Another Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Fails Badly

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That's the way the ill-advised trademark lawsuit crumbles. Photo credit: Angry businessman crashing stone trademark with karate punch // ShutterStock

That’s the way the ill-advised trademark lawsuit crumbles. Photo credit: Angry businessman crashing stone trademark with karate punch // ShutterStock

This case is so pathetic, it probably only warrants a tweet. The TL; DR version: another trademark owner initiates a lawsuit over keyword advertising and gets crushed in court. The end.

The antagonist is a Florida van rental service operating under several brands. The services include special transportation services for people with various ailments. The defendant, apparently providing similar or rival services, bought Google AdWords on several common phrases that overlapped with the antagonist’s brand names. The defendant also used Google’s dynamic keyword insertion tool, so the keywords–overlapping the antagonist’s brand names–showed up in the ad titles.

OK, what are these brand names worth a federal trademark lawsuit? Two of them are “Discount Mobility” and “Discount Mobility USA.” The PTO deemed them descriptive, and the court has little trouble agreeing. The only evidence of secondary meaning is that the antagonist has used the names on the web since 2002. The court says BFD.

The other litigated brand name is “Medical Travel.” The PTO found this term generic, and the court agrees–especially because the antagonist used the term generically in its marketing materials. The state of Florida registered the name, which gives it a presumption of validity, but the court says “that presumption has been overcome by overwhelming proof of genericness.” Oof.

What more is left to say? The antagonist spent a fair amount of money to have the court reiterate what the PTO already told it, and now the antagonist has judicial precedent that its marks are currently worthless or permanently dead. For similar outcomes in keyword advertising cases, see the Scooter Store and American Blinds v. Google cases. The only thing left for the judge to do is award the defendant its attorneys’ fees–arguably the case is “exceptional” given the antagonist’s attempts to enforce marks the PTO had already told it weren’t enforceable.

I’ll close by once again highlighting the real lesson about keyword advertising litigation: it’s rarely an economically rational decision, so the odds are good it’s not worth pursuing.

Case citation: Florida Van Rentals, Inc. v. Auto Mobility Sales, Inc., 2015 WL 179294 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 14, 2015).

Some Related Posts

* Duplicitous Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuits–Fareportal v. LBF (& Vice-Versa)

* Trademark Owners Just Can’t Win Keyword Advertising Cases–EarthCam v. OxBlue

* Want To Know Amazon’s Confidential Settlement Terms For A Keyword Advertising Lawsuit? Merry Christmas!

* Florida Allows Competitive Keyword Advertising By Lawyers

* Another Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Unceremoniously Dismissed–Infostream v. Avid

* Another Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Fails–Allied Interstate v. Kimmel & Silverman

* More Evidence That Competitive Keyword Advertising Benefits Trademark Owners

* Suing Over Keyword Advertising Is A Bad Business Decision For Trademark Owners

* Florida Proposes to Ban Competitive Keyword Advertising by Lawyers

* More Confirmation That Google Has Won the AdWords Trademark Battles Worldwide

* Google’s Search Suggestions Don’t Violate Wisconsin Publicity Rights Law

* Amazon’s Merchandising of Its Search Results Doesn’t Violate Trademark Law

* Buying Keyword Ads on People’s Names Doesn’t Violate Their Publicity Rights

* With Its Australian Court Victory, Google Moves Closer to Legitimizing Keyword Advertising Globally

* Yet Another Ruling That Competitive Keyword Ad Lawsuits Are Stupid–Louisiana Pacific v. James Hardie

* Another Google AdWords Advertiser Defeats Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

* With Rosetta Stone Settlement, Google Gets Closer to Legitimizing Billions of AdWords Revenue

* Google Defeats Trademark Challenge to Its AdWords Service

* Newly Released Consumer Survey Indicates that Legal Concerns About Competitive Keyword Advertising Are Overblown

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January 22nd 2015 Marketing

Vonage Isn’t Liable For Disclosing ‘Unlisted’ Phone Number

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Miller is a psychologist who undertakes efforts to keep his phone number unlisted. As part of his work, he evaluated the mental health of criminal defendants. (For various reasons, his family wished to keep the number unlisted as well).

He switched from TDS Metrocom to Vonage and researched whether Vonage would list his phone number and address. He determined that Vonage would not list his information. Nevertheless, his number was published after he ported the number to Vonage, so he started getting business-related calls at home, which bothered him and his family. He sued Vonage under various theories, but the court dismisses his case. (It dismissed the claims previously, and dismisses the as-amended claims with prejudice.)

Misrepresentation: The misrepresentation claim, which was required to be pled with particularity, was premised on a statement on Vonage’s website:

Vonage does not publish or submit entries to phone books or directory assistance (411) listings. However, there are internet resources you can use to add, edit or remove your own listings.

If you are transferring your phone number to Vonage and your phone number was previously listed, specify Yes on the Number Transfer Authorization form when asked if you want to maintain your current directory listing with your incumbent carrier. Otherwise, if you select No, your listing is removed.

He also alleged that he was given various choices of boxes to check when he signed up on the Vonage website, and he requested that his number be unpublished. He also alleged that after signing up, he received an email confirmation to the effect that Vonage is “committed to safeguarding your personal account information and protecting your privacy.”

His relationship with Vonage was also governed by Vonage’s terms of service, which explained that numbers that are ported (transferred) “may be or remain listed,” as opposed to numbers that were originally provided from Vonage, which could be suppressed upon request. The TOS also contain an integration clause saying that it supersedes prior or separate statements.

The court rejects the misrepresentation claim. Miller’s claim sounds more a failure to perform (which may be actionable in contract) rather than a statement that Vonage had no intention of completing. The facts also showed that a subcontractor errantly published the listing information, and the publication was a result of a mistake rather than misrepresentation. Finally, the integration clause neutralizes all of the extraneous statements that Miller tried to rely on for a promise.

Deceptive trade practice: The court took a similar view of the deceptive trade practices claim. Miller tried to argue that Vonage’s interpretation of the terms (that informed subscribers that previously published phone numbers may remain listed) rendered the website statements—that “Vonage does not publish or submit entries to phone books or directory assistance (411) listings”—misleading. These claims also fail. The court says the website statements are merely a description of the services that Vonage offers, and there’s no allegation that these statements were untrue or misleading when made.

Negligence: Miller’s negligence claim also fails. Since there’s an operative contract, Miller has to identify an independent duty that Vonage failed to fulfill. Miller is unable to do this. There’s no general duty to refrain from publishing someone’s phone number and contact information, and Miller can’t construct a negligence claim merely by arguing that Vonage failed to adequately perform the acts requested by Miller.


This is a pretty interesting case factually and legally, and is vaguely reminiscent of Nasser v. Whitepages. One key difference is that unlike the Whitepages case, this one involved claims against a provider directly, rather than against a directory service.

Miller’s conclusion after his inquiry that his number would be kept private did not seem totally off the mark. As described in the complaint, the explanation on Vonage’s website and the options given to onboarding customers left a customer’s understanding regarding non-publication far from clear. But Vonage’s integration clause in the terms effectively neutralizes any website representations. The previous iteration of the complaint also alleged dealings Miller had with Vonage’s customer service representatives, but luckily for Vonage, the court says that these discussions do not inform the issue of whether Vonage breached the operative contractual provision. For what it’s worth, even the contract language seemed unclear. However you come out on this dispute, Vonage’s explanation for when a number would remain unlisted was lackluster at best.

The court’s previous order tackled the question of whether mere disclosure of someone’s telephone number and address could be a privacy violation, and the court emphatically says no:

A reasonable person, even one who wanted his or her address and phone number to be unlisted, would not find their disclosure in a phone book or other directory to be highly offensive.

This is probably driving the result here.

[Eric’s comment: that last point is interesting. I wonder how the judge would feel if his home phone number was published? After all, judges are routinely issuing life-altering jail sentences and have good reasons to keep their home contact information out of the public eye. Given Miller’s profession, he’s apparently interested in privacy for the same reasons. That doesn’t mean Vonage should be legally on the hook, but dismissing his privacy interests seems a little unfair.]

Case citation: Miller v. Vonage Am. Inc., 14-CV-379 (E.D. Wisc. Jan. 5, 2015)

Related posts:

WhitePages Gets Its Inevitable Section 230 Win–Nasser v. WhitePages

Section 230 Immunizes Website For Super-User’s Doxxing–Internet Brands v. Jape

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January 20th 2015 Marketing

Fifty Shades of Grey Did $1 Million in Advanced E-Tickets in First 3 Days

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All signs point to Fifty Shades of Grey being an R-rated blockbuster hit of unusual magnitude.

According to a source with direct knowledge of the sales figures, after tickets for the film—based on the erotic trilogy by author E.L. James—went on sale Jan. 11, it tallied $1 million in online sales before end-of-day Tuesday.

And Fandango this morning reported that Fifty Shades is the fastest-selling R-rated movie in its 15-year history. It is currently besting R-rated box office triumphs of the past such as Gone Girl, Sex and the City 2 and the second and third Hangover movies, per the online movie-ticket service.

The film has racked up close to 40 million YouTube views for a handful of trailers being released in recent weeks. (See one of the more popular clips below.)

A statement from Fandango today said theaters across the country were adding new show times daily to its website this week to meet the huge fan demand. The highly anticipated film opens on Feb. 13, just in time for Valentine's Day.

"Very few books can claim true national phenomenon status—and Fifty Shades ranks with Twilight, The Hunger Games and Gone Girl as novels that entered the zeitgeist from coast to coast," said Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger. "Fans of the book have been waiting for years to see their favorite sexy characters come to life on the big screen, and they are clearly fueling our sensational advance sales."

January 17th 2015 Marketing, Technology

Mobile Marketing: What Forwardfacing Marketers Are Considering

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mobile-phone-account-rechargingE-Commerce: Preparing for mobile payments

One of the biggest traditional mobile commerce challenges for visitors on mobile devices is going through the process of buying something. Even with a responsive websites or mobile only experience, it is very difficult to make online payments. Mobile payments systems are finally starting to gain ground among users.

Whole Foods recently announced that about 1% of its transactions were now through Apple Pay. Also, a post today on Apple Insider stated that Bank Of America customers have activated 1.1 million cards on Apple Pay.

Overall, Forrester predicts that between all of the mobile commerce systems (Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Venmo, and Square Cash) mobile payments will increase from $52 billion to $142 billion in the United States by 2019.

If you’re doing ecommerce online, getting ready for mobile commerce is something to consider for POS, mobile site and  app for 2015. Otherwise, this is something that you should monitor very closely this year.

Publishers: Potential Page Segmentation Updates Targeting Ad Filled Mobile Experiences

One thing that I see very commonly over and over again are ad links disquised as navigation and huge adblocks above content. Although I’m sure that many companies are cashing in on this right now, I have a feeling that it is only a matter of time before search engines take similar actions on mobile experiences related to ads as they have done for desktop experiences.

It may not be within the next couple months, or even in 2015, but eventually search engines will also be analyzing mobile landing pages in a similar way as they analyze desktop landing pages and experiences.

Lead Generation: Email Capture & Event Tracking Is More Important Than Ever

If your customers have a longer conversion journey, you expect that visitors will interact with your site using multiple devices. Unavoidably, this throws off some of your your anlaytics reporting. Now, more than ever, it is important to create email capture opportunities not only for lead nurturing but also to get a better view of customers.

These opportunities can be created with ebook downloads, webinar promotions, and more. Also, event tracking can be used to track meaningful interactions such as RSS subscribers, blog comments, PDF views and more. Doing this will provide you with other datapoints to help you create a more descriptive picture of how visitors are using your website.

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The post Mobile Marketing: What Forwardfacing Marketers Are Considering appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

January 17th 2015 Marketing

A Peek into the Shadow CES – Now on Linkedin Pulse

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What’s it really like at CES? The problem is that there are a lot of different versions of CES – two in particular. 

