The author starts off by asking if contextual advertising is helping or hurting the web. He notes that on first blush, it appears to be a good idea. But, he digs a little deeper to see how it is being used in some instances, and decides that maybe it isn’t such a good idea:
To make money with contextual advertising you want your content to be bad. Yes, you want it to be bad. You do not want the user to like what you have on the webpage or find what they are looking for in hopes that after not finding it, they will either do another search in your embedded Google search box or they will click one of the contextual ads on the page in hopes of finding what they came there to find
I wonder how the advertisers feel about appearing on pages like these. Google recently published on patent application that described a method for advertisers to find good advertising partner, looking at such things as the quality of the content on the advertisers’ sites:
If they follow through on that patent, and make that process a reality, will the number of scraper sites diminish? I’m not sure that they would. I think that has more to do with advertisers who are concerned with the quality of sites that show their brand, as well as the ad. But, many advertisers are more concerned with clickthroughs regardless of where their ads may be placed.
Danny Sullivan wrote a few articles about Google’s Adsense for Parked Domains program: