The days of mass internet advertising are almost dead. As marketers demand better ROI on their campaigns, contextual and even behavioral advertising options are being offered by most major web sites and portals. The likes of Google, Yahoo! and MSN have been offering it for years.
eBay has finally joined the party with the imminent launch of their AdContext Advertising system. The new system is modeled on the refined contextual systems of Google and Yahoo! whilst incorporating some elements of affiliate advertising also.
eBay merchants will be able to advertise their goods and services via the sites of publishers subscribing to the new AdContext system. The advertising model will offer an alternative or additional revenue stream for publishers who might already be using Google AdSense or the Yahoo! Publisher Network.
Unlike Google AdSense and Yahoo! Publisher Network where publishers are paid on a per click basis, the eBay AdContext system will pay commissions based on the sale of goods or services derived from clicks, similar to existing affiliate programs.
The new system will scan websites and determine relevant ads based on keywords and phrases found on the publisher’s site or blog. This will ensure that visitors to a publisher site are delivered goods and services relevant to their current web journey.
AdContext as a model offers some benefits over existing contextual advertising systems, with the issues of click-fraud eliminated, but the challenge for eBay will be the less regular income stream for publishers. While revenue might be more ad-hoc with the new system, it could offer publishers greater returns (depending on commission structures).
eBay’s new AdContext system is scheduled for release next week, so stay tuned to see how the program pans out.