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Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising is a form of internet marketing that is directed towards specific websites based off the content of the ad, the website and the user. These advertisements are chosen by a variety of automated systems in order to target the user with content that pertains to them. It is also known as “In-Text” advertising and “In-Context” technology. This form of marketing works by scanning the content of a website for specific keywords in order to correctly deliver appropriate advertisements to the webpage. They can either be displayed on the webpage, various banners or even pop-up ads. For example, if the user is a sports fan and is viewing a webpage about basketball – contextual advertising can be used in order to target basketball jerseys, memorabilia, tickets and equipment in order to better fit the consumer. This basketball is more likely to convert on basketball related purchases, at that time viewing the page, rather than other sports such as baseball jerseys. Another instance would be visiting travel sites for Hawaii and an ad pops up offering a special price on a flight to Maui – that would be contextual advertising. It is similar to how search engines use your previous history, with keywords, in order to display better advertisements. When a user does not click on one of these ads in a certain amount of time, many websites will rotate to the next relevant ad in order to send more options to the potential consumer. That is why many websites have multiple ads rotating through with very similar content. Contextual advertising can have a major financial impact for many websites. Since this form of marketing is targeting the user current attention, they are more likely to convert than other forms of marketing. These clicks lead to additional revenue for the website owners and the server of the advertisement. For marketers, contextual advertising takes away the media planning aspect so instead of human directing where the ads will be publicized, a computer is able to expedite the message across the entire World Wide Web.

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