Contextual Targeting Sucks

Well it sure sucks a lot of the time.

This morning I woke up and checked in on my blog.

There were ads for stem cells and pro-life wristbands on it.

Neither of which I am advocating.

And neither of which I would expect my audience to be particularly interested in either.

Sometimes the contextual stuff works brilliantly.  Like the Amazon ads in my RSS feed (courtesy of Feedburner) that place an ad for the Bright Eyes or Sondra Lerche albums right at the bottom of those posts.

And I think contextual may work even better in RSS than it does in HTML since the post is often a tighter set of context than a web page.

But in general, the results are really mixed.  And it makes me wonder about the long term viability of contextual advertising at large.  At a minimum, the ads need to be delivered with some filter that is publisher driven so that the really off base stuff doesn’t get in.

This is not the first time I’ve made this point.  Last November my blog was full of Ralph Nader and OTC Venture Capital deals.

It hasn’t gotten any better since then and I fear its gotten worse.