Contextual advertising is a term used when ads are displayed based on the content of a web page. Typically, the ad delivery system has collected information about the web page you are visiting prior to your visit to determine ads most relevant and/or contextual for you.
Contextual ads are displayed on search engine or affiliate partner networks. Ads are targeted and in some cases have a higher likelihood of being clicked. Google Adsense and Yahoo Publisher Network allow you to serve contextual ads on your website. This can generate additional revenue for the owner of the website through ad revenue sharing.
Let's look at an example of how Google Adsense works. On Electorate www.electorate.com, a Viewmark initiated “mashup” project to examine the effectiveness of several “web service” software systems, elected officials from all 50 United States are organized using their geographic locations. On the right-hand side of each page, is the "Ads by Google" box, where four ads from the Google Adsense program are displayed. In most cases the ads, reference the state and/or city of each politician.
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