This is what I try to illustrate in this new post now on LinkedIn. Here’s a brief excerpt:

The Public CES is the one the media covers. Want to see the curved 4K TVs with OLED or whatever nanoparticles that make the picture a million times better than the set you bought last year? Want to see the new smart washing machine that has a smaller version of a washing machine built into it? (That’s a real product from LG.) Want to see lots of models running on treadmills to show off wearable devices? Want to see that startup being crowdfunded by the entrepreneur whose startup there last year didn’t meet its crowdfunding goal so he’s copying the guy in the booth next to him? All that and more abounds in the Public CES…

The other CES is the Shadow CES. This is the one that tends not to get as much attention, but for some brands, it’s more productive. It happens at places like the Cosmopolitan or Four Seasons. A more official version of the Shadow CES took place at the Aria this year. Dubbed the C-Space, it was where marketers could meet up with established media companies like NBC Universal and emerging ones like Samba TV. They could also meet with each other. I joined one private discussion with select executives from an advertising trade association. While it had little to do with CES directly, it was a terrific opportunity to learn from these people who I wouldn’t have readily met otherwise.

There’s a lot more about this Second CES, so head to LinkedIn for far more context on this theme, and your comments are welcome there as well. It’s actually the fourth post I’ve shared on LinkedIn, and except to see more there this year, especially when I have some thoughts that aren’t a natural fit for an outlet like Ad Age, which will continue to be my go-to. 

January 14th 2015 Marketing

What does “Do It Wrong Quickly” really mean?

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by Mike Moran

If you haven’t read my book (I assume that’s most of you), you might not be seduced by the idea of doing anything wrong. And I have noticed that there are more and more critics of this “fail fast” idea, who are starting to talk about a “cult of failure.” Now, I am sure that there are folks who are embracing failure to take off the pressure or to be unaccountable or for other weird reasons. But that’s not me. (I swear.)

The title of my book, “Do It Wrong Quickly” was supposed to be a joke–the kind of New York sarcasm that gets you to think differently. If you’re anything like me, you don’t need anyone to coach you in how to do things wrong. I am great at that with no help at all.

But what I noticed is that many people were paralyzed by the fear of doing things wrong.

Instead of trying things and learning from them, they wanted to investigate and study and seek advice and fifteen other things that all serve to delay doing something. They wanted to make sure they were doing it right. But my whole point is that waiting to do it right is itself often wrong.

And my book is also about marketing. Digital marketing. I don’t advocate “do it wrong quickly” aerospace. (You can be on that first flight, thank you very much.) This is marketing, not NASA.

Traditional marketing had lots of risk. It cost lots of money, it was hard to change, and you needed to commit most of your budget before you knew how well it was working. Digital marketing is nothing like that, so you need to adjust.

It is not that you are trying to do things wrong. You are just accepting that most first tries in marketing are wrong. They aren’t the best. They can be improved.

That’s where the “quickly” part comes in. If you know how to keep score–which metrics are the ones that tell a success from a flop–then you can quickly adjust and try something else. That’s what digital marketing allows–no, demands. With Internet marketing, you have to be willing for your original idea to be wrong and quickly go to Plan B, Plan C–all the way to Plan Z–until you get it right. Or you abandon it and try something else completely.

That’s not embracing failure. It is accepting that initial failure is the fastest way to learning what works.

Originally posted on Biznology.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

4 Awesome Holiday Strategies From 2014

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holidaysSo, it is almost inventory time and many of us have holiday hangovers!

I know that I’ve spent a good deal of time shopping online and offline this year and thought I’d share some of the cool offline / online integration strategies and online strategies that I’ve seen this season.

1 – Receipt by email as part of the big box POS experience

Even for in-store visitors who are protective of their inboxes, this one is hard to resist, especially during the holiday season when you have to keep on top of fistfuls of receipts and gift receipts! Although this feature is well known by square users, it is great to see adaptation by big box retailers – I will be curious to watch after the season is over, if and how all that great email data will be leveraged.

free-wi-fi-zone2 – Free instore wifi for customers

I love my wifi hotspots, and I’m sure I’m not the only one! This year, I saw several retailers offer wifi hotspots in-store. Although, I’d be very curious as to what the level of usage will be, it is definitely an interesting trend.

