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I am currently building a web app which requires a user to log in. After they log in, they can see the content they've added to the web app, and things that the web app has done with the content they added.

The URL structure won't differentiate different users (e.g. all user's 'homepage' would be example.com/home, not something like example.com/username/home). This is much the same way that Facebook works (all FB user's messages are at facebook.com/messages, for example).

This presents a problem with advertising. I know that you can use AdSense behind a login, but as far as I'm aware, that's for things like forums, where everyone sees the same things (which wouldn't be the case in this site). I also know that I could put AdSense on the pages without allowing it to log in, which would produce inferior ads. I'm fairly certain it would be against the Terms of Service to give AdSense a login to a 'dummy' account with typical content, as it would not be seeing the same thing as every other user (which is impossible, as they all see different things).

So, my question is: Is there an ad network, or other method, that can serve ads behind a login, maybe based on keywords rather than content?

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2 Answers 2

If you want access to a pre-existing ad network, then OpenX Marketplace is probably your best bet. OpenX is an open source ad server, but they also have an enterprise version. OpenX Marketplace lets you provide your own user segmentation data and which advertiser categories you want to sell your ad inventory to.

Otherwise, the simplest solution is to just give each user's unique content their own URL and provide DFP/Adsense with an account that can access all the pages.

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I think that you won't be able to find such an ad network, because they want to match the content that you display with the ads they serve which for the reasons you state is impossible.

My suggestion is that you find an ad network that has a wide variety of advertisers, apply for relevant programs and then have your site match the content to the ads. In other words do it yourself!

You would need something to crawl your pages or inspect the database, and generate keywords. Using those keywords you can then target the ad networks to apply for, and once accepted put them into your database (with keywords) so that when the content is served those ads can be matched and displayed.

The clever bit is knowing which content to match with which ads, so you might like to track which of the content keywords caused a particular ad to appear.

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