What is Contextual Advertising?
Contextual advertising refers to an automated process in which a promotional message matches with relevant digital content. The algorithms that underpin contextual advertising choose the advertisements based upon keywords and other metadata. The resultant advertisement is targeted and relevant, which encourages users click through it. The publisher earns revenue from click-through activity and the advertiser receives more traffic.
Understanding Contextual Advertising
A large percentage of internet advertising is contextual. Google (now Alphabet Inc.) is the largest player in contextual marketing. AdSense allows publishers to place code on sites where AdSense serves ads. Sites are crawled to find keywords and context, and the relevant ads are then placed. Site owners can modify certain features such as the location and manner in which ads are displayed and the type of products and services that are advertised.
Many online publishers and advertisers have found automation a huge boon. Automating ad serving allows publishers to place ads on large websites or small blogs without the need to have an ad sales team to find buyers, or an IT department to track and display ads. It has given advertisers more options and allowed them to reach profitable audiences without the need to search for them. It is changing rapidly and ads can now be customized based on demographic information and geographical location, not just what they contain.
Contextual Advertising’s Disadvantages
Contextual advertising has its disadvantages. They can distract from content and cause consumers to be annoyed. Their prevalence can also mean that they are not often noticed and might be placed next to their competitors. Consumers searching for content might not click on an ad that is obvious.
Contextual advertising is still a relatively new field. Contextual advertising goes beyond web pages. It also incorporates video and game content. A dynamic billboard is a concept that uses a camera to identify the gender and age and then change the advertisements based on the data.
Contextual ads are not perfect. Privacy concerns are real with the integration of search history information and user data. Practically, high-value searches can be tracked from one site to another by the addition of new data streams to the contextual advertising machine. Most internet users know that a search for flight prices can linger for several weeks, or even months. A user could also search for keywords related to an engagement ring for many years.