslims. In another variation, the administrator may configure the rule causing a very poor appropriateness score for pork products not to be implemented for advertisements of a supermarket chain.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, a certificate generator 105 may collect statistical data about word frequencies and/or other attributes of the document 102, for example, included graphics. Analysis of the document's statistical data and rules in the rules database 107 by the certificate generator 105 and/or by an external analyzer may enable the certificate generator 105 and/or an external analyzer to dynamically modify a rule in the rules database 107 to make the rule more effective. Optionally, analysis of statistical data and/or rules for the purpose of modifying a rule by the certificate generator 105 may be performed for an aggregate of documents. For example, the certificate generator 105 may employ Bayesian inference to achieve machine learning. Optionally, analysis of the document's statistical data and rules in the rules database 107 by the certificate generator 105 may enable the certificate generator 105 to make recommendations to an administrator for modifying rules in the rules database 107 to make the rules more effective. For example, the certificate generator 105 may discover a significant correlation between rules implemented for sporting event advertisements and rules implemented for holiday weekend advertisements. The certificate generator 105 may recommend incorporating one or more rules implemented for sporting event advertisements into an analysis for holiday weekend advertisements. Optionally, an administrator may modify a rule in the rules database 107 based on analysis data from an external source.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, an advertising server 109 may provide usage statistics such as click volumes to a certificate generator 105. Analysis of the statistical data and rules in the rules database 107 by the certificate generator 105 may enable the certificate generator 105 to modify a rule in the rules database 107 making the rule more effective.
  • Reference is now also made to FIG. 8, which is a simplified block diagram illustrating components that may be comprised in a digital data object serving as an advertising appropriateness certificate 103. The advertising appropriateness certificate may comprise at least one of a plurality of appropriateness scores, a creation timestamp, an expiration timestamp, a digital signature, document identification information, validity data, anti-counterfeiting data, advertisement identification information, and/or document attribute information. At least one of a plurality of appropriateness scores assigned to a document according to a plurality of characteristics of the document, optionally in combination with other information in the certificate, may form the basis of an advertising server's decision to block delivery of an advertisement.
  • Optionally, the certificate comprises an appropriateness score for an advertisement, a class of advertisement, and/or an advertiser; classes of advertisements may comprise broad or narrow categories of products, services, industries, commercial activities, non-commercial activities, and/or information; advertisers may comprise companies, organizations, government agencies, individuals and/or other legal entities.
  • Optionally, an expiration timestamp may indicate a date and/or time after which the certificate is invalid. Using an expiration timestamp blocks delivery of advertisements when the date/time is in the past. The document associated with the certificate must be re-evaluated by the certificate generator 105 to replace or renew the certificate. In this manner, a document that changes over time may be periodically analyzed and an appropriateness score associated with the document may be updated.
  • Optionally, a digital signature may provide a high level of assurance that the certificate was created by an authorized party. Using a digital signature may prevent an unauthorized party from causing the display of an advertisement with a document that is found to be inappropriate for the advertisement.
  • Optionally, document identification information comprised in the certificate may be verified against attributes of the document with which it is associated to validate the certificate; for example, a uniform resource locator (URL) in the certificate may be compared to the URL of the document with which the certificate is associated. By comprising document identification information in the certificate, accidental and/or unauthorized display of an advertisement at a site may be prevented.
  • Optionally, validity data may be stored in the certificate for comparison to attributes of the document to which the certificate is associated; for example, a checksum of text in part of the document when the certificate is created can be compared to a checksum of text in the same part of the document when an advertising server interrogates the certificate; the advertising server regards the certificate as invalid when the checksums do not match. Checking validity data in a certificate may prevent an unauthorized party from causing the display of an advertisement with a document that is found to be inappropriate for the advertisement. Checking validity data in a certificate may also block delivery of advertisements when the contents of a document change over time. The document associated with the certificate must be re-evaluated by the certificate generator 105 to replace or renew the certificate. In this manner, a document that changes over time may be periodically analyzed and an appropriateness score associated with the document may be updated.
  • Optionally, anti-counterfeiting data may be embedded in the certificate when the certificate is created; for example, a code reflecting attributes of a document and a certificate generator may be encrypted and stored in the certificate when it is created, and an advertising server interrogating the certificate may validate the code. Checking validity data in a certificate may prevent an unauthorized party from causing the display of an advertisement with a document that is found to be inappropriate for the advertisement.
  • Optionally, the advertising appropriateness certificate may be encrypted. Encrypting a certificate may prevent an unauthorized party from counterfeiting and/or modifying a certificate to cause the display of an advertisement. Encrypting a certificate may also hide details and/or structure of the certificate from parties wishing to pervert the objectives of the certificate.
  • Optionally, characteristics associated with a document comprise pornography, hate speech, objectionable material, a product, a class of products, a service, a class of services, a company, a class of companies, an organization, a class of organizations, a person, a class of people, a place, a class of places, an activity, a class of activities, an ideology, a class of ideologies, a religion, a class of religions, a philosophy, a class of philosophies, a methodology, a class of methodologies, a profession, a class of professions. Examples of characteristics of a document include sexually explicit material, incitement against an ethnic group, depictions of violence, material describing motor vehicles, an article about medical treatments, a blog describing airlines, a story about Microsoft, a story about the Sierra Club, a song about George W. Bush, an article about New Zealand, a web page about volunteerism, a pamphlet about Communism, and a newsletter about the practice of law. The characteristics may be expressed as data attributes in an advertising appropriateness certificate.
  • Optionally, characteristics of a document comprise information about the users of the document. Characteristics may comprise the publisher of the document, the document type, a business method of the document publisher, and the attributes of visitors of the document. For example, characteristics may include a spreadsheet document, The New York Times as publisher, public auctions as a business method, and visitors being average age under 18 years old. The characteristics may be expressed as data attributes in an advertising appropriateness certificate.
  • Optionally, a characteristic of a document may comprise a converse condition such as a characteristic of a document which is defined by the absence of one or more predefined features. For example, a document may have the characteristic that it does not relate to baseball. In another example, a document may contain material that does not discuss endangered species.
  • Optionally, a characteristic of a document may comprise a plurality of characteristics. For example, a characteristic of a web page may be that it is primarily visited by women, and the average age of the women who visit is over 50 years old.
  • Optionally, a characteristic of a document may be determined by analysis of one or more statistical properties of the document or part of the document. For example, a document may be found to have the characteristic of expressing a conservative point of view by analyzing combinations of words and word frequencies.
  • An advertising appropriateness certificate may be associated with a document accessible via a public network or via a private network. The network may be primarily for transmitting digital data, audio, video, and/or multi-media. For example, the network may be the Internet, a telephone system, a cable television system, or a satellite broadcast system. A document with which a certificate may be associated includes but is not limited to a webpage, a forum webpage, a video file, a picture file, and audio file, a multimedia file, an email message, a text message, a spreadsheet document, an audio stream, a video stream, and a multimedia stream.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, a client terminal may be configured to receive short message service (SMS) messages, for example a cellular telephone. A user may elect to receive SMS advertising, for example, in exchange for free or subsidized cellular telephone service. An SMS advertisement may be transmitted to the client terminal in response to an activity performed via the client terminal, for example, a user may surf to a sports web site or place a telephone call to a ticket vendor. A certificate may be used to block an SMS advertisement from being transmitted to the client terminal. The certificate may be associated with a specific message sent or received by the user, or it may be associated with a type of activity as mentioned above.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, the client terminal may be a telephone. A user may elect to receive audio advertising via telephone, for example, in exchange for free or subsidized telephone service. A telephone advertisement may be transmitted to the client terminal in response to an activity performed via the client terminal, for example, a user may place a telephone call to an automobile vendor. A certificate may be used to block a telephone advertisement from being transmitted to the client terminal. The certificate may be associated with a specific telephone call sent or received by the user, or it may be associated with a type of activity as mentioned above.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, a certificate may be associated with an email message. A certificate may be used to block an advertisement from a message being transmitted to the client terminal.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, a certificate may be associated with an instant messenger (IM) message. A certificate may be used to block an advertisement from a message being transmitted to the client terminal.
  • It is expected that during the life of a patent maturing from this application many relevant systems and methods will be developed and the scope of the terms network, network user, dataset, database, node, server, and WWW are intended to include all such new technologies a priori.
  • As used herein the term “about” refers to ±10.
  • The terms “comprises”, “comprising”, “includes”, “including”, “having” and their conjugates mean “including but not limited to”.
  • The term “consisting of means “including and limited to”.
  • The term “consisting essentially of” means that the composition, method or structure may include additional ingredients, steps and/or parts, but only if the additional ingredients, steps and/or parts do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed composition, method or structure.
  • As used herein, the singular form “a”, “an” and “the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, the term “a compound” or “at least one compound” may include a plurality of compounds, including mixtures thereof.
  • Throughout this application, various embodiments of this invention may be presented in a range format. It should be understood that the description in range format is merely for convenience and brevity and should not be construed as an inflexible limitation on the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the description of a range should be considered to have specifically disclosed all the possible subranges as well as individual numerical values within that range. For example, description of a range such as from 1 to 6 should be considered to have specifically disclosed subranges such as from 1 to 3, from 1 to 4, from 1 to 5, from 2 to 4, from 2 to 6, from 3 to 6 etc., as well as individual numbers within that range, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. This applies regardless of the breadth of the range.
  • Whenever a numerical range is indicated herein, it is meant to include any cited numeral (fractional or integral) within the indicated range. The phrases “ranging/ranges between” a first indicate number and a second indicate number and “ranging/ranges from” a first indicate number “to” a second indicate number are used herein interchangeably and are meant to include the first and second indicated numbers and all the fractional and integral numerals therebetween.
