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Kontera Contextual Ads Review
I've used Kontera in-text advertising for years, both on HubPages and on my blogs, and I've been very happy with the results. But some people I run across in the online world seem to be confused about how Kontera works. My goal with this review is to clear up those misunderstandings by giving some details about how Kontera operates and also talk about my experience with it.
Kontera Contextual Ads vs. Google AdSense
Some people aren't sure about how to fit Kontera into their online monetization strategy, because they're concerned about whether it conflicts with running Google AdSense (it doesn't) and whether Kontera ads can be run on the same pages within a site as AdSense ads (they can). In fact, depending on the ads available at the time you visit, you'll probably be able to see both displayed on this page. It's important to note that Kontera was never meant to be a replacement for AdSense or similar text link advertising; it's an adjunct that allows you to monetize written content that wouldn't ordinarily produce revenue.
This review is divided into the following sections:
- My Experience with Kontera
- Kontera Poll
- How Kontera Works with Brief Video Overview
- Kontera Quick Facts for Publishers
- Kontera Quick Facts for Advertisers
- Recent Market Research Test Results
- Pros and Cons
- Kontera Terms Glossary
When I first started using Kontera I experienced a drop in my CPC after it being pretty high during the holidays. So I wrote to Kontera support. Their answer does a good job of explaining how Kontera works and how it fits into an overall Web ad strategy:
"Click-through generated revenue is influenced by many different factors, including a website's content; layout; traffic volume, etc. Kontera does not control the CPC that results from an advertisers' bidding process for our inventory. The CPC might not match your expectations because there may not be a strong advertisers' demand at this time.
Our ContentLink ads enable you to monetize areas of your site that haven't been generating revenues before. ContentLink’s earnings are therefore intended to be incremental, not a replacement or even a direct match to other advertising programs you may be using on your site.
It may require some patience on your part but I am glad to inform you that most of our publishers experience constant improvement in their numbers."
Have you ever heard of Kontera before?
The Kontera support rep was right about being patient; my CPC has definitely gone up since then. It's also gone back down again, because by its very nature it fluctuates and can be low at times. But on the plus side, sometimes it goes up dramatically, often for a month or two at a time, such as during holiday periods. Since I don't expect it to be my main money-maker and I understand how it works, I'm thrilled when it goes up and not too disappointed when it goes down. Those $50 days balance out the ones when I only make $5 or less.
I've also experienced that Kontera runs without any need to babysit or tweak it. Once you install the code, the only tweaking you may want to do is to change the link color. But chances are if you did that during installation, you won't need to do it again.
The Kontera Installation Interface
Video: See How Kontera Works
Kontera Ad Types
I've found Kontera very easy to implement on my hubs, and WordPress and Blogger blogs. After being approved (you need to write to Kontera support and submit the domains you want to display the ads), all you have to do is paste the ad code into the appropriate area for your platform. To get the code, just log into https://publishers.kontera.com/ and choose the "Kontera Setup" tab, pictured at right.
Here are the steps to take:
- Choose one of your sites from the pull-down menu.
- Choose whether you want to install code on a regular HTML Web site, a WordPress or Blogger blog, or on Joomla or Drupal sites.
- Select a link color to match your site or keep the default, which is blue. You can choose a different color by clicking the Web palette icon, which will cause a pop-up to appear that offers other standard colors. Just click on one of those colors and then the "OK" button to select an alternate color.
- Once you're happy with the link color, just click the "Select all" link to highlight the code so you can copy it.
- Learn how to install it on your particular platform by clicking on the "Implementation Guide" link. (See the link circled in red on my screenshot in the right column.)
Kontera Behind the Scenes
Here's an overview of how Kontera works:
- Advertisers bid for ads in the Kontera network.
- Publishers place the Kontera code on their sites and blogs.
- Kontera algorithms perform a six-step process for every page, which involves a.) extracting relevant data from the site; b.) using natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and other algorithms to determine keywords; c.) classifying each page by topic, commercial value and other factors; d.) analyzing each information type (videos, articles, blog posts, ads, etc.) to ensure relevancy; e.) matching of three to five keyword phrases with the most appropriate ads, and f.) fine-tuning ads, based on user interaction.
- Web visitors hover over the Kontera text links (these have double underlines to distinguish them from regular links) and see one of seven ad types (see the graphic in the right column for a visual representation of the types).
- If an ad is clicked, you make money, which is based on how much advertisers bid for keywords present on your site. You can check your earnings by visiting the "Reports" tab of the Kontera area for publishers.
- Kontera offers a variety of ad formats -- video, rich media, expandable, interactive, social marketing and custom units -- all linked from text. (See graphic above.)
- Ads have high relevancy to the surrounding copy, which encourages click-through.
- A creative services department is available to craft your ads.
- Your ads are monitored to ensure they only appear in appropriate content.
- Major advertisers such as Kellogg's, Microsoft, NBC, Ford, Nintendo, Fedex, BestBuy, GM, BlackBerry, Bank of America, U.S. News and World Report, Shape, Men's Fitness and many others are already using Kontera.
- Advertiser accounts are managed from inception to final execution to ensure optimzation and high performance.
- There are over 15,000 sites available for direct response ads and more are being added all the time.
- There are 5,000 premium sites available for brand engagement campaigns that average 10% click-through rates or more.
- Kontera pays its publishers in the first week of the month, as long as a minimum of $50 has been earned. Earnings of less than $50 roll over to the next month.
- It can take as long as 24 hours for Kontera tags to go live on a site.
- There should be 50 words-per-page or more on the majority of your site or blog.
- Your site or blog must have original content and be in English.
- Parked domains and sites or blogs under construction are ineligible.
- Sites or blogs that promote Illegal drugs or activities, racial intolerance, hate or pornographic material; have excessive profanity; feature materials that violate the intellectual property rights of the original creators or advocate against any person or group are not allowed.
- There are easy-to-use modules available for publishers who use WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, HubPages and Blogger, and you can also just paste the Kontera HTML code into your site.
- You can alter the density of the Kontera links on your site by writing to Kontera support.
Market research company comScore, in collaboration with Universal McCann, performed a detailed study spanning three months, which looked at multiple campaigns across Kontera’s network. They found the following results when comparing consumers who saw Kontera’s In-Text ads and other very similar consumers who were not exposed to the ads:
- Unaided brand awareness and top-of-mind awareness of Kontera ads were 4 and 5 times better than regular display ads (based on comScore norms).
- Viewers’ recall of primary campaign slogans that invited them to take specific actions at retailer locations was 2.5 times greater than normal display ads.
- Three weeks after seeing the ads, 400% more consumers who had seen Kontera ads were performing searches for the advertised products on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- 2.5 times as many of the panelists who viewed Kontera ads visited product information pages, compared to similar people who did not see Kontera’s ads.
Allows you to monetize areas of your sites, hubs and blogs that wouldn't ordinarily yield income
Lower-paying niches or off-peak times of year require quite a bit of traffic to see results
Easy to implement for publishers
Unpredictable CPC for publishers
Works on many platforms
Some people find the ads intrusive
Doesn't conflict with AdSense
Not effective as a main monetization method
Quality, brand-name advertisers
High-paying for certain high-demand niches or time periods
Pays after accumulating $50 in revenues, unlike other programs with higher minimums
Density of Kontera links on your site can be reduced by writing to Kontera support
Algorithm A set of computation rules or instructions that can be used to solve a problem or deliver answers. Kontera uses statistical, linguistic and semantic algorithms to determine which ads are placed within written content.
Contextual Advertising Text ads placed on Web sites and blogs, based on machine-learning algorithm analysis of their text, HTML, title and meta tags and other factors.
Natural Language Processing A branch of computer science that addresses interactions between computers and human languages, which are also known as "natural languages."
Semantic Pertains to the different meanings of words or other symbols.
Semantic Analysis One factor used to determine the placement of Kontera in-text advertising. Both semantic meaning and potential semantic relationships are evaluated in an effort to find the highest relevance to determine ad placement.
Businessman and world graphics by Ilco of sxc.hu.
Have a question about my experience with Kontera?
Feel free to ask a question in the comments below.