especially as the MSNBC page is guilty of that practice with lots of ads.
With Macromedia's new ad initiative [webmasterworld.com] starting, I don't think online companies really care what users want. It comes down to users wanting everything for free. At some point there has to be some money in it. There needs to be a new business model that supports online content that doesn't irratate the surfer.
There needs to be a new business model that supports online content that doesn't irratate the surfer.
The person/company that finds the idea are going to make a fortune.
Once the ad agencies finally realize that, the SEO arena could really start to heat up.
So I started reading that MSNBC article and about 10 seconds into it, the article vanished and a full page "some kind of stitial" covered it up that I had to close. Advertising on some sites is completely out of hand, YAHOO! included when they take six figures to run some kind of rich media thing across their homepage that makes it unusable for the first 10 seconds or so the visitor is on there.
It'll be interesting to see if some sites start to see declining traffic or if people start to just tune the net out.
Only thing is, in the US anyway, its alomst impossible to get away from constant advertising - online, on tv, in a public bathroom, on the side of most any building, billboards, inside books, in every bill you get, on clothes, everywhere.
When people do have a choice to avoid annoying advertising they choose sites like Google, WW, etc.
>new business model that supports online content
In can be done, I've been profitable since 1996. But as stated in the article the publisher must stay "focused on finding the balance." This, of course, is far easier for some publications because they have little overhead and can afford to be cavalier when it comes to worrying about red ink.
|When Web content providers cut the amount of clutter, the ads become more effective and can command a premium from marketers. |
Based upon my experience, that's the real trick. It's hard to turn down low-ball offers or forego using affiliate ads to fill available inventory, but it's really something that most publishers need to learn to do. My ad inventory is perhaps only 10% booked, but I'm making more money on that 10% than I would being filled with "the usual."
At the moment, stories like these are based very much on hearsay, writers personal opinion and guess work as far as I know.
I'd sure like to see a global poll of average 'net surfers, to determine their exact views on the subject.
My opinions would be:
I abhore intrusive ad's that pop up/under/new window or obstruct the content on the page, or make audible noise that I have to manually disable or close. Slightly less annoying are the ad's that have flashing or 'loud' animations which distract my attention from the content.
On the other hand, correctly targetted, static or subtly animated adverts, that are part of the original page and deliver links to content that will be of interest to me as a reader of the content of that page (or site), I can live with quite happily. I especially like to see them marked as such, perhaps with the word 'advertisment' displayed above each occurence to indicate that they are not intended as part of the page content.
Surfers words and surfers actions are diametric opposites. It's like saying you read Playboy for the articles. Consumers have as much credibility.
Some nice ads on the page too. Along with the pop-up, I noticed:
160 x 600 skyscraper ad
300 x 250 flash ad
468 x 060 banner ad
160 x 200 "MSN shopping" ad
125 x 125 sidebar ad
092 x 060 small button ad
160 x 160 largebutton ad
That's a lot of real estate.
Ads are just getting annoying, plain and simple. Those flashy, irritating, etc things are just that: flashy & irritating.
The amount of advertising in general, as skibum said, to people in the US is just huge. There is just too much.
In that regard, this place outstrips Google even, as there aren't *any* ads here.
So, even if there was only one ad everybody's eyes would be drawn to it, and if it was on topic, it would probably do very well.
But as the number of ads goes up, per page, the potential of *any* clicking immediately drops to a fraction of the number of ads.
It just doesn't make sense - even at 10% CTR on a banner ad CPM buy, if you are sharing the space with 10 other ads, will any web surfer click on all the ads?
More than likely not. So, the performance might be 1% after that, which would still be great for banner advertisements. But usually, ad click through rates are what, 1-3% CTR?
Thus the potential performance of your 1 in 10 ad is going to be .1 - .3% CTR...gets very difficult to get an ROI at that point. Say you spend $5 CPM and have a conversion rate of 10% on your site, you might end up with a Cost PER Sale of $16.67 if you are lucky.
Do those numbers sound realistic?
If they do, it makes sense that PPC stuff is going crazy, because that makes more sense than banners & surfers actually like it.