  • It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination or as suitable in any other described embodiment of the invention. Certain features described in the context of various embodiments are not to be considered essential features of those embodiments, unless the embodiment is inoperative without those elements.
  • Although the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.
  • All publications, patents and patent applications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated in their entirety by reference into the specification, to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated herein by reference. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention. To the extent that section headings are used, they should not be construed as necessarily limiting.

Claims (24)

  1. 1. A method for certifying a digital document having a placeholder for at least one advertisement, comprising:
    a) identifying at least one characteristic indicative of appropriateness of the digital document;
    b) assigning an appropriateness score to said digital document according to said at least one characteristic; and
    c) associating a digital certificate indicative of said appropriateness score with the digital document;
    wherein said digital certificate is used for associating an advertisement with the placeholder.
  2. 2. A method of claim 1, wherein said assigning comprises assigning said appropriateness score according to the compliance of said at least one characteristic with at least one rule.
  3. 3. A method of claim 2, wherein said rule is dynamically modified according to statistical analysis of said characteristic and said appropriateness score in a multiplicity of documents.
  4. 4. A method of claim 2, wherein said rules are automatically modified according to a machine learning process that analyzes document characteristics and appropriateness scores.
  5. 5. A method of claim 1, wherein said digital document is a member of a group consisting of: a forum webpage, a webpage, a video file, a picture file, an audio file, a multimedia file, an email message, a text file, a spreadsheet file, a word processor file, an audio stream, a video stream, a multimedia stream.
  6. 6. A method of claim 1, wherein said assigning comprises separately assigning at least one sub-score to at least some of said at least one characteristic, and aggregating said at least one sub-score for calculating said appropriateness score.
  7. 7. A method of claim 1, wherein said at least one characteristic is a member of a group consisting of: a textual feature indicative of a target audience of said digital document, a visual feature indicative of a target audience of said digital document, an audible feature indicative of a target audience of said digital document, the publisher of said digital document, the type of said digital document, the business method of the publisher of said digital document, and the attributes of visitors of said digital document.
  8. 8. A method of claim 1, wherein said at least one characteristic is a member of a group consisting of: pornography, hate speech, objectionable material, a product, a class of products, a service, a class of services, a company, a class of companies, an organization, a class of organizations, a person, a class of people, a place, a class of places, an activity, a class of activities, an ideology, a class of ideologies, a religion, a class of religions, a philosophy, a class of philosophies, a methodology, a class of methodologies, a profession, a class of professions.
  9. 9. A method of claim 1, wherein at least one of said at least one characteristic is determined by analysis of statistical properties of said digital document or a part of said digital document.
  10. 10. A method of claim 1, wherein said digital certificate comprises a timestamp indicating the date and time that the certificate is created, said timestamp being available for validation testing.
  11. 11. A method of claim 1, wherein said digital certificate expires after a date and time indicated in an expiration timestamp.
  12. 12. A method of claim 1, wherein said digital certificate is encrypted to prevent unauthorized persons or automated processes from analyzing the content of said digital certificate.
  13. 13. A method of claim 1, wherein said digital certificate comprises a digital signature to enable verification of the creator of said digital certificate.
  14. 14. A method of claim 1, wherein said associating a digital certificate indicative of said appropriateness score with the digital document comprises embedding said digital certificate in said digital document.
  15. 15. A method of claim 1, wherein said associating a digital certificate indicative of said appropriateness score with the digital document comprises storing said digital certificate in a database residing on a network node.
  16. 16. A method of claim 1, wherein said c) comprises embedding a validation data segment in said certificate to allow the validation thereof by a delivering of said advertisement.
  17. 17. A method of claim 1, wherein said c) renders said digital certificate invalid when said digital certificate is associated with a digital document other than said digital document.
  18. 18. A method of claim 1, wherein at least one of said at least one characteristic is determined by an absence of a predefined feature in the digital document.
  19. 19. A system for certifying a digital document having a placeholder for at least one advertisement, comprising:
    a document analyzer for identifying and analyzing at least one characteristic indicative of appropriateness of the digital document and assigning an appropriateness score to said digital document according to said at least one characteristic; and
    a digital certificate generator for creating a digital certificate indicative of said appropriateness score;
    wherein said digital certificate is used for associating an advertisement with the placeholder.
  20. 20. The system of claim 19, further comprising a user interface configured for enabling a user to define rules for said digital certificate generator.
  21. 21. The system of claim 19, further comprising an encryption module configured for encrypting said digital certificate, and a decryption module decrypts the encrypted said digital certificate.
  22. 22. The system of claim 19, further comprising a statistical analysis module analyzes document characteristics and appropriateness scores to enable a machine learning process.
  23. 23. A system for delivering advertisements, said system comprising:
    an advertising server configured for selecting a placeholder pertaining to a digital document according to a digital certificate related thereto;
    wherein said digital certificate is indicative of the appropriateness of said digital document in relation to said advertisement.
  24. 24. The system of claim 23, wherein said digital certificate is embedded in said digital document.
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