Personalize search results using predictive segmentation

Predictive segmentation

Predictive segmentation uses curator rules to personalize the search experience with attributes inferred from a user’s IP address.

It works as follows:

  1. A series of attributes are inferred from the user’s IP address.

  2. Curator rules are defined using this information as a rule trigger

  3. A curator rule action set is used to perform personalization of the results. The personalization could take a number of forms. E.g.:

    • Modify the user’s query to add query terms

    • Present messages or featured results

Inferring user attributes

Funnelback always has access to an IP address when a search query is made. Funnelback uses a licenced database that contains publicly available information (such as DNS registry information) to infer a set of attributes about a user.

The following attributes can be inferred from an IP address, however not all fields will be available for all addresses:


If organization-type is government then a value for agency may also hold the name of the agency. Areas: served: The areas-served are the geographical areas where the organization has a presence.


The country from where the request originated.


If organization has an organization-type of government, then the organization may belong to a government department.


The type of industry to which the organization belongs. e.g. Telecommunications, software.


The office locations of the organization.

Maxmind name

The original organization name string provided by Maxmind, that was associated with the provided IP address.

Number of employees

The total number of people that are employed by the organization.

Organisation type

The type of organization. e.g. university, non-profit or government agency.


The total revenue as an integer amount of US dollars.

Stock code

The stock codes for the markets the organizations stock is traded.


The organization’s web address.

Wikipedia name

The name of the organization’s Wikipedia page.

Wikipedia url

The organization’s Wikipedia web address.

Creating curator rules

Predictive segmentation is implemented using curator rules that use user segment information to form part of the trigger conditions for the rule.

This allows rules similar to the following to be defined:

  • On a university website, if the user is not from the United States then present courses from the international course finder

  • If the user is coming from an IP address external to the University of Queensland, and the dates are between 1 Jun and 30 Sep, then present a featured result promoting the university open day.

  • If the user is from the banking sector return investment type results.

  • On a government website if the user is coming from another government website then up-weight Government to Government type information.

See also