eBay offers contextual ads through the eBay Partner Network, its affiliate program that rewards publishers for driving traffic and sales to its marketplace.
eBay Partner Network explained in a recent blog post how affiliate publishers could display contextual ads based on the content of their pages. The concept behind contextual ads: a visitor reading an article about doll collecting might be predisposed to click on an ad for eBay that shows collectible dolls available for sale.
In eBay’s case, it explains how it uses technology to algorithmically identify top relevant keywords on the page based on the content of the page. Among the approaches eBay describes are the following:
– Using the tested and effective eBay search algorithm to provide relevant eBay items to be rendered on the publisher page;
– Triggering the item rendering algorithm only when the page returns a positive sentiment. We have built a sentiment prediction algorithm for every HTML page, based on the content and context.
eBay describes an example where its system had to decide whether to display “Stranger Things memorabilia or “Stranger Things” Demogorgon posters on an affiliate’s page that wrote about the television series.
eBay revealed that its marketing data science team is also working on being able to generate contextual eBay listings based on the images shown on the affiliate publisher’s page.
It’s a technical article, but eBay concludes, “if a publisher can render contextually relevant eBay items on their page without having to do anything except sign up for the program, we end up with a beneficial ecosystem for the publisher, buyers, sellers, and eBay.”
For sellers, that means if eBay can help affiliates display relevant listings on their content pages, it could drive shoppers to their listings.