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What is Online Advertising?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2014
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Online advertising is simply advertising that is done over the Internet. For those interested in such a strategy, there are a number of options and some have found a way to advertise online through things that do not appear to be traditional advertising mediums. While the effects of online marketing are still being studied, it is a rapidly-growing segment of the advertising dollar.

As more people turn to the Internet as a source for daily news, socialization and communication, more advertising dollars are likely to be spent. In fact, in a period of five years, from 2006 to 2010, online advertising is expected to increase from 6 percent of all money spent for advertising, to 12 percent or more. That could signify the beginning of a fundamental shift in how all advertising dollars are spent.

Online advertising is also quickly becoming a serious force for other types of advertising media to deal with. Newspapers and magazines all over the world are facing a number of different challenges, including loss of ad revenue. Many attribute some of those struggles to online marketing, which is not only taking a share of the advertising, but a share of the audience as well. This is especially true of the young adult male audience, which is a target demographic of many advertisers.

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However, newspapers and magazines are not the only media dealing with lower revenue. The remarkable thing about online advertising is its ability to cut across the spectrum. For example, online ads can look like television commercials or print ads. The possibilities are limitless. Further, because of hypertext linking, advertisers have the power to transport potential buyers directly to their site, or a site selling their products.

In some cases, online advertising may not look like advertising at all. There was one case where a video was put on an online video sharing Web site supposedly showing popcorn being popped by radiation put out from mobile phones. While this was later revealed as a hoax, the company that put the video online received a substantial amount of free, or nearly free, publicity. The company sold headset devices meant to help limit an individual's exposure to radiation.

Online advertising is also appealing to some advertisers because, with some types of ads, there is no pay unless there are results. With click-through advertising, the advertiser only pays if a user clicks on the ad. This type of strategy can make advertising very cost effective, especially for those who do not have large advertising budgets.

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Discuss this Article

FernValley
Post 4

@panda2006, I cannot stand those either. Once I clicked on one because I was not sure if that was what it was, and it was a "blog entry" about this anti aging "secret". They had even fabricated other user names to make comments and left a space for visitors to comment as well. It was pretty lame.

panda2006
Post 3

What really bothers me are those fake "local" advertising campaigns; you know, the ones that claim to be some medical breakthrough discovered by a local mother or something. These ads have been used so many times, you would think they would stop getting online advertising revenue. And yet every week or so I still see them on some website somewhere.

mitchell14
Post 2

Free online advertising can be nice, although many places do not like to offer it because their websites rely on paying advertisers to support their content. It's a cycle- advertisers pay ad hosts, allowing them to produce web content; content users click advertisements, allowing them to get good deals on products; and advertisers get more customers, allowing them to pay for more ads and support more content.

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