eBay has announced an Amazon Associates like affiliate program called eBay AdContext that allows websites to place links to eBay online auctions and receive commission when a site click converts into a sale. The eBay ads will be available in Text, Image and Macromedia Flash formats.

Like Adsense or other contextual advertising platforms, eBay Ads system will also scan the text of a Web site for keywords and returns links to relevant eBay sales listings to the Web page. So if your site is about software, you can expect to see links to Adobe Photoshop or Windows Vista auctions on eBay.

eBay AdContext is not open to public yet but you can send a request for inclusion if you are an eBay Affiliate Program member (http://affiliates.ebay.com/)

While eBay AdContext is an attractive site-monetization platform, it is certainly not for website or blogs that are already using Adsense. This is because eBay's advertising service is contextual in nature and Adsense policies do permit contextually-targeted ads from other services on the same page as Google ads.

eBay executives say that their AdContext system is complementary to online advertising networks offered by Google and others. For websites to offer AdContext and Adsense together, eBay may have to tweak their service like Chitika has done - allow site owners to decide the keyword and not the scanning robots.



Unlike Chitika ads, eBay AdContext contextual ads also take into account the popularity of certain keywords on eBay, not just the keywords on a given Web site.

Since eBay AdContext is contextual in nature, Adsense publishers may have to stick with the old ebay Affiliate Program editor kit that allows Web publishers to create their own selection of eBay ads on their Web pages, by manually entering specific keywords and categories as search terms in order to return listings.

Madhu Gupta covered the eBay AdContext program during her Killer Buyer App Session.

There is a also an eBay AdContext API which returns ranked eBay keywords and categories for a specified Web page.

Forbes adds: The initiative is one of scores of ways eBay is now encouraging Internet developers to build eBay functions into independent Web sites - the first step in eBay's metamorphosis from shopping mall to supplier of auction, payment and communications technologies that can be transferred to any Web site.