Contextual advertising is successful because it is relevant. It is more than simple advertising; it is actually additional content that users should be interested in. Contextual advertising is not. Smart marketers have known from early on not to participate in the “publisher” side of Google AdWords (otherwise known as “AdSense”).
Contextual advertising is a kind of small ads that are placed on different web pages with content relevant to the web site where the ads are being posted. If you are a publisher, contextual advertising is one way to save money as far as ads placement is concerned. Contextual advertising is very clearly NOT search. Contextual advertising is displayed within web pages or alongside search engine results. When a person visits a page within a website, the contextual advertising system scans the content for specific words or combination of words, called keywords.
Google AdSense is the major contextual advertising service provider, along with Yahoo! These systems will scan the content of a website and based on the keywords found, will provide advertisements geared towards what the visitors are viewing. Google allows as much as 50 channels. If you have 5 sites running Ad sense, for example, you can set-up each site as a different channel so you can get information as to which site actually brings in the revenues. Google gives you a simple line of code that you insert into your website; the code then displays advertisements to match your website’s theme or content. When visitors to your site click on these links, whether they are text links or image links, you are paid for each click.
Contextual advertising is what drives profits at Google, Yahoo and all the other big internet companies. The ability by automated software to read your Gmail messages or scan what is being said on a webpage to decide what ads would be appropriate to display in order to satisfy your potential needs. Some other sources are LeadImpact.com, LookSmart.com and Bidvertiser.com.