Website categorization is the process of classifying sites that users access into various categories. The categories range from the industries they belong to to more specific content descriptions.
Think of it as the way products are arranged inside a grocery store. All baking supplies are in a single aisle, and so on. That way, anyone looking for ingredients doesn’t have to go from one aisle to another just to collect supplies.
Companies that supply resources to corporate clients need to classify them to push the suitable marketing materials and products that match their needs. That’s where website categorization comes in handy.
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While website categorization is indeed helpful in marketing, it has so much more to offer. It’s also useful for cybersecurity and brand protection.
How Does Website Categorization Work?
Website categorization tools typically use a machine learning (ML) engine to scan a site’s content and meta tags. By keying the domain name into the input field, this specific solution, for example, extracts text from the website to classify it based on the top Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) categories. It then assigns confidence scores, which tell how trustworthy or safe it is to access, aided by natural language processing (NLP).
How website categorization works
What Is the IAB?
According to Wikipedia, IAB is “an American advertising business organization that develops industry standards, conducts research, and provides legal support for the online advertising industry.” It enables the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy.
What Are the Most Common IAB Categories?
IAB categorizes websites into more than 1,100 categories. We defined some of the most useful ones for companies below.
- Business and Finance: IAB category 52. Organizations that fall under this category should be included in the list of potential customers or leads of vendors that sell accounting solutions, for example.
- Job Market: IAB category 89. Companies that sell human resources (HR)-specific products should include organizations under this classification in their list of potential leads.
- Healthcare Industry: IAB category 97. Organizations that fall under this category should be included in the list of potential leads of vendors that sell medical equipment, for example.
- Education: IAB category 132. Companies that sell educational solutions and products should include organizations under this classification in their list of potential leads.
- Food & Drink: IAB category 210. Organizations that fall under this category should be included in the list of potential leads of vendors that sell any kind of food and related products.
What Are the Practical Uses of Website Categorization?
Website categorization, as we said earlier, provides several benefits.
1. It identifies possible business opportunities.
Most organizations don’t want to risk annoying potential leads by asking them too many questions. Finding out more about them is possible with the help of a website categorization database that tells you what industry a company falls under with its corresponding contact details.
2. It aids in content personalization.
Customers appreciate it when they feel like your company knows them. Content personalization is much easier if you know what they may be looking for if you at least know what industry they’re part of. Website categorization is a discreet way of doing that. You would, however, need an effective web categorization tool. Armed with that information, you can make special pages or create more targeted campaigns.
3. It helps with brand protection.
Associations with risky third parties can damage your brand. You can rely on website categorization solutions to monitor sites under unwanted categories.
4. It aids in fraud prevention.
An ounce of prevention is always better than a cure. Checking the websites of potential customers, partners, and service providers and visitors for signs of illicit activity can help your company keep away fraudsters. With a website categorization database’s help, you can tell if any third party is lying about its business.
5. It keeps undesirable sites out of your network.
Many companies block access to sites considered illegal (e.g., adult and gambling websites) and can decrease worker productivity (e.g., shopping and gaming sites) on their networks. Instead of checking one website after another before granting user access, organizations can block all sites under specific categories with the help of a website categorization database.
6. It aids in threat investigation.
Website categorization solutions can help you investigate potential threats at the domain level. Know which domains have ties to malware, phishing, fraud, and other threats with their help.
As you’ve seen, website categorization can do wonders for companies’ marketing and sales efforts and improve their cybersecurity posture and brand reputation.