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Some Suggestions from Google About the Content Network

1:22 pm in Contextual Advertising, Google AdWords by brad

I recently had a long conversation with Google (including the content PM) about the content network.

Here are a few suggestions from Google about the content network (most of these should not surprise anyone):

  • Only the first 50 words in an AdGroup are used to determine its theme
  • When an AdGroup has a large keyword list, Google’s matching isn’t as good and can get confused
  • If an AdGroup is only shown on content, then it can be very useful to use more general words
  • All keywords are treated as broadmatch when matching the AdGroup’s theme for content matching
  • The Google recommended content bid is usually 75% of the search bid
  • The typical content CPA (which I’m not sure if I can share so no numbers) is not significantly different (less than 10%) from search and content
    • Of course, this is significantly impacted by bidding content and search differently
  • It can be very useful to use site targeting with CPC bidding for ensuring your ads are shown on the highest converting content match websites

Content match resources:

On a side note, I finally responded to the comments about quality score and exact match impressions.

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Combat Click Fraud By Blocking Low Quality Traffic

3:42 pm in Contextual Advertising, PPC Marketing Blog by brad

My latest article: Combat Click Fraud By Blocking Low Quality Traffic was published at Search Engine Land today.


  • How to block your ads from showing in certain countries
  • How to block competitors from clicking on your ads
  • See which content network sites are sending you traffic
  • How to keep yourself from showing for keyword searches
  • How to block content network sites
  • Determine how many clicks you did not pay for
  • Next steps…

It’s a bit of a follow-up to Content Network Optimization; but instead of focusing on how to optimize for the content network – it’s more about how to block low quality traffic (search and contextual) from the search engines.


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How to Optimize a Contextual Advertising Campaign

5:23 am in Contextual Advertising, PPC Info, PPC Marketing Blog by brad

My latest article on Search Engine Land is now out that goes into depth about contextual optimization:

The major pay per click engines, such as Google and Yahoo, include two different types of distribution: On their own search engine result pages, and on content pages elsewhere on the web. These two types of advertising, while often lumped together under the pay-per-click (PPC) label, are very different. Advertiser’s ability to control these networks and consumer’s interaction with these networks are completely different. Hence, they should be treated as completely separate types of distribution.

Often contextual advertising gets a (sometimes undeserved) bad rap. There are techniques that you can use to have a very effective contextual ad campaign.

Enjoy the entire article on SEL.

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If you're showing contextual ads on your site – Do Not Block these Bots

8:05 am in Contextual Advertising by brad

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have bots that belong to their contextual ad programs.

These bots spider web pages to understand what the page is about so they can match appropriate advertising.

If any publishers are blocking these bots they will keep themselves from having the proper (or in some cases, any) ads show on their website.

Block these bots (if you’re showing contextual ads on your site) and you will lose money.

The useragents not to block:


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Microsoft adCenter to Launch Contextual Program This Fall

10:29 am in Bing PPC - adCenter, Contextual Advertising, PPC Marketing Blog by brad

Microsoft plans to launch their own contextual program this fall. It will be a US only invite pilot, however, one can request to be invited. What’s going to be interesting to see is how many features they plan on porting into contextual. For instance, they plan on supporting demographic targeting.
Read the rest of this entry →

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Increasing the Effectiveness of AdSense Ads through Section Targeting

10:03 am in Contextual Advertising, PPC Marketing Blog by brad

One of the largest problems with AdSense is often the ads are irrelevant to your content.

This is especially true of blogs where the ads might be about blogging, or the rest of your navigation, and not about the specific topic on that page.

The more relevant an ad is to that exact topic, the higher the relevancy to your reader. The higher the relevancy to your reader – the higher the CTR (click through rate).

Alternately, the worse the targeting is, the lower Read the rest of this entry →

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Google Pushing Firefox

11:06 am in Contextual Advertising, PPC Marketing Blog, Search Engines by brad

The Google AdSense blog just published the new details on the AdSense referral program.

Users who sign up for AdSense through your referral button will learn about a great product, and you’ll have a new way to generate revenue – $100 when each user you refer first earns $100.

There are a large number of banners that can be added to a website, including some that are not the usual AdSense size blocks.

Pretty simple information, and it was very much expected.

The part I didn’t expect was that Google is also paying $1 for every Firefox user who installs the Google Firefox toolbar.

Again, quite a few different banner sizes, some as small as buttons.

No text links for either program – only images, which seems out of character with Google’s fascination with everything text, and slow adoption of images overall.

The real question though is: Why is Google giving away this money?

  • Are they recommending firefox?
  • Are firefox users finding better plug-ins and not using the toolbar?
  • Are firefox users not giving Google all the data it collects through the toolbar, and they need a higher firefox penetration?

It’s interesting to see Google not only push a browser and toolbar, but to pay for referrals.

If you’re willing to pay for something, you usually get something in return.

  • Is it uses?
  • Or data collection?

Personally, I uninstalled every Google product after both the GMail notifier and the last Google Toolbar updated itself on my machines without my permission. I consider this a security breach, and someone else trying to control my software.

It will be interesting to see what else Google starts paying for in the future. How about AdWords account referrals?

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Smart Pricing Info from Inside AdSense

1:06 pm in Contextual Advertising, Google AdWords, PPC Marketing Blog by brad

There have been quite a few discussions on the web recently about Smart Pricing.

A quick overview of AdSense / AdWords smart pricing:

Because contextually targeted ads on our content network sometimes return lower conversion numbers than ads on search results pages, clicks from the content network use “smart pricing” adjustments. Google’s smart pricing technology automatically lowers the cost of content clicks based on the referring site, to maximize the return on investment for advertisers.

Source: AdWords Learning Center

Google Launches Contextual Network – June 2003

Starting today, AdWords ads will also appear on sites that are accepted into our ad network through our new Google AdSense program. These websites are reviewed and monitored according to the same rigorous standards as our current network sites. And your AdWords ads will continue to appear only in relevant places that make sense to web users. The only difference is that now your ads will be targeted to more content web pages, bringing you even more customers.

Source: AdWords News Archives

Google Launches Improved Smart Pricing – April 2004

We’re introducing automatic price adjustments for certain clicks you get from the Google Network. Google’s smart pricing model has always provided better placement for better performing ads, and reduced the cost of a click to the least amount possible to stay above your competitor’s ad. And now, with no change in how you bid, Google may reduce the cost for a click if that better reflects the value it brings to advertisers like you.

Source: April 04 Google AdWords Newsletter announces Improved Smart Pricing.

Google Defends Smart Pricing – October 05

The blog entry lists a few reasons on how smart pricing is determined, however, as an advertiser, the last line is my favorite:

The best way to ensure you benefit from AdSense is to create compelling content for interested users. This also means driving targeted traffic to your site — advertisers don’t gain as much ROI when paying for generic clicks as they do for quality clicks that come from interest in your content. Good content usually equals a good experience for user plus advertiser, which can be much more valuable than CTR.

Source: Inside AdSense

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