Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

AdSense Alternatives: Contextual Advertising Programs To Make Money Online

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Looking for AdSense Alternatives? Here is a reference guide to the most interesting alternative solutions to monetizing your online content with contextual ads.

Photo credit: Kirsty Pargeter

Google AdSense is one of the most popular ways to monetize your blog, but there are times when it is worth considering the alternatives. In some cases you can find that your AdSense account is blocked - especially if Google suspect you of click fraud. However, the unusual circumstances that trigger such accusations are not always under your control, and can come from malicious attacks, genuine misunderstandings or the sudden popularity of one of your blog posts. So what are you going to do if you are left out in the cold?

In maximizing the earning potential of your blog or website it makes sense not to rely too heavily on one single ad-supplier, for a number of reasons. For one, if your account is blocked for whatever reason you could suddenly find your substantial blog income drop down to zero overnight.

In addition to this very real possibility, however, is the fact that AdSense might not be the best fit for your content. Certainly AdSense would seem to perform well under many circumstances, and its popularity is testament to its strengths as a service. But there may well be other ad-serving and monetization options that you can take advantage of to take your earnings to a higher threshold.

There are a great many ad-serving services, and each takes a slightly different approach to the type of advertising content it makes available, the revenue model applied and the degree of control publishers have over the end result. By searching through the alternatives, you might well find that there are services that are better suited to your website than AdSense. Furthermore, you may find that several of these alternatives can be combined effectively, to increase your revenue stream considerably.

In this mini-guide I have gathered together some of the more interesting alternatives for those looking to monetize their blogging efforts with contextual advertising solutions.

Alternative ad-suppliers

  • Contextual advertising marketplace: Yahoo! Publisher Network


    Yahoo! Publisher Network is a strong Adsense alternative, and would be a good starting place for US-based bloggers looking to replace their AdSense advertising (the service is US only at the time of writing). The overall look of the ads is very similar to those served by Google. Some of the features of YPN include:

    • Advanced ad targeting, allowing you to choose two primary categories for your website from a list of over 100
    • The ability to filter out competitor's ads, so that they don't appear on your page - you can block up to 50
    • Ads are CPC in nature, so that you are paid each time your site visitors click on an ad
    • Choice of color size and layout of ads for easy integration into your website
    • Tracking on up to 50 channels to see which ads are your best performers

    • The minimum payment made is $100

  • RSS-feed monetization network: Feedburner Ad Network


    Feedburner Ad Network gives those that use the popular Feedburner service to distribute their site feeds the opportunity to add contextual advertising to those feeds. As RSS is an increasingly popular means for people to read blog content, this is an excellent opportunity to make sure that you don't lose out on advertising revenue, even if your readers never visit your website directly. Some of FAN's features are:

    • Ads are CPM in nature, so that you are paid per 1000 impressions rather than per click
    • Channel-based advertising that determines the nature of the ads served to your feed depending on which Feedburner content category you fall into - e.g. 'Computing and technology'
    • The ability to reject ads that you don't like
    • Control over how often ads appear in your feed - from every post, to every five posts
    • 90 day payment cycle via PayPal, with a minimum amount of $25
    • Publishers receive 65% of revenue earned from advertisers
    • Detailed performance reports are updated daily

  • Content-targeted advertising marketplace: Quigo AdSonar


    AdSonar is a content-targeted, auction-based advertising network that helps premium-branded websites and their advertisers connect with customers to deliver superior results. AdSonar generates an efficient marketplace by bringing together the most relevant and high-performing content from Advertisers and Publishers. The AdSonar private label approach offers a tremendous amount of control for publishers and unrivaled flexibility to target - nationally or locally by vertical category, website, individual web page, and/or keyword - for advertisers.

    Simply put, it is advertising that is relevant to the theme or content of a Web page. Content-targeted advertising generates greater awareness and more clicks because the advertisements reach people when they are actively engaged with the topic. AdSonar Exchange is a category-aligned network of publishers and advertisers brought together by Quigo to generate a content-targeted advertising marketplace. AdSonar Exchange raises the "relevancy" bar.

