What is Contextual Advertising?

Contextual advertising is a concept different than normal paid inclusion. Where methods such as pay per click and other links appear on search engine results pages, contextual advertising campaigns place banners and links on webpages that have a contextual relationship to the product or service being sold. For example, a banner ad for baking pans might be placed on a web page that has a recipe for a cake on it. Contextual advertising does not require a keyword search to bring up the ad; it is simply there every time a particular page is viewed.

Contextual advertising works when webmasters order Java code from companies such as Google AdWords that will provide them with advertisements that pertain to the topic of their web pages. Once this code is entered into the HTML of the web page, each time the page is viewed, an advertisement, usually a banner ad, will appear on the page. Contextual advertising systems scan the web pages that it has been written into for certain keywords and phrases that have a direct connection to the product or service being sold, and then place the appropriate ad on the page. The banner ad that appears on the web page can be different each time a person visits the page, but many advertisers keep it to one or two per page, so that interested parties can always come back to the ad if they do not feel like reading it the first time it appears.

Advertising with contextual ads are one of Google’s major sources of revenue. As the advertisement is contextual, and actually has something to do with the topic of the web page, people are more likely to click on the ad and visit another website, or even become a conversion. Search engines have seen how well contextual advertising works and have begun placing contextual ads on their search engine result pages as well. When someone searches for a certain keyword, banner ads and other contextual ads that may not match the keyword but pertains directly to it can appear. While there is room for spamming with third party linking, contextual advertising is still a growing business and a good choice for many companies thinking about paid inclusion.

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