The Economist has a story on online advertising and how it is working for both advertisers and consumers. After the search-related text ads and pay-for-performance pioneered by Google and Overture, the next horizon is advertising linked to the content of the page.
This is done by using software to boil text down to a handful of keywords and to serve up related ads next to it. Just as with search-based advertising, the idea is that surfers are more likely to click on ads relevant to a web page’s content than on a scattershot banner ad.
This time, Google was first. Since March, its ads have also been appearing on the pages of such websites as HowStuffWorks.com and Slashdot.org. Content targeting also explains why the firm recently acquired two start-ups, Applied Semantics and Pyra Labs. The first is a developer of content-targeting software; the second sells software to create personal web pages called web logs, or blogs, which could make excellent homes for Google’s ads.