    AdSonar borrows from traditional and tested marketing concepts by using content categories to begin matching relevant advertisers and publishers in a highly organized manner. AdSonar for Publishers gives Web publishers an immediate way to place contextually relevant ads onto their Website. AdSonar will give you a simple piece of code to place on the pages where you want ads to appear.

    Then AdSonar's proprietary algorithms automatically identify, match and deliver the most relevant ads to each page of content.

    Key features include:

    • Set-Up is Easy - You define choices such as ad format and placement. Once users click on AdSonar ads on your site, you start earning money
    • Improved Ad Relevancy - Only advertisers in your category can appear on your site
    • Gain More Control - You can generate reports at the URL, domain and ad level to see where your ad revenues are originating
    • Increase Your Profits - You define your own default ads and even serve ads from your own listings to stop unprofitable "filler ads."
    • Generally, all web publishers with content rich Websites and qualified U.S. based traffic will be accepted. AdSonar is available internationally as a licensed platform. For more information, please see AdSonar for Licensees, however, no AdSonar Exchange currently exists for international markets

  • Multiple media rich advertising network: ValueClickMedia


    You can earn revenue through the VaueClick ad network platform by running ads from hundreds of quality advertisers on your web site. Receive some of the highest eCPM rates with unmatched fill through a wide variety of standard banners, pop-unders and rich media. ValueClick (formerly FastClick Text Ads) allows you to generate maximum revenue from all standard in-page and out-of-page formats, rich media, video, e-mail lists and registration paths. Key features include:

    • High Revenue: ValueClick provides you with expert tools to earn the highest payouts and effective CPMs possible
    • Quality Advertisers: High performing campaigns from recognizable brand advertisers, giving you the benefit of a top-notch sales force selling your inventory
    • Advanced Technology: An advanced user interface, optimization technology and reporting systems give you all the controls needed to ensure that you earn the highest revenue possible
    • Support: Customer service and account maintenance inquiries.
      Lead Generation: Also earn extra revenue through their affiliate and co-registration platform

  • Inline contextual advertising service: Kontera


    Kontera creates links within the body of your text, adding double underlining to key words which trigger pop-up ad 'bubbles' that users can click through to. While some will find this annoying or obtrusive, others may welcome its integration with their blog content. Key features include:

    • Inline advertising that integrates with your actual content
    • CPM and CPC revenue streams
    • Ability to run alongside other advertising suppliers, including AdSense
    • A $100 minimum payout
    • Negotiable CPM rates if your site draws significant traffic
    • Advertising supplied by keyword, using the words in the body of your blog text

  • Inline contextual advertising and video: IntelliTXT


    IntelliTXT offers a very similar service to Kontera, double-underlining key words in the text of your blog posts, and serving pop-up-like ads when these key words are rolled over. One key difference between IntelliTXT and Kontera is IntelliTXT use of video pop-ups attached to key words. Key features include:

    • Inline keyword advertising with both images, text and video
    • Minimum payout of $50
    • Uses both CPM and CPC revenue models
    • Works alongside other ad-suppliers, including AdSense
    • Easily embeddable code is simply placed within any blogpost or web page

  • Contextual advertising service that pays webmasters up to 85% of the advertising revenues: Clicksor


    Clicksor is a contextual advertising service that allows you to display your advertisement only on relevant web pages and pay per click search engines. Features include:

    • Use of an auction model (cost per visit, cost per click and pay per click) where you may bid for placement ranking
    • Clicksor will pay webmasters up to 85% of the advertising revenues to place contextual ads on their websites or blogs
    • Inline links by user-defined keywords
    • CPM and CPC revenue models
    • Payments are dispersed on a bi-weekly basis
    • Minimum payout of $50, which can be claimed either through a check or PayPal

  • Keyword driven contextual ad marketplace: MIVA MC


    The MIVA Monetization Center, MIVA MC, can help you maximize revenue from your Web site. With MIVA MC, Pay-Per-Click Ads are matched to the content of your web pages and/or appear on your search results page. You earn revenue when users click on the Ads. Key features include:

    • MIVA lets you also select the keywords that trigger your Ads, as well as blocking competitor Ads from appearing on your site
    • MIVA lets you also improve your yield by selecting the Ads that perform best
    • MIVA discloses your revenue share percentage and net earnings
    • Choose dimensions, colors and formatting of the Ads to reflect the look and feel of your site
    • Designate alternate Ads or MIVA run-of-network Ads to monetize obscure pages