Good news for SEO :)
well, I do everything I can to get ads out of the way:
1) I use Mozilla that all by itself does a *very* good job at blocking all kinds of pop-up
2) I install the add-on bannerblind from mozdev
3) I install the add-on AdBlock from mozdev
2) & 3) are then both set to "remove ads" so I'm getting an almost clutterfree and pretty unbroken text on even CNet pages.
My guess is, that more and more people will find their way to install various kinds of ad-blocking software because things have gone way out of hand.
If the ads were restricted to the sides top and buttom of the pages leaving an unbroken text, ads would be acceptable. Furthermore: no flashing or moving ads - they are an annoyance and distraction I can really do without
I'm using Safari mostly now and thanks to it's inbuilt popup eliminator, the internet is a FAR better place. Popup ads deserve a miserable death :)
Simple rules for effective advertising:
make it relevant
make it highly relevant
don't phuc with my computer
don't make it distracting - if I want it I'll see it and click on it
make it easy to tell it is advertising
keep it out of my way
put less of it on the page
charge more for it
What people say and do are often very different, yes, however when you are trying to do something or read something it is easier to endure the advertising than try to battle it all the time - especially for those who are not computer savvy. Nobody likes intrusive advertising except for the people who create it and sell it.
The difference in behavior and stated preferences, IMO, is because in most cases without a lot of effort, people can't really do anything about it.
lol, skibum -> that was much better than my wordy post above.
Especially like the bit about, 'don't ph-- with my computer'.
I dont usually go to MSNBC news items. 95% is available from other portals and it loads a pop up and an in line "flash" add, meaning it takes around a minute before i can start reading.
However IId make an exception for this case!
The crucial factor the author makes is that on-line advertising is "less useful". Yep thats the crux, not merely the existance of amount of it, where on line ads have the same problems as in other media.
Following the failure of banner ads, Ad agencies and the industry as a whole decided not so much to target better, but to make the bloody things BIGGER. Such idiocy from an industry spun to employ some of the most creative minds world-wide has always amazed me.
Acceseing the net from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, almost 99% of ads do not apply to me in the slightest. And such was the case with loading this one too. Ads for a us bank i cant use, a pop up for another service i cant use. Its just a step up from email spam ofering me sattelite tv, mortage schemes and the like that have no relevance to me at all (even forgetting the email spam that does not know what gender I am) - most think im adrogenous
The net offers the most exciting medium for targeting users, both for content and ads, but the tired old old-media based ad networks dont know it yet. Its still all about mass market and impact.
Google (and to be fair OV) with their content based advertising, are demonstrating they do realise the power the net has for targeting. Ive got an inkling that Google may do to advertising on the net, what they did to search. It helps to know how the web works before transplanting old models into new environments.
Because of this, I dont think ads on the Internet are gasping their last breath at all. They are just starting a new phase with new guys in charge who just happen to know a bit more about the Net.
People would have started turnng off the net for sure when 3 years ago, most people thought that search engines were a waste of time because all they threw up were ads. Or now when 50% of content they see is advertorial or ads. But content based advertising will come to the rescue. More ROI. Everybody - readers, ad agencies, and advertisers are happy.
You will get enough impact for your ad on a page competing with other ads, if your ad content is relevant to the needs of the readers. When the average size of an ad is a postage stamp on a page and your ad is just slightly bigger you will get the same impact as if competing ads are the 200 X 200 and your is slightly larger.
Maybe we are seeing a move from an online ad industry that looks after the interests of graphic designers and artists, graphics software makers, old publishing ad network ologarchies and Macromedia, to those that looks after the interests of advertisers, readers, and mean lean old smarty pants copywriters.
Now who was it that is buying Macromedia :)?
The first rule of sales: Don't attempt to sell to people who do not have a desire to buy!
When Americans finally realize this rule works the World will be a better place!
Telemarket to me, I will never buy your product, out of principle.
Hit me with banner ads, pop-ups or junk email, you are burnt toast.
Provide a good product, and when I want it, make it relatively easy for me to find you, and you have my business.
