What Is Contextual Advertising In Simple Words

Contextual advertising is advertising in context. In the context of the page you are viewing, the request that you entered or entered earlier in the search engine, your interest, which was determined by the advertising algorithm, etc.

The system displays various ads (text, text-graphic, video), which it considers the most appropriate at the moment. Advertising can be shown on partner sites, in mobile applications and in search results.

contextual advertise

Most often, “contextual advertising” tools are associated with Google .Direct and Google Ads services, and many can limit themselves only to Google, since it is more popular in the United States.

Read Latest Article: How To Set Up Google Ads

Consider the types of contextual advertising

The two main types of advertising are search engine and network advertising. But the functionality of advertising systems is constantly expanding and ad formats have long gone beyond these limits. The possibilities are limited only by your knowledge, budgets and desires.

The main types of advertising campaigns in Google.

Direct and Google Ads: 

1- Search advertising. Ads are displayed in the search results of Google and their partners (mail, bing, etc.)

2- Campaigns in Google (Google Advertising Network) or Display Network (Display Network) Google Ads. Advertising on partner sites, in applications and on other resources. Usually these are text and graphic banners or animation.

3- Smart banners in Google Direct. These are ads that are generated on the basis of feed data (a file containing information about each product), the display is carried out to users who have already visited the site or a similar audience.

4- Google Shopping Campaigns. This type is suitable for e-commerce. Ads are created automatically based on feed data and look like a product card with a price, description and image.

5-  Advertising of mobile applications in Google. For those who want to develop not only their site, but also the application.

6- Universal campaigns for mobile apps in Google Ads. Similar to the previous point.

7- Banner on Google search. Previously, the format was called ICB and was charged for impressions, now it has migrated to the Google.Direct interface and received a pay-per-click model. The banner is displayed to the right of Google search results.

8- Video advertising. Previously, it was popular only on YouTube, now it is gaining momentum in the Google network.

Read Latest Article: Website Ranking Factors

Search Contextual Advertising:

Ads are displayed in search results in search engines Google and their partners. The advertiser’s offer responds to a specific user request at the very moment when he is looking for a product or service.

Search advertising differences:

  1. Payment is debited only if the user clicked on your ad to the site.
  2. Ads are shown to those who entered the request that you selected for your project.
  3. The advertiser himself sets the maximum cost per click that he is willing to pay.

Components of a Google .Direct advertisement:

Ads can look different, let’s consider one of the options with extensions.

First heading: M.Video online store

The second heading: In M.Video Profitable!

Announcement text: M.Video – equipment for comfort. Bonuses + discounts for everyone!

Displayed link (in addition to the main link): Buy-in-MVideo

Quick links (navigation through other pages of the site): Delivery today, Up to -40% for Hits, -3% for Online payment, Products of the day

Refinements (non-clickable part with additional benefits): Free shipping

Business card: Contact information, phone, metro

Description of quick links (information on additional pages): We will deliver free of charge in 2 hours any order from 1,990 rubles. Techniques of world brands are now even more profitable – buy, etc.

Information about the seller (the system automatically adds to the ad): Seller: M.Video. Address, OGRN

Your ad can occupy different positions on the search page, depending on the selected display strategy, your bid and Quality Score. Here are examples of a Google page:

The screenshot shows the premium impressions block, which is located above the search result and can include up to four ads.

The block below the search results is called “guaranteed impressions” and can include up to five ads

A relatively new Google  block is the “product gallery”. Displays below the search bar if the ad meets certain requirements.

On the second and subsequent pages, under the search results, the “dynamic impressions” block is displayed, which includes the ads with the lowest bid and quality score.

In mobile search, the blocks are slightly different, new formats are constantly being tested.

Components of a Google Ads ad:

Ads in Google Ads are very similar to Google . There is also a block above the search result, which can contain up to four ads and below the search results, which can accommodate up to three ads.

Also, Google has a product gallery that is displayed on the right or above the search results, it displays cards from the advertising campaign “Google Products”

Advertising in networks

Features of advertising in networks

Advertising on networks is shown to users for two main reasons – if he was interested in your products or services before, or if he views a site whose content overlaps with your topic. 

The first option is much more common, which is why you can see an advertisement for the phone you wanted to buy on a blog about clothes.

In addition to websites, advertising can be shown in mobile applications and on other resources that are included in the partner network of advertising systems.

The main difference from search advertising is that the user may not be looking for your product at the moment. It acts as a tool for dealing with colder demand and helps shape the desire to buy.

Affiliate networks are constantly expanding and ad formats are being optimized. Google calls it GAN(Google Advertising Network), Google calls it KMS (Display Network).

Google Advertising Network

GAN (Google Advertising Network) is a system for placing advertisements on websites, in mobile applications, Smart TV applications and on media screens. GAN allows you to show ads to an audience of more than 40,000 sites.

There are several types of targeting in GAN:

1- Behavioral targeting. The user will see ads that match his interests, these interests are determined by Google.

2- Thematic targeting. The user will see ads if they match the content of the page they are viewing.

3- Retargeting. Ad serving is tuned to audiences of users who have visited your site before. Various scenarios can be written to increase efficiency.

GDN (Google Display Network)

Google Display Network – includes over 2 million websites and applications. Including YouTube and Gmail. CCM partners cover more than 90% of Internet users.

Google Display Network
Google Display Network

In the Display Network, the types of targeting are similar to the Google Advertise Network, since the tools are similar, but there is functionality that allows you to choose the sites on which the advertisement will be displayed:

1- Placement targeting. You are compiling a list of sites or expanding the coverage of sites by topic.

2- Audience targeting. You need to define and select in the settings the audience that is most interested in your product or service.

3- Remarketing. The main difference from Google is that it is much easier to set up impressions for similar users.

Important points of Google.

Direct and Google Ads

Both systems allow you to place ads both on search and on the web, but the audience is very different, so it is not recommended to dwell on one thing. If you do not want to lose customers, then you must use all the available tools.

 Direct and Google Ads

In the United State, most of the population uses Google, if the budget is limited, then start with it, and later use Google Ads.

Each advertising system has its own rules for the moderation of advertisers’ materials. They are similar, but there are important differences that must be taken into account before launching campaigns in order not to be left without contextual advertising.

The cost of contextual advertising

Now the main payment model is CPC (cost per click) – the cost per click, at which the advertiser pays for clicks on the ad that lead to a transition to the site. 

In Google. .Direct, the minimum cost per click can be set at 0.3 Dollar. In Google Ads, the cost threshold is 0.1 dollars.

The ad position is determined by auction. Each time a user enters a query, the system selects the most relevant offer with the highest cost per click.

The main factors affecting the position are the ad quality coefficient and its click-through rate (CTR).

Benefits of contextual advertising

You can find a lot of information that advertising begins to bring results immediately after launch, but this is a bit different.

The functionality of advertising systems is constantly being improved, this does not allow you to configure everything at once and start impressions without modifications.

 Therefore, the advantage of a quick result is doubtful, it is better to replace it with something else – a quick opportunity to assess the current result and understand the effectiveness.

Contextual advertising has flexibility in settings, which allows you to quickly adjust to changes on the site, add new products and services, or, on the contrary, remove them.

Also, in advertising, it is easy to manage budgets, you yourself set the thresholds that the system can spend.


Contextual advertising provides tremendous opportunities to promote your website. But do not limit yourself to her and forget about other channels (seo, smm, etc.). A holistic marketing approach is much more effective.

Also, you should not make settings on high-budget advertising companies on your own, if you have no experience, entrust it to professionals.