Contextual advertising

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Contextual advertising is a form of

websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers. In context targeting, advertising media are controlled on the basis of the content of a website using linguistic elements. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the context of what a user is looking at.[1]

How it works

A contextual advertising system scans the text of a website for

search engines
to display advertisements on their search results pages based on the keywords in the user's query.

Contextual advertising is a form of targeted advertising in which the content of an ad is in direct correlation to the content of the web page the user is viewing. An example of contextual advertising is an ad offering a special price on a flight to Italy appearing on a website concerning traveling in Europe. Contextual advertising is also called "In-Text" advertising or "In-Context" technology.[citation needed]

Apart from that, when a visitor doesn't click on an ad in the go through time (the minimum time a user must click on the ad), the ad is automatically changed to the next relevant ad, with the option below of going back to the previous ad.

Contextual ads are commonly perceived as less irritating than traditional advertising. That is why it influences users more effectively. It shows users’ areas of interest, thus increasing the chance of receiving a response.[3]

Service providers

Google AdSense was the first major contextual advertising network.[citation needed] It works by providing webmasters with JavaScript code that, when inserted into webpages, displays relevant advertisements from the Google inventory of advertisers. The relevance is calculated by a separate Googlebot, that indexes the content of a webpage. Recent technology/service providers have emerged with more sophisticated systems that use language-independent proximity pattern matching algorithm to increase matching accuracy.[4] is the other major contextual ad network competing with Google AdSense.[5][6]


Contextual advertising has made a major impact on earnings of many websites.[citation needed] Because the advertisements are more targeted, they are more likely to be clicked, thus generating revenue for the owner of the website (and the server of the advertisement).

Contextual advertising has attracted some controversy through the use of techniques such as third-party

hyperlinking, where a third-party installs software onto a user's computer that interacts with the web browser.[7]
Keywords on a webpage are displayed as hyperlinks that lead to advertisers.

With advertisers and marketers focusing on Brand Safety and Suitability, contextual advertising plays a role in protecting a brand's value.[8] Brand positioning and contextual advertising are directly correlated to user perceptions so it is important for marketers to protect their brands by using appropriate contexts.

Agency roles

There are several

advertising agencies that help brands understand how contextual advertising options affect their advertising plans. There are three main components to online advertising:[7]

  1. creation—what the advertisement looks like
  2. media planning—where the advertisements are to be run; also known as "placements"
  3. media buying—how the advertisements are paid for

Contextual advertising replaces the media planning component. Instead of humans choosing placement options, that function is replaced with computers facilitating the placement across thousands of websites.


  1. ^ ‘Personalization diminished’: In the GDPR era, contextual targeting is making a comeback Published by digiday on June 7, 2018, retrieved on November 13, 2019
  2. ^ "Contextual Marketing Definition". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
  3. ^ "Advantages of Contextual Advertising for Apps". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  4. ^ "Proximic Signs Deals With Yahoo and eBay To Turn Product Listings Into Contextual Ads; Taking on AdSense". Retrieved 2008-01-15.
  5. ^ Wauters, Robin (2012-05-07). " Will Soon Employ 500 People To Challenge Google". Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  6. ^ Wauters, Robin. "From Bootstrapping To $300M In Value: Meet The Founder Of Directi (TCTV)". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  7. ^ a b "Customers Now", David Szetela, 2009[not specific enough to verify]
  8. ^ "Why 'brand suitability' is replacing brand safety". Digiday. 2020-01-24. Retrieved 2020-05-14.

Further references