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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Google Adsense Alternatives: Contextual Advertising Networks

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Being one of the most popular of contextual advertising companies on the Web, Google Adsense is viewed as the leader of all contextual advertising networks by many Internet users. However, because of Google’s strict guidelines, tons of webmasters and bloggers alike are getting their accounts suspended without any questions asked or reasons given. In these situations, individuals must look for Google Adsense alternatives for income. However, Google Adsense alternatives that are as good as Adsense aren’t always easy to find. The following is a list of Google Adsense alternatives that are popular today.

This list will be updated as more contextual advertising networks are found.

Google Adsense alternatives image
Photo by Don Hankins (flickr)


AdBrite is a commonly used Google Adsense alternative, since they allow smaller blogs and websites to use their services. Like Adsense, AdBrite offers contextual advertising. However, AdBrite also gives users the ability to approve or reject each advertisement before it’s displayed on their website. Many publishers use this feature to adjust their ad rates. You can also sell ads to visitors with the “Your Ad Here” link that AdBrite automatically displays with every ad block.

The only downfall with AdBrite is that there aren’t as many different sized ad formats to choose from as there are with many other contextual advertising networks, including Adsense. However, AdBrite offers the most popular ad blocks that webmasters generally use.

AdBrite also offers Full Page, BritePic, and Inline ads in addition to text and banner advertisements. Publishers receive monthly checks in the mail as long as they reach the minimum requirement of $5.


Bidvertiser is a popular Google Adsense alternative for many webmasters because of their variety of ad formats and the ability to approve or reject ads that they don’t want to display on their website. In fact, Bidvertiser even offers a free design, where you can specify your own ad format dimensions. This can be useful when your blog sidebar is too small to fit a 300 x 250 ad block, but too large to use a skyscraper ad block. However, the free design ad format will generally only display text ads, since many advertisers only use popular formats for their advertisements.

Though a useful Google Adsense alternative, Bidvertiser sometimes will display ads that are not in English. This may reduce ad clicks if your website only attracts United States users. I’ve found that, even if I reject the international ads, some ad that aren’t in English will still display. Moreover, some ads that aren’t related to your niche or market may sneak on display. This can be very irritating for users, especially if you want to maximize your earning potential.

Payments are made on a monthly basis if you reach the minimum amount of money required for payment. To receive a check, you need to earn $50. If you opt not to receive a check, you can receive payment through PayPal, where you’ll only need to earn $10 to get paid.

Vibrant Media

Another popular contextual advertising network, Vibrant Media is mainly known for its in-text advertising. Instead of banner advertisements, Vibrant Media uses popovers, which are keywords that display related ads when hovered over with the mouse.

Other ad options Vibrant Media offers are Vibrant InterestAds and related content ads. With Vibrant InterestAds, you place a widget near your content and, whenever a reader hovers over certain keywords in your content, the ad shows up in the widget. Related content ads are similar to in-text advertising. Keywords marked with a magnifying glass pop up a search menu listing related videos or articles when you hover over the keywords with your mouse.

The downside of Vibrant Media is that you must have at least 500,000 unique monthly page views in order to qualify for in-text advertising. So, new bloggers or webmasters just starting out will have to look elsewhere for their ads. Vibrant Media pays on a monthly basis.


Chitika is a Google Adsense alternative popular with blogs targeting specific niches or markets. Unlike Google Adsense and many contextual advertising networks, Chitika displays ad blocks promoting products related to the website’s content and search terms. Chitika is especially effective on product review websites. Chitika also offers premium ads, an option to turn off ad blocks to regular users so that only traffic coming in through search engines see the ads. This is handy because regular visitors aren’t bothered with unnecessary advertisements. You can also show Chitika ads in addition to other contextual advertising networks because Chitika ads are product-based.

Chitika pays via PayPal or check as long as you reach a minimum of $10 (if getting paid via PayPal) or $50 (if getting paid via check).


Infolinks displays in-text advertising and can be used with other contextual advertising networks, like Chitika or Bidvertiser. Many tests have been done with Infolinks and other in-text advertising networks, and Infolinks has been noted to be the better paying. Because Infolinks pays you whenever a visitor hovers over a certain keyword and clicks the advertisement, Infolinks works best on content-rich websites.

Infolinks pays you on a monthly basis depending on your choice of payment, as long as you meet the minimum requirement of $50. Payment options are PayPal, Infolinks Prepaid Mastercard, bank wire transfer or ACH. The downside is that earnings don’t update until the day after the money is earned.


Like Infolinks, Kontera is an in-text contextual advertising network that can be used with other banner ad programs. Publishers that can use Kontera must live in the USA, Canada or the UK, according to Dosh Dosh. However, like Vibrant Media, your website must have a good number of monthly page impressions in order to be considered. Also, earning statistics are not in real time, and statistics reflect earnings made the day before.

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