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Do Beginners to a Topic Click More?

Advanced users don't seem to click at all

     
9:43 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have two sections to my site, one for people new to the topic and one for people familiar with it.

You would think the people familiar with the topic would pay more attention to the site and so click more often, but it's actually the beginners' section that produces the vast majority of clicks.

Visitor numbers are about equal for both sections, so beginners seem to be MUCH more likely to click than advanced users.

Anyone else seen this phenomenon?

Maybe beginners actually pay closer attention because they want to learn about the topic?

10:28 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Does the beginner section draw the greater percentage of new visitors? Returning visitors can develop ad-blindness.
10:30 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Interestingly, the beginners section on my site actually has a greater percentage of return visitors than the advanced section.

But I think the ad-blindness theory is probably right, it may just be that experienced users (it's a technical site) would be more likely to use ad-blockers and more likely to ignore adverts.

7:00 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I was thinking about this the other day when I caught myself clicking on a adsense link. So, I'd say, I'd consider myself an advanced user but I do click let's say 1-2% of time. At the same time, I'd agree that people not familiar with adsense can be sometimes confused and that would cause them to click more. Just my 2c.
7:20 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>>>>Maybe beginners actually pay closer attention because they want to learn about the topic?

Interesting post. Perhaps beginners don't have all the gear they need and are clicking on ads selling widgets useful for attaining the next stage of whatever they're beginners at.

9:36 am on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm having hard time recalling that any of my tech-friends would have ever clicked ad (we have talked about the issue) - if they need something they just surf to the source directly.

I have clicked Google ad once during the last couple of years, and that was because it was a premium site and the ad just didn't look anything like a normal Google ad.

I have removed ads from the pages that are frequently visited by people who actually know something about the Web - CTR on those pages is well below site average and judging by quick tests the clicks on those pages are coming from newbies wandering on that page aimlessly - resulting very poor clicks for the advertizers.

12:22 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this is going slightly off topic but research we have seen has shown the click ratio to vary greatly among age ranges of users also.

The young click more often without seeming to read much of the content and the older the user the more slow to click and the more reading takes place.

How old is your audience?

1:35 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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--How old is your audience? --

I'm not 100% sure but I think the beginners tend to actually be older, as they tend to need more help understanding the tech-related topic of the site.

2:59 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)



It's possible that many of the more advanced users have their own Web sites or blogs with AdSense, and that they've trained themselves not to click on AdSense ads (their own or anyone else's) to avoid getting whacked for "invalid clicks."
3:47 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Perhaps the Beginners haven't figured out what's Ads and what is content. Don't worry, they soon figure that out. Wonder what the metrics for new web users are after 1st week, 1st month, 1st year might be. I suspect those more long in the tooth become experienced and are not so easily led astray...
10:51 pm on Aug 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Perhaps the Beginners haven't figured out what's Ads and what is content.

If you are a beginner in race car driving, but have been an AdSense Publisher for two years, how does your beginner status in race car driving blind you to advertising?

How does being a beginner in a particular subject suddenly blind you to what is content and advertising? It doesn't.

12:49 am on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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A thought provoking discussion. No wonder "new parents" web sites are all the rage.
1:18 am on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, this isn't exactly a secret.

I do a lot of clicking on adwords, not so much adsense though.

5:39 am on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



New Parents is a good example of a demographic that is new to a topic and likely to click on an ad because the ad is offering something they need.
8:23 am on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



New Parents is a good example of a demographic that is new to a topic and likely to click on an ad because the ad is offering something they need.

Good point. If the New Parent is old hat on the WEB, however, maybe not. In response of OP's question between Beginner and Advanced, Advanced implies they are no longer Beginners, and are thus familiar with presentation...may have already got all they need... and are not inclined to click further.

4:14 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet... but I have to wonder, is it possible the difference is in the ads, not the users? In other words the content in the beginner's section is triggering more relevant ads than the content in the advanced section (due to differences in keywords/page content).
5:04 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Tangor, you're still hung up on the new to the web thing. That is not really a consideration, especially for this discussion. This is why: The OP noticed that content aimed at newbies to the topic receives more clicks than content aimed at users who know more about the subject. The important disctinction, and what is under discussion, is who the content is written for, relative to their knowledge of the content topic.