Annoy me with dumb marketing campaigns and I will hate you forever!
|The first rule of sales: Don't attempt to sell to people who do not have a desire to buy! |
Part of advertising's job is to instill a desire to buy. That's why you see ads for BMW cars or Patek-Philippe watches in CONDE NAST TRAVELER magazine. Few of that magazine's readers are picking up CNT because they're in a mood to buy a car or a luxury watch, but that doesn't mean advertising cars or watches to them is ineffective.
On a Web site, advertising can be a form of direct marketing ("Click here to buy"), but it doesn't have to be--just as a TV commercial can be designed for direct marketing or branding, depending on whether you're trying to get the viewer to call a toll-free number or to remember your product when he or she goes shopping.
IMHO, it's a mistake to judge the effectiveness of advertising by clickthrough rates unless the ads are designed to generate clickthroughs.
I don't think users are fed up with advertising--they're just fed up with popups, popunders, interstitials, and other intrusive or annoying ads. And some ads are welcomed by users. On my own editorial content site, text ads for travel services are quite effective (and travel-related banners do fairly well, too) because the ads are for products and services that interest my readers. There's nothing remarkable about this: Publishers of trade, hobby, and other special-interest magazines have known for decades that ads for their audiences enhance the value of their publications. A magazine like COMPUTER SHOPPER probably wouldn't sell a single copy if it weren't packed with targeted ads.
|I abhore intrusive ad's that pop up/under/new window or obstruct the content on the page, or make audible noise that I have to manually disable or close. |
I completely agree. Most of my web browsing is done with the Phoenix 0.5 browser (Mozilla) which completely kills popups. When I am working on my own sites or checking PR and links, I use IE.
Since I can't stand popups and popunders, I refuse to subject my visitors to them. Most of my affiliate links are text links, which I feel blend into my pages. That is probably the primary reason for higher EPC with text ads vs. banners.
Guys, I don't normally like to post flattery, but for my money skibum is _so_ on the nail with those comments, and I'm totally behind percentages.
I think Google's text ads are about right. If you're searching the web, you could be in the mood to buy something, so a non-intrusive ad isn't out of order. Actually, if I am shopping, and I see a text ad, I'll at least visit the site, as any company savvy enough to advertise that way may be worth bothering with.
I agree about ads building up a desire, but AFAIK all online ad campaigns are rated on click-throughs: this is why they're so hard-sell, so dull, and so offensive.
Advertisers who either learn targetting or subtlety will find themselves rising to the top.
If I were selling advertising, I'd consider than anyone looking at a monitor and surfing the web is probably a little bored and could do with something to eat. How come we never see little promting ads saying 'Get a [soft drink]' or 'Buy yourself a [chocolate bar]: you wouldn't get those on click throughs, but they might work.
great comment europeforvisitors. You should sell to your demographic as well as your main content area. Thats given me pause..
For eg. if you have a site that attracts students and its about books you can also sell anything that would appeal to bookish students - like reading glasses and pocket protectors. If you have a site that attracts high end travellers to your hotel reviews site, you can also sell mobile laptops, frequent flyer programs, suitcases, and anything that rich guys who can aford to travel would need. and it need have nothing to do with travel.
I wonder how OV and Google will work their algos to work that one out? Seems pretty difficult to me..
I agree with europeforvisitors word-for-word, but there is one sentence that may need rethinking when it comes to web publications, or at least small to mid-size independent web publications:
Few of that magazine's readers are picking up CNT because they're in a mood to buy a car or a luxury watch, but that doesn't mean advertising cars or watches to them is ineffective.
No it's not ineffective, and that's one reason that affiliates have to be so wary of CPA deals that are really branding in disguise. But, as I've been selling sponsorships and ads, even selling some to media buyers for known US brands that run branding campaigns in print and/or TV, I've YET to field a request for a branding campaign on my sites. So, small independent web publishers are held to a different standard that promotes and encourages intrusive, get-the-conversion-now advertising techniques.
The article said 43 percent are over it - that means 67 percent are not.
It would be nice if the internet were ad/revenue free, but, then, we wouldn't be doing this, would we.
Brett holds WebmasterWorld to a higher standard by keeping it ad free, but at what cost to himself?
Someone has to pay the bill - The advertiser? or The site owner?
