Contextual advertising has been a big hit over the past half a decade or so, though I wonder whether it suffers from a kind of shotgun approach, whereby you can simply choose a bunch of keywords, pull a lever, and then put your feet on the desk.
Sure, this is typically better than blasting out your message without any concerns about targeting, but it's almost too easy to reach the masses, and you can end up with egg on your face. Context isn't always a positive thing.
As with all advertising, the creative elements of a campaign are meant to stand out for the right reasons, yet every year we see amusing new examples of contextual advertising that's gone wrong in some way.
Here are 16 of the more ironic ad placements I've seen over the past year or so (most of which are contextual). They are often funny, ridiculous and horrendous all at the same time.
Perhaps we'll see less of them in the years ahead as targeted advertising tools evolve, but for now we should understand the importance of choosing a few negative keywords when you programme your next campaign.
Last week, Google announced that it would be changing the placement of PPC ads on some of its search results pages, moving them from the right hand side to the bottom of the page.
According to Google's blog post, moving the ads to the bottom means they 'fit better into the user's flow', and that this new placement improved average CTR.
I've been asking PPC professionals about what these changes mean...