  • Geo-targeted contextual advertising service: Nixxie


    Nixxie's partnership solution uses intelligent technology that can read and understand the content of your websites pages. By doing so, Nixxie delivers advertising that is most relevant to the content of your web pages. Features include:

    • You earn revenues every time a visitor clicks on Nixxie's contextual listings
    • Nixxie's technology automatically delivers the most appropriate sponsored links, price comparison and auctions listings which are matched to the content of each of your website pages
    • Through their partnerships with Overture, Miva, ThomsonLocal, Kanoodle, Kelkoo and, Nixxie offers one of largest advertiser databases on the Internet featuring big high street brands to local niche products and services
    • Nixxie geo-targets listings to deliver the most appropriate listings to your users based on their location

  • Content targeted link provider: Mirago ContextStream


    Context Stream enables you to display content-targeted links on your website and provide your users with highly-relevant ads. It works by detecting the 'theme' of the pages on your website and auto-delivering targeted adverts straight to your visitors. ContextStream uses a number of clever techniques to determine the content of the page. Features include:

    • Detects the theme of the page, along with any additional themes
    • Prioritises the themes based on their coverage and then delivers adverts related to those themes. This ensures that the adverts displayed are relevant to the website´s content
    • You can customize the look and feel of these ads and add Context Stream campaigns to the same website that already contains other sponsored site listings, affiliate links or banners

  • Content optimized contextual ad-supplier: TargetPoint


    Targetpoint enables website publishers of all sizes to display relevant CPC ads and earn more money from their site. Targetpoint claims to deliver the most profitable ads in each category in which you publish content. Features include:

    • Their Target-Payout formula performs constant auto-optimization to match your user's interests to their best paying relevant ads
    • You have absolute control over the appearance of your ads, supervision over ad content, up-to-date statistics on your site's performance
    • Targetpoint guarantees you at least 50% of the total ad click revenue
    • Payment options include Bank checks, PayPal and Wire transfers

  • ClickBank Products And Services Integration: CBProSense


    This customizable content monetizing system will rotate on your site links to content-relevant, high commission paying, best performing ClickBank products and services. You need only to copy a few lines of HTML into your web site to turn every web page into a commission collector, automatically and instantly. CBprosense's unique content-relevant product matching technology does just that. It is a fully automated system, specifically designed to help you increase your site revenue potential. Key features include:

    • The ads it displays are designed to bring the best of ClickBank high commission paying, downloadable products (and services) right into your content, automatically
    • CBprosense is similar in the way it works compared to other contextual ad delivery systems (like Google Adsense or Yahoo YPN!), but with one major difference: the CBprosense system delivers highly targeted ClickBank products that closely relate to the content of your page
    • ClickBank commission payouts range anywhere from 40% and up to 75% in commission, and you can earn up to a maximum of $100 per sale

  • Content targeted contextual advertising: Oxado


    With Oxado your web site can generate revenues by integrating advertising space. The contents of your pages get richer, and at the same time, you make a profit. Oxado finds the best ads by scanning the contents of your site. Whatever the type of advertising campaign, Oxado optimizes the relevance of the ads shown on each of your pages, maximizing the revenues. Features include:

    • Partner networks represent 60 000 advertisers in Europe
    • Detailed reports of the traffic on your web site, revenue generated, payment schedules
    • Oxado commits to pay the revenue of the past month within 30 days
    • Oxado sends out payments from 100 euros

  • More AdSense Alternatives

  • Text-ads advertising agency: CrispAds


    CrispAds is an advertising-agency that gives you more control in selecting the ads that appear on your site. CrispAds uses this in conjunction with keyword-based targeting to ensure that only relevant advertisements appear on your site or blog. Key features include:

    • Category based graphical ads
    • $0.20 USD per click on text ads
    • 70% rev-share on graphical ads
    • Payouts on balances of $5 and over
    • Direct sponsorship, and services to find sponsors

    CrispAds also offers detailed statistics so advertisers and bloggers can make the most informed decisions regarding their ads. Free to sign-up.