Their newness to the web is likely going to be evenly numbered between newb and advanced users. The reason is because being advanced in a topic has nothing to do with web proficiency. So it's a non-issue, not a consideration for this discussion. particularly since in developed countries, new to web users are rare compared to the overall internet surfing population. I mean, come on tangor, it's 2008, people are surfing the net from their iPhones. ;)

If the New Parent is old hat on the WEB, however, maybe not.

It does not matter if a parent is old hat on the web. Makes no difference. The idea is that the ad has something of interest to newbs to the subject (products they need to advance in the topic), which is what inspires the click. And those knowledgeable about the topic already possess the products necessary to further their hobby/activity/interest and thus have less reason to click an ad than someone new to the topic.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:26 am (utc) on Aug. 17, 2008]

8:00 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Not sure if this is going slightly off topic but research we have seen has shown the click ratio to vary greatly among age ranges of users also.
The young click more often without seeming to read much of the content and the older the user the more slow to click and the more reading takes place.

I agree and also believe it also depends on the connection speed(internet connection).

8:05 pm on Aug 16, 2008 (gmt 0)



The young click more often without seeming to read much of the content and the older the user the more slow to click and the more reading takes place.

If that's true, it might help to explain why some legitimate sites are heavily smart-priced while others aren't. Maybe demographics (or demographic assumptions based on keywords and themes) are a factor in the smart-pricing algorithm?

7:13 am on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



relative to their knowledge of the content topic.

Thought my responses in that regard was a given. Sorry for the confusion. Blindness comes from either familiarity with a connection platform, a topic, or a need to drill down for the specifics of content (mind on the road so to speak) and begs the question if the ads served go to the next level (advanced) or those ads are only what was served to beginners (and they've already seen them).

I don't have a cell phone so can't speak to Internet 2008 in that fashion... have no idea what that presentation might be like. I do know we are not born with the ability to Internet, though we do learn how to use devices younger and younger every year it seems...

Meant no rain on anybody's parade!

5:53 pm on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I believe that folks just surfing around a general topic are more likely to click on ads that relate to the topic compared to the person looking for something specific.

Casual surfers are also going to hit the more beginning aspects of a topic simply because they are more likely to be searching for 'widgeting' or 'how to widget' compared to 'widgeting during the Edwardian period in England' or some such thing.

Gibber, Do you have stats that can tell if you get more one time visitors in your section for beginners?

I also think pages that rank well in the serps on the general terms for a topic get more casual clickers as they rarely look beyond the first page of results.

This could be part of the effect though I do agree beginners might also be clicking on ads on books, classes and supplies related to getting started in whatever.

6:34 pm on Aug 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I think both types click ads more:
- New to the web
- New to topic covered by site
Note: that likeliness to convert is not mentioned

I also think that we all stand to lose if it is not acknowledged that some percentage of our ad clicks is with no knowledge that it is an ad, minimizing this percentage as much as possible is Google's cross to bear just as much as giving our visitors what they're visiting us for is ours, as for taking the long run route or squeezing the most within the rules, it is a matter of publisher vision, personality , responsibilities and taste.

Having said that, it's getting wild out there and blending has turned into a dark art, lately Google is shyly discouraging 'excess blending', expect the rules to get tougher with time to the extent of disallowing blending all together to protect advertisers.

2:31 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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--The OP noticed that content aimed at newbies to the topic receives more clicks than content aimed at users who know more about the subject.--

Yeah, the people looking at the beginners section aren't necessarily new to technology in general, just the particular topic my site covers.

On the other hand, the beginners section is written in very clear english compared to the advanced section, so maybe the beginners section is more accessible to those nervous about technology.

--Perhaps the Beginners haven't figured out what's Ads and what is content--

That's not the case on my site, at least it shouldn't be.

I've deliberately made the ad banners physically separate from the content and using a different colour scheme, to avoid any accidental clicks.

I get more affiliate sales in the beginners section too, so I don't think this is just a case of misplaced clicks.

--Gibber, Do you have stats that can tell if you get more one time visitors in your section for beginners? --

The beginner's section has more repeat visitors than the advanced section.

9:27 pm on Aug 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Interesting, that makes me think they might be clicking because they are truly interested in the ads. The ideal situation.
 

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