When it comes down to monetizing the Internet, there are two different kinds of ads. One is a text-based ad or keywords, namely AdWords, which Google basically has a monopoly over. One reason why this works so well is due to the intentionality in users’ behavior. Say if a girl wants a Barbie, the mother would go to a search engine and type in ‘Barbie’, and whichever shopping site makes a catchy header or has the best sale shall get the successful transaction and the search engine that provides the referral gets the commission for being a middlemen. Which has the best search engine? Google, ofc. That’s why they’re so successful, having raked in $5.1 billion dollars this past quarter.
The other kind of ad is contextual ads, often displayed in banners and it is this area that many web companies are striving to get our eyeballs as many as they can. Google has AdSense. Facebook has banner ads, often seen on the right side of your browser. It doesn’t have the same sense of intentionality that I mention above and for this to work well, banner ads would have to be relevant and try to hold attention to our eyeballs and hope that it gets our pesky finger to click on their ads.
So, that’s pretty much how the Internet is monetized. Happy surfing and don’t forget to click!