3 – Innovative app features

Retailers are finding really exciting ways to allow people to use their devices to assist them with their instore experience. Some cool features I’ve seen this year included:

  1. In-App Price Comparisons – Apps automatically compare against prices offered by competitors
  2. In-store navigation – Use navigation features to navigate to what you’re looking for, especially useful for really large stores.

4 – Holiday website hubs

For many websites, seasonal content is not handled as its own immersive experience. In a sense, the homepage becomes the holiday hubpage. As I was looking through some of the bigger retailers and retailers across a variety of niches, I saw an amazing array of methods in terms of handling holiday promotions on homepages.

All some websites had was one slider image with offers and just a few featured holiday products. Other websites changed their entire homepage became holidayfied. My favorite approach this year was devoting a section of the homepage that leads you into a holiday portal, especially for big websites that sell offerings for Holiday decorating, such as ornaments, plastic trees, wrapping paper and other holiday stuff. This created clear homepage user paths for visitors who are holiday shopping and those that were not.

Bonus – Creating Holiday Web Experiences By Audience Type

This is one area especially for website shopping where I feel that most of the websites that I looked at this holiday season missed the mark. Although many of the websites have holiday landing pages, many of them are low quality in several respects. Websites either did not have such pages and if they did, there was not even a user path from the homepage – not even on one that I looked at.

Beyond that many of the ones that did have a dedicated landing page, the landing page was very poorly optimized. Overall, I think for 2016, creating a better user flow on the website for holiday pages is definitely an opportunity for many.

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The post 4 Awesome Holiday Strategies From 2014 appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

December 25th 2014 Marketing

More Top Media Publications Trust Programmatic For Premium Ad Inventory

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More top publishers are opting into programmatic ad networks to sell premium advertising.

Varick Media Management recently signed deals with Time Inc., News Corp., American Media Inc. and Wenner Media and will help them sell ad units that feature photography, videos and other types of media for their websites.

"There still is a large segment of the market that views programmatic as the remnant stuff," said VMM vp of product strategy Jim Caruso. "But it can be used as a holistic part of your strategy."

Currently, real-time bidding programmatic rules the market, making up $9.25 billion out of the $10 billion industry. But, direct programmatic buying is taking over more of the space, growing 850 percent in 2014 to make up $800 million of the pie.

One of the benefits of going programmatic is that publishers can access data that they wouldn't get via traditional ad buying, Caruso explained. VMM can combine its data with publisher first-party data to guarantee better hit rates for key audiences. Not only do people get the right ad at the right time, they see high impact creative that can be targeted across a media company's family of sites.

"I think that everyone should move to automation because it's more efficient," Caruso said.

Patrick Dolan, evp and COO of the IAB, added that programmatic marketplaces aren't really about what type of ad content is being sold, but about the process. He isn't surprised by the growing number of media companies shifting to automated buying.

"Adoption of these transactions and strategies will continue to grow in the coming year and the (IAB) Programmatic Council will continue its focus in these areas," he said.

Altimeter analyst Rebecca Lieb said that it was natural that publishers would want scalable and more efficient ways to purchase premium inventory, but cautioned that not everyone views programmatic as favorably as VMM does.

"As in the physical world, terming something premium implies there's a level of thought and manual attention that's almost antithetical to the concept of 'programmatic,'" she said. "Definitions of these terms vary, of course, but there's no doubt that 'premium programmatic' is a trend still in its very early stages of development."

Compreenda o funil de pesquisa para vender mais

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O funil de vendas é um recurso poderoso para entender como funciona a mente do consumidor quando sai em busca de um produto ou serviço através de buscas na internet.

O funil de vendas é o mapeamento das 5 fases de consideração pelas quais o cliente médio passa ao decidir a compra de um produto, serviço ou solução:



Exposição:o consumidor é exposto a uma necessidade ou desejo, e decide ir atrás de uma solução.

Descoberta:o consumidor faz uma pesquisa ampla, tentando se informar sobre as alternativas disponíveis, padrões, características e demais informações que forem relevantes.

Consideração:Nesta fase haverá muita comparação entre produtos, fornecedores e sites de concorrentes. O design conta muito nesta fase.

Avaliação:O consumidor filtra entre as opções que encontrou e compara poucas opções finais, comparando preços, garantia e suporte, por exemplo.

Decisão:O consumidor efetua a compra em si, gerando a conversão do prospect em uma venda efetiva, ou do lead num cliente assinante, por exemplo.


Uma fase posterior, geralmente não considerada, é o pós-venda. A Retençãoé importante para que este cliente volte a comprar do mesmo vendedor ou fornecedor, e isso se dá através do atendimento, da garantia, do suporte e do relacionamento com este cliente.


O funil de vendas para as buscas


Dentro destes parâmetros, podemos ilustrar as fases de busca que cada consumidor faz. Imagine uma pessoa iniciando a prática esportiva de corrida, em busca de um tênis:


Na fase de exposição, o treinador pediu ao novo atleta que compre tênis de corrida adequados, sem dar maiores instruções.

Algumas possíveis buscas seriam:

· tênis de corrida

· marcas de tênis

· tênis maratona

· tênis esportivo

Note que os termos são bastante amplos, por ser uma fase bastante inicial de pesquisa de informações.


Na fase seguinte, a tendência é das buscas se aprofundarem um pouco mais:

· melhores tênis de corrida

· tênis de corrida comparativo

· tênis de corrida opinião

· tênis para corrida masculino

· tênis treino em pista de terra

Conforme aprendeu com as pesquisas iniciais, o consumidor ficou mais seletivo, julgando os resultados a partir de seus aprendizados. Com o que sabe agora, começará a considerar opções.


Como já conhece as marcas e modelos, o consumidor direciona sua busca para itens mais específicos:

· tênis nike ou mizuno?

· tênis corrida mizuno

· tênis corrida nike

· tênis corrida adidas

· nike air racing

· mizuno wave 15

· wave creation 15 masculino

Esta fase muitas vezes já precede a decisão de compra.


Na fase pré-compra, o consumidor já está em busca do fornecedor:

· mizuno wave 15 menor preço

· mizuno wave 15 azul escuro

· nike air max preto

· nike air racing menor preço

A busca nesta fase costuma incluir marcas, cores, tamanhos, pesos e outras especificações de detalhes relevantes.


O momento da decisão inclui as informações que podem mudar o jogo de última hora:

· nike air max frete grátis

· nike air max promoção

· nike air max preto moema são paulo

· loja nike centro curitiba

· nike air preto 43 masculino rio de janeiro

As buscas nesta última fase são muito específicas e já precedem o momento de compra. Usar as palavras certas nesta fase pode ser a diferença entre converter a venda ou perder o cliente.

É fundamental nesta fase considerar os comportamentos de compra, as dúvidas potenciais e as palavras que os clientes usariam antes de comprar.


Esteja em todas as fases do funil


Um erro comum é aparecer somente na fase final de avaliação e decisão, sem antes ter sido exposto ao cliente ou ter passado pela sua consideração. Quanto mais um cliente encontra um site nos resultados de busca, tanto orgânicos quanto patrocinados, maiores as chances de considerar aquele site como opção final quando decidir sua compra.

Considerando o exemplo acima, se uma loja esportiva aparece somente nas buscas finais, mas não aparecia nas buscas iniciais, terá menos confiabilidade por parte do cliente no momento da decisão de compra.

Outro erro é comprar cliques sem planejamento, encaminhando o visitante para a Home do site ao invés de encaminhá-lo diretamente para a página do produto. É um erro amador, mas infelizmente muito comum em várias campanhas de busca ainda hoje.

Avalie seus dados de campanha, seus dados de visitação e mapeie seus funis de vendas. Entender o processo de decisão dos clientes é uma das melhores formas de aumentar suas vendas!


December 15th 2014 Marketing, Search

Contextual Advertising: What Is It and Why?

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Contextual Advertising, as a phrase, sounds so sophisticated, doesn’t it? Throw that one around in a couple of meetings and it sounds like you, as the marketing manager, know what you are talking about and expert in all things advertising. First, let’s jump into some resources that you can use, to get started with contextual advertising:


Infolinks is the epitome of contextual advertising.

Contextual Advertising:  Infolinks

Contextual Advertising: Infolinks Example

Infolinks is a creative look at contextual advertising, allowing elegant solutions that are less advertising-like and more natural. An example is a pop-up that would provide more information on a specific word (shown above). This allows the reader to click on the infolink and learn more about that topic, expanding their knowledge (while making you money, as the site owner).

The beauty of Infolinks and BuySellAds (described below) is that you could use them together, really maximizing the potential for making extra money on the site.

Google Adsense

Google adsense, the one that many of us cut our teeth on, offers the ability to choose the type of ads that you want displayed. It is a great tool to get started and to understand the process. But, it is not the only game in town. provides the ability to offer up certain ad spaces on the site and the advertiser can “purchase” those ad spots, similar to the newspaper idea where different ad spots have different price tags. In the same way, traffic, like newspaper circulation, is a factor. For, the publisher/site owner lists the advertising inventory. The contextual advertising part is where you decide whether or not you will accept an advertiser, based on the relevancy to your site. It is not automatic in the same way that Google Adsense and Infolinks are, but it is related. You can think of BuySellAds as a sort of advertising brokerage firm.

Wikipedia has a whole list of contextual advertising networks, including the now-defunct Yahoo Network.

Still Wondering What Contextual Advertising Is?

According to the ever-popular Wikipedia, contextual advertising is “a form of targeted advertising for advertisements appearing on websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the content displayed to the user.”

Contextual Advertising

Contextual Advertising

Let me give you a real time example… Just this week, I was met with my own example of contextual advertising. I was visiting different sites and kept seeing my own smiling face smiling back at me. You see, because I enjoy Jazz music, the contextual advertising algorithms on the advertising networks kept displaying advertisements for me, Deborah E. Now, if I lured you into clicking on that link, you will likely see the same thing when you visit sites that use contextual advertising, because your browser activity indicates that you have an interest.

This is why, if you are using a particular online software, say, Zoho, Mavenlink, Teamwork, you will see their ads pop up while you are reading your favorite blog. It recognizes the interest because you have visited and it serves up those ads through the network, which impacts several different sites.

Have you ever visited a site, especially on those one-off visits for a contest or something and then, for the next hour or so you see their ads everywhere where you surf? There you have it. Contextual advertising at work.

Why Do I Want Contextual Advertising?

The key is relevancy.

As a user, you want to see ads that appeal to you and to your interests.

As a business, you want to serve up ads that appeal to your visitors. You may not want to serve up an ad that is from your competitor, but something that is relevant to your visitor and related to your product or service.

If your product or service is social media marketing, you wouldn’t want to have a picture of an elephant on your site, for no reason. Unless.. you want people to be asking themselves why you have that elephant on your site (and click to a landing page for something), or the elephant is the mascot for your company. Otherwise, random pictures of objects and animals may not have anything to do with the product of social media marketing.

Ok, I take that back, cute kitty pictures do well on social media, so maybe…

Keep that Bottom Line in Mind At All Times

Unless you are giving away stuff for goodwill, you are likely interested in making money. So, keep that bottom line in mind. After you have ensured that your site is monetized and that you have your sales funnel, then ensure that the advertising that shows up on your site is relevant. Many contextual advertising sites provide opportunities to go through and select what you want displayed on your site, even, in some cases, the actual advertiser.

Remember, choose complimentary advertisers, but not competing. So, for my video marketing services, I display video equipment ads, but not other video marketing services or production services.

Contextual Advertising Brainstorming

Contextual Advertising Brainstorming

Oldies, but Goodies, Referencing Contextual Advertising

Want some oldies but goodies? It may give you “context” for the “contextual marketing.” Here on the Internet Marketing Ninjas blog, we have discussed contextual advertising in these articles:

Now What?

While it may have been true that you could make millions of dollars with contextual advertising, “back in the day,” it is still a viable option, even today. Why not consider adding it as one of the income streams for your business? It may just pay enough for the morning coffee at Starbucks. ;)


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December 11th 2014 Marketing