The Good, Bad and Ugly of Contextual Advertising

    July 8, 2005

There is a good look at the Pros and Cons of Contextual Advertising over at Online Journalism Review today. Here’s a couple of snippets.

Firstly a look at successful use of Adsense – they go to the usual suspects including Jason Calacanis:

For a general news site, the breaking news sections might not perform as well as lifestyle, travel, business and technology. One great example of a fertile ground for contextual ads is Weblogs Inc., the network of blogs set up by entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. Calacanis has used AdSense to help jumpstart his business as he also sells display ads on his 80-plus blogs that are very targeted into vertical categories – from digital photography to babies and pregnancy.’

And on the topic of relevant ads a quote from my favorite Adsense expert:

“Bloggers have a harder time with relevancy, particularly on their blog index page when they post frequently,” Slegg told me via e-mail. “Because Google indexes about once per month, writing a single entry about popcorn right before the [Google] bot visits can result in popcorn ads for about a month, even if the majority of the posts are about a tech subject. Targeting on individual blog entry pages is usually very good. This is why many of the news sites running contextual ad programs do not often run ads on the pages that change frequently, such as the index page and the subsection pages, but run it on the articles themselves.”‘

Overall it’s a useful article which is worth a quick read if you’re starting out with contextual advertising.

Pros and Cons of Contextual Advertising

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Darren Rowse is the founder of, a blog about the many ways of adding an income stream to blogs.

Darren owns and writes a variety of blogs including Digital Photography Blog and Camera Phone
. He is also a co-founder of the Breaking News Blog Collective.