  • Advertising system allows you to choose which ads you want to put onto your website: Q-Ads


    Q-Ads is a service that allows you to choose which advertisements to put onto your website or in RSS feeds by selecting specific keywords. Features include:

    • Unlike Google AdSense, you have total control over the advertisements your visitors see, because they are no longer bound to the content, but to your personal choice
    • Q-Ads automatically displays the highest paying ads for each keyword you choose
    • Anyone can join - there is no approval process or minimum traffic requirement to use Q-Ads
    • A free blogging application that makes inserting Q-Ads into your blog posts very simple, and works with all of the major blogging platforms
    • Q-Ads makes monthly revenue share payments to clients based on a percentage of the click through revenue collected.

  • Search based contextual ad revenue - Kanoodle


    Kanoodle offers you a way to earn revenue for every visitor who comes to your site and searches for products and services. Kanoodle is a pay-per click network which includes hundreds of thematic ad categories from which you can freely choose. Key features include:

    • Kanoodle allows you to fully select the specific "ad feeds" that it will integrate into your selected Web pages
    • In sharp contrast with the Google AdSense program, Kanoodle allows its ad publishers to fully select the "niche categories" of ad feeds that will be matched to their Web pages
    • Kanoodle allows you to track and monitor your results and it pays back ad commissions every month

  • Pay Per Performance ad-supplier: RevenuePilot


    RevenuePilot provides you with the most innovative, efficient and effective way to monetize your traffic. The Pay For Performance (PFP) and the Pay Per Click (PPC) markets have created ample opportunity for the web publishing community to turn its traffic into pure profits. RevenuePilot offers its affiliates seamless entrance into this highly profitable arena through its Premiere Pay Per Click Network. Features include:

    • RevenuePilot affiliates receive 60% of what advertisers pay RevenuePilot per each click
    • Provides you with various linking methods that allow you to link to our premiere pay per click network; therefore you get paid for each successful click-through that is generated by your site's visitors
    • Get the highest bids from our select advertisers and top search engines to help you achieve your maximum revenue potential
    • Results are sorted by highest bid, ensuring that you receive the highest revenue per click regardless of your category or traffic

Adsense lifts ban on Adsense alternatives

Where before it was impossible to run Adsense alternatives alongside Adsense advertising, there has been a recent change of heart on the part of Google. It is now possible to do so, as Jennifer Slegg of JenSense notes. Jennifer quotes Google executive Brian Axe, who writes that:

''When it comes to enforcing policies on third-party contextual ads, we'll be following the updated program policies instead of the T&Cs on this point. That is to say, publishers may now display other contextual ads on the same site or page as Google ads as long as they don't have the same look and feel as our ads''

Additional resources

If you would like to learn of further ways to monetize your content without having to rely on AdSense, you might want to take a look at the following links:

Written by Michael Pick for Master New Media as:
AdSense Alternatives: Contextual Advertising Programs To Make Money Online

Robin Good and Michael Pick -
Readers' Comments    
2011-01-10 05:52:50


May I suggest as an alternative to Google Adsense advertising program.

They have lots of advertisers and support several ad formats such as text, banner, inline and catalog ads.

Quick Approval and cashout level by PayPal at only US$25

2010-09-16 05:10:20


Great article but i m having difficulties to differenciate the different companies-even if they offer contextual ads, CPC whatever i d like to know what ad types they offer (like banners etc), because after checking it out on many of these companies pages its hard to find out...

2010-07-08 04:13:02


May I suggest Advertise Game ( ) to this list? It's an ad network for game websites.

2009-08-09 14:37:30


adspilot dot com offers the highest commissions in the industry, like 80 for publishers

2009-01-30 10:47:48


VADPAY.COM - Contextual Advertising program to make money online as an alternative to adsense.

2008-07-07 19:47:23

Alpha Seduction

Why are most contextual ad sites limiting sites with small traffic and also not letting bloggers display ads if their blogs are hosted on free sites.

If there are such sites, can you please list them?

2008-03-17 19:18:46

Katrina Harper

i can't seem "too" locate the answer to my qestion about my adsense account,adsense search product tab "too" get "too" ad coode pages, that don't seem to appear on my screen...

2007-06-05 05:37:04


Great article. Didnt even know about most of these companies!

posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, March 7 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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