The good and the bad in contextual advertising

Content advertising is a type of online advertising commonly used for content-based websites. With contextual advertising, targeted ads appear based on the actual content of the page.

First, the contextual advertising system scans the text of the web page for keyword phrases. Then, the system returns specific, targeted ads based on the content people are watching.

If someone were to look at a page of art supplies, the ads on those pages would be for art suppliers, painting sellers, online art museums, and so on.

Contextual ads appear as follows:

  • Separate ads that are placed in specific areas of the page
  • Inline or text ads

Sponsored Links Ads

Generally, these ads are text ads that contain links to relevant websites. The website owner can choose the location on his site where he would like to place the contextual ads. Your ad will come in a box called Sponsored Links. You will need to use the services of pay-per-click search engines to do contextual advertising. This format is popularized by Google AdWords and Adsense.

Embedded ads

Embedded ads appear as links to text phrases in website content. When the mouse hovers over that phrase, a brief description will appear in a tooltip-like box. If the reader would like to know more, they can simply click on the link.

Advantages of contextual advertising

  • You can only reach people who are actually searching for that information or related information
  • You only pay if anyone clicks on your link
  • Such links do not bother people
  • If the information you provide is good, the user will be happy

Disadvantages of contextual advertising

  • It distracts people from the content they want to read
  • If the ad site is among the content, people may get annoyed
  • Such advertisements have become so common that web users have started to ignore them
  • Your competitors’ ads may be placed with yours
  • Serious users looking for information generally don’t click on ads


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