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contextual advertising
Last modified: Thursday, April 29, 2004 

(n.) 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, the user might see ads for sports-related companies, such as memorabilia dealers or ticket sellers. Contextual advertising also is used by search engines to display ads on their search results pages based on what word(s) the users has searched for.

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 browser by turning keywords on a Web page into links that lead to advertisers that are not paying the Web site to advertise on its pages.

A contextual ad is the advertisement that dynamically appears on a Web site.

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For pages about contextual advertising . Also check out the following links!

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Contextual Advertising, Part 1 of 2
The rise of choice, and the decline of mass marketing.

Contextual Advertising, Part 2 of 2
How does the existence of a contextual ad unit and marketplace improve publishers' fates (and fortunes)? How will it benefit advertisers?

Contextual Advertising: The Consumer's Point of View
Not since the turbulent heights of the consumer-versus-advertiser pop-up debate has a form of Internet marketing drawn so much attention or incited so much raw anger.

Google Throws Hat Into The Contextual Advertising Ring
SearchEngineWatch looks at Google's foray into contextual advertising and its potential effect on the industry.

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