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Time for Federal Regs Limiting Internet Ads?
Time for limits on internet ads?
webtopia

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 1:56 am on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

With adsense and similar programs serving as the catalyst, the internet community is quickly becoming clogged and over-saturated with gratuitous advertising.

From "made-for-adsense" sites that are little more than ad delivery systems, to typo sites, and similar internet "black holes" designed to lure in unsuspecting users in order to inflate hit/click rates, maybe the time has come to regulate internet advertising before legitimate marketers start taking the hit.

When you consider that the internet was designed not for commercial purposes but rather to facilitate the exchange of information, the level of greed that now permeates the web marketing world is particularly galling.

Almost every day in these and other forums people are bragging about their first $1,000 adsense weeks, but where's the content?

Recent studies show that web-users are becoming increasingly frustrated with their collective web experience due to the relatively recent proliferation of low-to-no content sites (i.e. MFA's) loaded with advertising. People who once turned to the web as a cheap, quick, source of information and refuge from the onslaught on advertsing that dominates the other mediums, are now increasingly reluctant to really explore the web for fear of MFA sites, data-mining cookies, malicious scripts, web bugs, phishing scams, etc. More and more users and tending to stick with the sites that they already like, know, and trust and this self-limiting behavior can't be good news for the web marketing industry.

If changes aren't made soon to limit the most egregious offenders, will the public turn a blind eye to internet marketing in much the same way that they eventually turned against direct mail, tele marketing, and others?

The are many websites that generate a very nice living for their owners and yet the have little to no advertising. Craig's List is perhaps the most well-known example, but there are others. Pbase is a photo-sharing website that charges $25 per year to become a member and host you photos there. With a known membership of at least 30,000, that means Pbase grosses over $60,000 PER MONTH. Not bad for simply storing people's images. The point is that it IS possible to generate a very good living off the web with little to no advertising, it's just EASIER to design yet another adsite.

The best way to continue to enhance the public's web-browsing experience would seem to be to create and deliver innovating content with reasonable levels of advertising. But programs like adsense create a perverse incentive for web designers to innovate only around ad delivery and not web content. Given the international and unregulated market that constitutes the web, any form of self-regulation by the web marketing industry seems highly unlikely and nearly impossible to enforce, and yet federal/international regulations may wind up being the worse of two evils.

The bottom line: can we reign in our own greed before it's too late?

 

WallyWorld

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 2:16 am on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Free markets are the best control. You sound like a liberal academain.

leadegroot

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 2:16 am on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Federal regs? Go on, limit yourself if you want to - I'm in another country; your federal regs don't apply to me (hopefully it won't be included in the next review of the FTA!).
International regs? Look a pig is flying by! ;)

(only somewhat tongue in cheek ;))

OptiRex



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 2:26 am on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh!

Does this mean you want the USA to organise the Internet completely?

When you consider that the internet was designed not for commercial purposes but rather to facilitate the exchange of information

Your interpretation, I was there at the start! I can assure you that commercial dissemination and interaction was very much at the forefront of the original development.

Almost every day in these and other forums people are bragging about their first $1,000 adsense weeks, but where's the content?

Blah, blah, blah...so now you are the arbiter of content? I never have a problem locating within a few minutes what I am sourcing, period.

The bottom line: can we reign in our own greed before it's too late?

Why "our greed". Mine is not greed in slightest. My sites were in existence years before Google started and if I were to take an average US/UK/EU hourly rate for the time and effort expended I would still be out of pocket earning USD 1 million per year!

Get into the real world. There are muggers, there are con-men/women, there are those with gold-rush fever, it's inevitable.

Concentrate on your own speciality and refine it.

There are always winners and losers which is Darwin's theory of evolutionary selection holds that variation within species occurs randomly and that the survival or extinction of each organism is determined by that organism's ability to adapt to its environment.

I did steal that quote by the way!

It's a new business model that is being refined daily, learn to live with it or withdraw.

Atticus



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 6:42 am on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WallyWorld,

What does "liberal" have to do with this? When I want your opinion on political matters, I'll go looking for them in a more appropriate forum (not).

david_uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 12:54 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I read that only 3% of the planet's population live in the US, yet it seems that the 3% want to control what the rest of the planet does using an English invention by Tim Berners-Lee.

Federal laws (whatever they are) do not apply to 97% of the planet.

Having said that, I do actually agree with some of the things said in this thread. I rarely click on ads as I know they are likely to lead to another page of ads, and to be honest I also don't explore the freedom that is the WWW because a lot of it is crappy sites that exist to fleece someone of their ad bduget. I do tend to stick to sites I know will give me the information I need.

Maybe I'm unique, maybe not. I think that when people like Google, MSN & Yahoo etc start noticing diminishing returns due to this factor things will change. But there will always be people that will scam - whatever direction the web takes in the future.

WallyWorld

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 2:19 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Atticus,

Many of the liberals in the education field do not have a realistic view of the world, imo. I'm sorry if the truth offends you. If you don't like my posts just don't read them.

Jafo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 2:34 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

The writer of this drabble has obviously not picked up a newspaper in a long time. Try navigating the WSJ/NYT/NYP/WP/LAT/ETC papers without being inundated with ads.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 2:56 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Many of the liberals in the education field do not have a realistic view of the world,

I could think of some conservatives in the White House and Congress who don't have a realistic view of the world, either, but do we really want this thread to become a political debate?

david_uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 3:02 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not really. Though it would be fun, it's not what this forum is about and would get zapped by the mods.

Publisher

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 3:05 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

If changes aren't made soon to limit the most egregious offenders, will the public turn a blind eye to internet marketing in much the same way that they eventually turned against direct mail, tele marketing, and others?

Interesting...direct mail and telemarketing still work...That's why you still receive junk mail. That's why you receive spam...it works.

From the emails I receive from my site, I would guess that most people don't know how to search the internet to get what they are looking for. If they'd do correct "advanced" searches, they'd be more likely to weed out the no-content junk sites.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 12812 posted 4:08 pm on Mar 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting...direct mail and telemarketing still work...That's why you still receive junk mail. That's why you receive spam...it works.

The Internet is different from the offline world, though: Costs are far lower, which means there's no economic incentive to exercise self-control. A junk mailer can send out millions of untargeted e-mails for practically nothing (which is why I get invitations to metallurgy conferences in former Soviet republics whose names I can't spell), and a made-for-AdSense spammer can vomit millions of computer-generated pages onto the Web without having to think twice.

Since this is the AdSense forum, let's leave e-mail and other forms of Internet spam out of the discussion and focus on Web advertising (specifically excessive AdSense advertising and MFA sites). Regulation isn't going to solve those problems; the solutions must occur on three fronts:

1) At the user end. (Ad filters, better-educated users).

2) At the search engines. (Better differentiation between real sites and MFA sites; more aggressive filtering of questionable pages.)

3) At the ad networks. (More aggressive policing of MFA sites by Google, for example.)

I can see two measures that could prove very popular with users and could provide an incentive for site owners and ad networks to exercise self-restraint:

1) More widespread use of ad filters. For example, Firefox could offer ad blocking, not just popup filtering, possibly with different levels of filtering (as described under point 2 below).

2) Search-engine controls that would work like spam filters, allowing users to specify anything from "unfiltered results" to "block all commercial sites or sites with advertising." After a bit of experimentation, even mildly Web-savvy users would find what levels of filtering were appropriate for them, and--over time--owners of Web sites would learn to either practice self-restraint or settle for a much smaller chunk of the Web audience.

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