(n.) Advertising on a website 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.
See "How Affiliate Marketing Works" in the "Did You Know..." section of Webopedia.
Also see Refer-It.com, a directory of referral & affiliate programs for e-commerce, featuring information on over 6,500 affiliate programs.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »20 Ways to Shorten a URL
If you need to shorten a long URL try this list of 20 free online redirection services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »