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eBay’s contextual ad program

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday June 17, 2006 )

eBay AdContext is a new contextual advertising revenue generation option for site owners, roughly along the lines of AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network. A snippet of code is implemented in the source of a page, an eBay bot then scans the content of the site and returns (hopefully) relevant eBay listings, categories or eBay search results pages.

eBay AdContext offers text, text & image and flash ads – samples of which can be viewed here.

According to eBay, their contextual ads will balance the popularity of relevant keywords on eBay with the content of the site where the ads will appear, which should help generate more conversions for affiliates participating in the program. Unlike Adsense or YPN, affiliates are not paid on clicks, but on sales.

The payout to affiliates is 40% of the revenue on the minimum tier and on the maximum tier it’s 70%. It’s important to note that these percentages aren’t based on the price achieved for the item purchased, but on eBay’s cut of listing fees, commissions etc. The cookie lasts for 7 days and applies to any purchases that someone who clicks through makes during that time.

At this stage, eBay AdContext is in beta . If you’re interested in joining the beta, you’ll need to be an eBay Affiliate (the sign up is at; and then email with a request. At this point in time eBay hasn’t published a general launch date.

There’s also a new beta API for AdContext which enables developers to access the backend technology that drivers AdContext, allowing the creation of custom applications – to get more info on that, email

Ken, one of eBay’s product managers, has posted to Problogger with a stack more information about AdContext, well worth checking out.

If anyone’s running eBay AdContext at the moment or has been accepted into the beta and is gearing up to give it a whirl, it would be great to read your thoughts so far!


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