(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.
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 »Small Business Marketing's Greatest Hits
The following compilation of small business marketing tips highlights some of the expert advice published over at Small Business Computing. Read More »13 Best Free Android Apps
From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »
With cost and security in mind, we look at five cloud storage options that will suit the needs of most home and SMB owners. Read More »Windows 10 Tips for Desktop PC
Five basic tips to help you customize Windows 10 on your desktop PC. Read More »29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »