Ever since Google AdSense opened up possibility to earn money as a web publisher, contextual advertising has assumed significance. Until a few years ago, banner ads were more favored. Google Adsense wasn't around, and often odds were against small businesses to place ads and get noticed. Over time, banner ads became less preferable mainly because web viewers increasingly considered them as major distractions. Overture and Google took in the scent quite early and started experimenting with text ads based on contextual advertising. Initially the emphasis was on showing text ads in search results when a search term coincided with the keyword chosen by the ads. AdWords took shape early 2002, and though Overture was already an old hand when AdWords started, the latter galloped ahead in no time. Google AdSense is a late entrant, followed only recently by Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN). After YPN debuted, there is no stopping the comparison between the two. For an average web publisher today and in coming days, it will be like 'the more, the better'. In this article, we will closely look at contextual advertising and how the competition between YPN and Google AdSense affects web publishers. Contextual advertising - what it means? Contextual advertising refers to those ads that are relevant to the content of a webpage in which they appear. For example, if a viewer visits a site about paintings, and the site shows contextual advertising like Google AdSense, the viewer will see ads related to paintings, such as watercolor works, art gallery and so on. Contextual advertising is dynamic, so if a viewer refreshes a webpage, a completely new set of ads appears. Google AdSense on the cue After overwhelming success of AdWords in relatively short time, Google AdSense came to be launched in early 2003, a program that is all about contextual advertising. To be true, eZula must retain credit of having first launched contextual advertising program way back in 2001. But it is Google AdSense which popularized the concept rapidly. What is good about Google AdSense is that it allows web publishers of any size to display its contextual advertising and earn money. In comes Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) Although belated, Yahoo launched YPN to take on Google AdSense in August last year in the field of contextual advertising. Though yet to be out of beta and still meant for US sites, YPN does appear as a whiff of fresh air in the sense that users will now have another option other than the ubiquitous Google AdSense. As of now, there is less variety in YPN compared to Google AdSense. However, YPN is said to be paying far more than Google AdSense for each click generated, which is one reason why YPN publishers are happy with its contextual advertising. YPN versus Google AdSense It is early days to compare between the two, especially since YPN is yet to debut internationally. Going through user experience, the most important point that crops up is YPN's generous EPC as said above. Google AdSense is more superior in ad targeting which means more click-through-rate (CTR). Ad links are shown in Google AdSense, not so in YPN. On the other hand, while YPN displays link title to show the full ad text, Google AdSense does not. In addition to text ads, Google AdSense also allows image ads in the same format as text displays. There is however no way to know from ad statistics as to how image ads perform vis-à-vis text ads. Though necessarily contextual advertising, image ads still are a throwback to old days of banner ads. YPN does not show image ads. Summing up, there is no doubt that contextual advertising is here to stay. As YPN evolves further, the choice between it and Google AdSense can be expected to narrow down. For the moment, if you are not located in US, yet interested to make an earning through contextual advertising, the answer is Google AdSense. About the Author:Article by Josh - admin@hostingfrenzy.com,Josh is the webmaster of www.hostingfrenzy.com Visit his site for a comprehensive web hosting directory, articles, tools, and much more


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