contextual advertising Is a marketing tool that allows you to display advertisements relevant to your interests to Internet users. Relevance refers to the conformity of results and expectations. For example: you entered the query “buy an iron” in the search box. And the system immediately gives out a whole list of options with links to online stores. The topmost snippets (the snippet is a search result in the form of a small excerpt from the textual information of the site) will be marked with a small “Advertising” marker. The marker looks different in different search engines. For example, sometimes it can generally be abbreviated to 2 letters “Ad” (in the English version of the browser). For example, this is what contextual advertising looks like in Google search results at the time of this writing:


On the territory of Runet and Ukrnet (this is how the Russian-language and Ukrainian-language Internet are called for short), the most famous and in-demand are 2 search engines: Google and Yandex. Placement of contextual advertising is one of the main sources of their income. Specially for managing ads and interacting with advertisers, 2 systems have been created that are part of global corporations: Google Adwords and Yandex Direct. The basic principles of operation are common to both systems. We’ll take a closer look at Adwords and Direct in future articles.

So, to take a closer look at work and efficiency contextual advertising in general, there are a few definitions to remember:

  1. An ad (abbreviated RO) is a text created by an advertiser. The advertising system shows RO to the user. As a rule, the text contains a link to the advertiser’s resource, but there is an exception: a type of Call-only advertising, which instead of a link contains only the company’s phone number.

  2. CTR (Click Through Rate) is an indicator of the effectiveness of an ad. It is very simple to find out: you need to divide the number of impressions by the number of clicks (transitions) on the link in the ad. The more often users click on your ad, the higher its CTR. But not always a high CTR is a good thing. An ad can be intriguing (for example, “Come and see some candid photos of Madonna”), users will often click on it, but clicks will not bring any results.

  3. Conversion is a specific action on the site that is desired by the advertiser. The user can complete it after switching to the advertised resource. A purchase, filling out an application, a chat message, a phone call, etc. is considered a conversion.

  4. CPC (Cost Per Click) – the amount that the advertising system withdraws from the advertiser’s account when the user clicks on his advertisement.


We already know that contextual advertising (CR) can be shown to the user as a result of search results. Such KR called search engine… The reason for showing this or that ad is the so-called “keywords”. If the user’s request matches the key phrase, then the advertisement (PO) is included in the search result. If not, it is ignored. The advertiser sets the list of desired keywords in his account settings.

Google Adwords and Yandex Direct use an auction system to determine ROs that are “worthy of honor” for displaying. The short principle of the auction can be formulated as follows: the more you are willing to pay per click, the more chances your ad has to get to a high position. But it’s not that simple. In addition to CPC, impressions also check ad quality, CTR, landing page quality, and query relevance. The system takes into account all these characteristics during the distribution of the advertising issue, or, in other words, depending on the results of the analysis, it makes a decision: which ad from which advertiser to show in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. places.


Contextual advertising can be search engine or media… All of the above examples are mainly related to search advertising. What is media CR? These are banner ads with text and pictures, sometimes also with animation, which are shown on partner sites of the search engine. Displaying display ads is a source of income for many sites. Resources that host ad units are included in the network of search engine partners. Yandex has the name of the system YAN (Yandex Advertising Network), and Google has the name KMS (Context Media Network). Display ads can be shown to users based on their characteristics. For example, you can select separate audiences:

  • by gender;

  • according to the age;

  • by region;

  • by interests (news readers, sports fans …);

  • by search history.

The list doesn’t end there. You can also select specific sites by site domain, or by topic, and place your ads only there. An example of a media CR on a popular platform:

A convenient pay-per-click system, advanced search engine functionality and the ability to fully control efficiency and costs make contextual advertising a convenient tool for business. Website creation, its promotion and CR is the key to the success of an online business. We hope that after reading our article, you have found an answer to the question “What is contextual advertising” and have mastered the basic concepts associated with this term. In the following publications, you can learn more about the Google Adwords and Yandex Direct systems.

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Lane Derrick

My name is Lane Derrick, back in 2014, he began to take an interest in SEO and webmastering, and started real projects six months later. For 6 years of practice, skills were formed that I use to this day. The main activity is website promotion and contextual advertising.

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