We get a fair number of questions from WordAds bloggers asking why WordAds creative are mostly not contextual. For example, a vegetarian food site might want to see ads for vegetarian food. Some bloggers tend to want contextual ads because they think they will earn more and because they don’t want ads on their site that they feel are ‘random.’
We also hear from bloggers who do not want us to run contextual ads. Examples there are a gaming site that sees ads for guides to cheat in games or a site about divorce that has ads for divorce lawyers.
Google Adsense is the product most associated with contextual ads, as they pioneered it and it is the largest network. However, Adsense has evolved and now shows a mix of contextual and non-contextual ads.
So why doesn’t WordAds run more contextual ads? There are a few answers to that:
1) Click to play video ads tend to perform and pay better. Targeting is similar to what you see on television where advertisers are looking to reach as broad an audience as possible. Ads are from auto makers or consumer product companies where most any viewer might be a buyer.
2) Retargeted ads can pay better. Retargeted ads happen like this: a viewer goes to a travel site and researches a trip to Miami. When they later visit your site our advertisers might show them ads for Miami hotels and flights. Some research suggests that up to 98% of a website’s first-time visitors drop off without converting. So showing ads to that 98% has been found to be a good bet for many advertisers.
3) Related content can pay better. These are ads where other publishers pay to drive traffic specific articles on their sites. This is somewhat similar to contextual advertising, the main difference is that contextual advertising drives traffic to a product or service, whereas with related content another publisher is paying to draw traffic to an article or post.
In addition to these there are other advertising programs that we run that pay better than contextual ads. In short, WordAds is not dead set against contextual ads, but we want WordAds users to get the most value out of every impression so we work with other ad types.