Internet users are unbelieveable.. They are "fedup" with online ads, but for the most part (vast majority) don't want to pay for subscriptions, donations, pay-per-use either. Where do they expect all the money to magically come from? Yet, they demand fresh content updated daily, fast, functional.
So, you put ONE pop-under on your site because that seems to be one of the only formats that pays the bills anymore and the next day you get a flood of hate-mail from users that are "long time users but now are vowing to never use your site again". You write them a polite note letting them know that basically we will go under unless that pop-up can manage to pay the bills, and they couldn't care less. Amazing.
stcrim and visca. I dont think the main point is about the existance of advertising online, but about how useful it is, how targeted it is, and how much screen real estate and downloading time people are willing to put up with before they spend less time on the net and more in front of other media whic has a higher content to ad ratio, and better targeted ads.
i dont really think anybody is saying we shouldnt have advertising. Its just saying that we have to make it more *useful*. Pop ups and unders - Ive rarely seen one that applies to me, so neither the advertiser or myself gain. However I do see useful ads, and buy things, in places like Google and some content sites i go to, because they seem to "know" what I want and summarise why i should click in a few succint words. A larger ad, more multi media, more obstrusiveness does not work with me and sometimes i just click on. Im not sure whether it works with many others too.
Basically a large proportion of advertising in the Web is a waste of space. It needs to be more targeted for sure. Maybe it needs to be more expensive to get rid of the time wasters. But somehow we have to get rid of a massive amount of badly targeted time wasting advertising dribble.
|Basically a large proportion of advertising in the Web is a waste of space. It needs to be more targeted for sure. |
For major sites like the NYTimes, how are you going to target? In an ideal world:
Computer ads in the Tech Section
Investment Ads in the Business Section
TRAVEL ADS IN THE TRAVEL SECTION (Where Orbitz belongs) Etc.
Although the front page will probably keep being ruled by Orbitz because that's where the "awareness" campaigns belong.
EuropeFV has a great point but the targetting is going to break down on large sites like NYtimes because the less targeted audience means that "time wasting dribble" is more appropriate.
I am always amused when discussions begin on how much people hate on-line advertising. Amused becuase users hate ALL advertising. But from time to time someone comes running up breathlessly with this observation.
If the truth were told, people hate red stop lights too.
You can't have the number of cars buzzing around without somehow controling traffic. You can't have as much content flying around on TV, radio and the Internet without someone footing the bill.
It must have been a slow news day to get that story published! Funnier yet, is that the story made the headline page here.
chiyo - i think it is an existance issue. even if a user is surfing car and driver, and gets a Pontiac pop-under of a car he is considering to buy, he will still be fed up with its delivery method - even if that pop-under is paying for the review of a car he just read.
they base their resentment towards the ads on the *principal* of the issue, not the relevance. when a user feels "bombarded" (whether they actually are or not) the issue isn't relevance with what they are being bombarded with, but rather the preceived bombardment its self.
I should have been a newspaper publisher. Some newspaper pages are 90 percent ads and I pay for the newspaper!
|when a user feels "bombarded" |
Banner advertising is akin to traditional banner type advertising. It is there and not in your face. Popups are more like the obnoxoius guy accosting you on the street with a flyer.
My pet peeve with popups and popunders is that they lock up my browser for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds, despite the fact that I'm on broadband.
"they base their resentment towards the ads on the *principal* of the issue"
First of all, I challenge if there really is an issue. The study was not about why people stopped using the internet. If it were, then one might fairly say there is an issue.
The questions were about did you like advertisements on TV and the Internet. The majority said no about TV advertisements and something less than half said it about the Internet.
Is anyone seriously running around in TV land beating their breasts and considering changing advertisements on TV? Of course, not. Are magazine publishers in a tizzy about this? So why worry about the Internet.
From my perspective: "There ain't no free lunches". And no one is about to leave the free lunch because he does like the advertisements he is shown during the meal.
"To be fair, clutter is considered a problem all over, with 75 percent of Americans saying that advertising is shown in “far too many places,” Roper found. TV commercials annoy 65 percent of Americans, and 56 percent object to the ads in print publications, Roper found." quoted from the original msnbc article
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