Contextual Advertising is a program in which advertisers’ paid listing appears on web sites containing content relevant to the listings. It’s another method of distributing paid listings by search engines as opposed to the traditional means of inserting them into search results. In traditional search, advertisers choose relevant keywords and then bid on them.
Searchers enter queries, and if the advertiser has chosen that keyword, then the ad is shown. This creates a one to one matching which is straightforward to monitor and optimize. This process is different for the contextual advertising. Here, the engine analyzes advertiser’s entire keyword list and ad text in an ad group, assigns a theme to that ad group and then matches this theme to sites in its network.
Contextual advertising according to www.webopedia.com is advertising on a Web site that is targeted to the specific individual who is visiting the Web site. A contextual ad system scans the text of a Web site for keywords and returns ads to the Web page based on what the user is viewing, either through ads placed on the page or pop-up ads. For example, if the user is viewing a site about sports, and the site uses contextual advertising, then user might see ads for sports-related companies, such as memorabilia dealers or ticket sellers.
For many, until recent mention in the New York Times Quigo was an unknown. A recent post on our blog highlights positive impact clients have seen by driving traffic through Quigo. This prompted me to dig a little deeper into this contender.
Although this smaller company may be viewed as a lightweight by many, this is not the view of seasoned SEM advertisers. In reality the opposite is true….Quigo is providing an ad network that attracts both large advertisers and publishers. Working for an SEO/SEM managing clients’ advertising dollars….the benefits for the advertiser are pretty clear to me:
All of this has helped Quigo become the contender they are today in the contextual ad space. It is very attractive to be able to hand pick sites where advertising dollars are to be spent….and to stay away from those that may not fit with the demographic you are reaching out to. Further, by giving the advertiser the capability to choose a specific section, there is an opportunity to reach site visitors as they dig deeper into a publisher’s content. Another cool thing about choosing site placement is the ability to go local with contextual text ads. Quigo’s network contains many local newspaper and television sites. By selecting placement on these sites and customizing your ad copy – local advertisers are presented with cost-effective channels to reach their local readers (or readers with interest in the local area).
Publishers also benefit from the transparency Quigo offers. In short, advertisers are willing to pay more for ads on sites like Foxnews.com, ESPN.com, etc than for ads on unheard of blogs and forums.
While Google is moving toward this same type of transparency…it could be a too late to gain (back) some advertisers. For Google, this does not seem to be a concern. Kim Malone, director of online sales and operations for Google AdSense, said “We don’t expect a lot of demand for that placement targeting…it’s the brand, the display advertisers who care where they run.” In my experience working with advertisers of all sizes, I have found otherwise. While larger companies may have larger budgets to work with, companies of all sizes see the importance of being able to focus in on a target audience. I would pay for a TV commercial…but would not be willing to pay very much if all I knew is that the commercial would be on TV at some point during the day. What if I want to see my commercial? Where do I begin to look? With no further direction, I could be surfing all day. However, if I was given the chance to pay for a commercial on NBC, airing during The Office….I would be willing to pay more than if the commercial was aired on the Sunshine Network during a program about martial arts weapons.
Although they have not expressed concern with Quigo overtaking the contextual ad space, Google is making moves to align AdSense more closely with Quigo’s model….be on the lookout for changes to reports in the coming month(s).