Contextual Advertising in the Internet Landscape: A Guide for Advertisers

From print to digital, we have seen how advertisers have shifted their advertising strategies. Before digitalization took center stage in the advertising industry, print advertising was the most trusted source. It was believed that it engages the audience beyond the page.  

However, evolution took place and advertisers shifted to digital advertising as it filled the void created by print advertising. This shift wasn’t the end but rather, the beginning of a new advertising era.

Advertisers had been leveraging third-party data for a long time because it was an easier and faster method of data collection. It was in 2017 when Apple and Friefix completely banned third-party cookies. This was done to abide by the privacy of the user. 

Interestingly, third-party cookies were never meant to be utilized in the manner being used. They were created by Lou Montulli, who was an engineer at Netscape, the then-leading web browser. 

Third-party cookies were created to make the user’s web journey easier. In the 1990s when a user visited a website and clicked on the next page or refreshed the current one the browser would not recognize them and treat them as a new user. To end this, cookies were created which had the user’s information. However, with time the use of these cookies changed, from remembering data advertisers began capitalizing it by utilizing it for targeting personalized ads. 

Rise of Contextual Advertising

Since the audience was being targeted with ads based on their search history, they began to feel unsafe. It made the audience feel as if they were being tracked at every step and they could unfold how their information could be misused if it went into the wrong hands. 

Considering the audience’s concerns, Apple and Firefox banned the cookies and Google began to plan a strategic phase-out. This move led advertisers on the path of looking for targeting alternatives. 

Contextual targeting became a popular alternative as it created a win-win situation for both. 

In fact, a study indicates that by 2023, the market for contextual advertising is projected to reach USD 297.68.

Another study stated, contextually relevant advertising produced 43% higher neural engagement. This happened because users remembered contextual advertisements 2.2 times better than ordinary ads. 

Contextual ads are indeed a safer and better targeting option in cookieless-future but advertisers need to put in more effort to get better ROIs in the internet landscape. 

Internet Landscape

The Internet is a vast field that gives brands an opportunity to establish themselves in every possible way. Earlier websites played a crucial role in building brand presence. But in today’s time, other platforms are also equally contributing. 

Due to this one size fits all approach doesn’t work anymore and advertisers need to form contextually relevant strategies for every digital channel of advertising. 

It’s safe to say that with the evolution of the internet and advertising, the audience is constantly in an internet bubble. To leverage this engagement brands need to focus on making advertising strategies that are audience-interested and result-oriented. To combine the two advertisers need to focus on the following factors. 

1. Understand the Audience 

The content must be relevant to the type of audience. 

For example, The ad for Nike shoes will be perfect for Instagram but not for LinkedIn. This is because the audience interacts with every platform differently. 

2. Communication

Communication is the key to engaging the audience. People must know how a brand’s offering will make their life better. Even the most spectacular marketing campaigns will fail if advertisers fail to communicate the worth of their offering. 

3. Authenticity

In today’s time, the audience craves authenticity. Advertisers need to create ads that resonate with their audience’s values and beliefs. They need to understand that people are more likely to engage with an ad if they feel it’s genuine and authentic.

4. Personalization

Personalization is the key to making ads feel less intrusive. Advertisers need to analyze their audience’s behavior and make ads that feel like recommendations rather than ads.


The internet has changed the way businesses advertise their products and services. The rise of digital advertising has paved the way for more personalized and contextually relevant advertising. The phasing out of third-party cookies has led to a shift toward contextual advertising. This has resulted in better engagement and higher ROIs for advertisers.

In today’s internet landscape, brands need to focus on creating contextually relevant advertising strategies that cater to every digital channel. Understanding the audience, effective communication, authenticity, and personalization are key to making ads that resonate with the audience.

As the internet continues to evolve, advertisers need to adapt and come up with new ways to engage their audience. By keeping up with the latest trends and technologies, brands can establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the digital space.