What Is AdWare?
As with most things in life, there are two sides to every story and these adware packages have brewed up quite a bit of controversy. Ask a web publisher and, if they can say it in a nice way without cursing while they do, they’ll tell you that scumware are browser-embedded applications which serves *unwanted* advertising overlaid on their site, thereby defacing the site while worse yet, possibly diverting the user away.
Now, ask an advertiser employing these contextual targeting tools and you’ll get a very different answer. By using contextual targeting tools, an advertiser can run a campaign which places advertisements on, over, or *IN* a relevant or competitor’s site. The ad is served by the browser-based application with offerings ranging from simple pop-ups to in-browser ads to the highlighting of site content indicating links to advertisers with related content. By their very nature, these tools have been successful at driving highly targeted users to a site, in many cases yielding a profitable return on investment for the ad dollars spent.
These ads are also distributed when the user searches on a search engine or enters a search term into their IE Browser Navigational Window (where you type in URLs)