Today the ads world is dominated by at least four paradigms. The second part of this posting will propose a new one called "CrowdAds" which naturally fits social networks and social sharing. Before that, let's review the current paradigms.
Google Adwords and Microsoft AdCenter are the undisputed champions of search ads paradigm. The idea is pretty simply. You submit your queries to your favorite engine and, together with search results, you will get some related ads. A whole ecosystem has been created where publishers can buy ads by using an auction mechanism. This process is now quite common, but I do remember old days when search was considered a commodity with many people claiming that there was no money in this business. Credit goes to Google for suggesting how to transform search into a cash-cow machine.
Google Adsense is the second major paradigm for ads. The idea is to embed ads related to the content of a given web page. This embedding leverages some algorithms for finding a suitable set of ads in a transparent and automatic way. This paradigm is largely used on Internet and allowed many people to earn money on the content they produce.
In-text ads is the third paradigm which embed ads related to the content of each web page directly in some artificially created links contained in the page itself. A popup window is shown when the user move the mouse over the artificial ads and this particular aspect generated many criticisms about the invasiveness of this paradigm.
Cashback rewards are websites which pay users for their activities. When a customer makes a purchase online, instead of visiting the retailer directly, they may choose to go via a cashback website in order to generate a monetary reward for buying the products or services.
My question to you is what is the best ads paradigm for social networks in terms of relevance, monetization and reduced invasiveness among the four one discussed above? Or would you suggest something else?