Contextual Advertising

What is Contextual Advertising?

Contextual Advertising is a relatively new form of advertising on the web that will consider the context of the site, a page or a search query, to display ads from advertisers that correspond to the topic. Its usual form is text-based, using regular hyperlinks, sometimes small graphics and brief descriptions to attract users that may be interested. It is usually highly targetted and is better accepted by users because it is less obstrusive, less bandwith hungry and more relevant than the classic graphical banners. For example, a web page about photography will automatically draw advertisers selling cameras and other photo related accessories. It also has the benefits of making the job of a web publisher easier to find sponsors, as the contextual advertising company acts as an automatic middle man between publishers and advertisers, who bid for specific keywords using an auction system. Contextual Advertising Globe The same can be said for advertisers, since they now have access to thousands of possible web sites to automatically advertise on. It usually works as Pay per Click, meaning the publisher only generate revenues when a user actively click on an ad, as opposed to Pay per Impressions, an older system that generates revenue based on the number of time the ad is displayed.

Google was on the forefront of this innovation when they created Google Adsense, the first major contextual advertising program. In the beginning, these new ads appeared with their search engine, but they soon expanded it to include webmasters and their web sites, which they named their "Content Network". Using a few ligns of Javascript code, publishers could insert Adsense on their web pages and it would then automatically serve relevant ads using Google's search algorithm. Google also considers other factors such as the geographical location of visitors and their languages, so ads can actually be different for each visitor. Other companies followed with similar programs, but they lacked the sophistication of Adsense since they demanded specific keywords from webmasters instead of detecting them on their pages. Other big players on the web are now slowly embracing this terrific new marketing technology, such as the Yahoo! Publisher Network and MSN adCenter. Contextual Advertising is making it now possible for smaller webmasters and publishers who own small hobby sites to monetize their efforts without spending all their time dealing with appropriate sponsors that may not necessarly be interested with smaller sites when taken on an individual level.

Contextual advertising programs and Google Adsense Alternatives

Here we list companies that offer this marketing solution to webmasters. Google Adsense is often considered the prime choice, but they do have restrictions and some people may be refused to their program, so many are looking for Google Adsense alternatives: