Affiliate Marketing & Programs

What Is An Online Advertising Network?


Those new to Internet marketing find themselves faced with a slew of online advertising options. How do you decide which services are the best for your business? Before you choose, it is important to distinguish between two of the most popular online marketing tools—ad networks and affiliate networks.

Ad Networks vs. Affiliate Networks

What is an ad network, exactly? For online media, ad networks connect advertisers and publishers by providing a one-stop resource for planning, executing and tracking online advertising campaigns. If you are looking for an effective way to establish brand recognition, develop relationships with advertisers and connect with new customers, an ad network might be the perfect solution for your business.

Affiliate networks also connects merchants with publishers, but in a slightly different fashion. By participating in an affiliate network, you allow Web publishers to promote and sell your merchandise or service in order to earn a commission off of each sale. This mutually beneficial relationship is a great way to increase your online profile and sales revenue and allows other websites to earn money while marketing your merchandise.

An Overview of Advertising Networks

There are many different types of online advertising. Most ad networks utilize text ads, banner ads, or pop-up advertisements. Some ad networks are also beginning to feature dynamic ads using Flash animation. Whichever type of ad you choose to market your business, remember that contextual advertising is always the most effective option. Featuring your ads on websites focused on related topics is the best way to reach out to potential customers.

Advantages of Joining an Ad Network

What can an ad network do for your business? The greatest benefits of joining an ad network are the ability to build brand recognition and reach out to consumers.  Ad networks allow you to target a specific audience, which is the most effective way to attract new customers. These services also help increase the visibility and profile of your business by featuring ads on numerous websites.

Ad networks are also a great way to stretch your advertising dollars for all they’re worth. While all ad networks vary, most offer a variety of options that give you control over your budget and expenses. One common payment model is a CPM network, which charges based on the number of page views generated by an ad. The advertiser pays for every thousand page impressions rather than paying for every click made by a reader. The benefit of this model is that it leads to considerable exposure and is generally quite affordable.

Major Advertising Networks

Once you’ve decided to join an advertising network, you need to find the service that is best suited to your needs and budget. While there are literally dozens of ad networks available, the following are some of the major networks preferred and recommended by online businesses.

  • Google AdWords

  • ValueClick

  • Yahoo Search Marketing

  • 24/7 RealMedia

  • AdBrite

  • BURST! Media

  • Tribal Fusion


Before you decide, spend some time researching the terms of service, payment options, and ad options before choosing the network that is best for your business.


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