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The State of Online Advertising 195

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the where-the-bucks-stop dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has an article looking at how internet advertising has changed and is changing. From the article: 'The race is on to find new ways to track customer behavior. Advertisers and agencies are progressing far beyond the standard arithmetic of counting clicks and page views. They're tracking the to-and-froing of the mouse on Web pages, and they're finding new ways to group shoppers by age, Zip Code, and reading habits. CEO David S. Rosenblatt of DoubleClick Inc., which serves up some 200 billion ads a month for customers, says that every campaign now allows for 50 different types of metrics'"
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The State of Online Advertising

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  • Metrics (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:38PM (#14960037) Homepage Journal
    How much do you want to bet that one of DoubleClick's "50 metrics" isn't 'number of customers driven to using AdBlock because of our ads?'

    Personally I just don't use any browsers without blockers anymore. Safari has PithHelmet, Firefox has AdBlock, and Konqueror has ... whatever it is they call its ad-blocking feature.
    • Re:Metrics (Score:2, Insightful)

      by leonmergen (807379)

      Personally I just don't use any browsers without blockers anymore.

      Then what do you propose as a way the companies that deliver the websites you visit and block ads from should cover the costs they have for serving their content to you, plus a little profit ?

      • Re:Metrics (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GungaDan (195739) on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:53PM (#14960171) Homepage
        That's hardly the parent poster's concern, now is it? Sucks for the ad biz when us "eyeballs" outsmart them.

        • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mzwaterski (802371)
          Sucks for the poster when his content disappears or is no longer free...
        • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Afty0r (263037)
          Actually it *is* his concern, because should ad revenues drop many sites which have significant bandwidth or editorial costs must stop publishing because they are incurring a loss. Furthermore, if the ad (or other) revenues were to *rise* in a particular sector of online publishing this would raise the competition in that sector and, hopefully, the quality and quantity of content available to the great grand parent poster.

          Therefore, while we do have a "tragedy of the commons" type situation, you cannot clai
      • Re:Metrics (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:58PM (#14960208)
        Using non-annoying advertising that doesn't drive users to block?

        I don't block until the ads get annoying, personally. But once they're blocked, they're blocked.
        • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bigpat (158134)
          I don't block until the ads get annoying, personally. But once they're blocked, they're blocked.

          Sorry Slashdot, your ads just got blocked. They were screwing up the layout of the page and making it unreadable.
          • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Guppy06 (410832)
            More like "Just because I read Slashdot doesn't mean I make purchasing decisions for anybody's IT department." They are so inapplicable to me they may as well be "Punch the monkey!" ads. The algorithm I use when I decide whether or not to block are:
            1. Do the ads actually apply to me?
            2. Do the ads actually apply to the content of the website?
            • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Insightful)

              by thrillseeker (518224)
              The algorithm I use when I decide whether or not to block are:

              If it flashes, wiggles, blinks, moves, stutters, makes sound, takes up too much space, or changes its content in any way , it gets blocked - forever. Static ads I leave.

          • That's why I subscribe to Slashdot. I like the site (usually) and I want them to stay in business, but their ads got blocked just as much as anyone else's. I'd been running the Proxomitron for many years, and just recently switched to AdBlock for my full-time blocking needs (right-clicking is quicker than editing a text file.)

            Even if the /. ads were more muted or more relevant than most, at least some of them were flashy-blinky things, so out they all went.

        • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aevan (903814)
          *nods*

          Your ad is a static image?
          ....Is the image less then 30% of the page?
          You can stay.

          Is your ad animated?
          ....Is it not bright and looping?
          You can stay.

          Huge ads or ones that distract too much to read content get added to Adblock.

          I recognise your desire to advertise to make money, now please recognise that it is your content why i visit your page, not to subject myself to annoying 'Tagworld faux chat dialogues' etc.

          Maybe they will rethink their business model once they realise of 1000 visits
      • Re:Metrics (Score:5, Insightful)

        by networkBoy (774728) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:02PM (#14960251) Homepage Journal
        My problem is not with ads, but with the ton of scripts and *annoying* ads that many sites use. Sometimes the page simply wont because an adserver somewhere is bogged down. That earns an adblock.
        -nB
        • Re:Metrics (Score:5, Informative)

          by sessamoid (165542) on Monday March 20, 2006 @08:10PM (#14961021)
          My problem is not with ads, but with the ton of scripts and *annoying* ads that many sites use. Sometimes the page simply wont because an adserver somewhere is bogged down. That earns an adblock.

          What you need is Firefox with the NoScript [mozilla.org] extension. Its default is to disallow all javascript, and you can selectively whitelist sites allowed to execute Javascript, without allowing the advertisers on that site to run their scripts. All the annoying pop-ups and pop-under ads are now gone.

          • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Informative)

            by plover (150551) *
            I found noscript to be a pain in the ass. It killed a lot of sites' menuing systems, and pretty much got in my face too often. It became as bad as the nuisances I was trying to block. AdBlock is much nicer -- if an ugly flashy site makes me want to kill stuff, then I do it. If they leave me alone, I pretty much reciprocate.

            I have taken to AdBlocking virtually every site that delivers third party scripts. I started out blocking just the annoying ad scripts, but I'm now blocking falkag, google-analytic

            • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Gulthek (12570)
              Oh no. You had to click on the noscript icon and click "Allow somesite"? That is a pain. Noscript is the best thing that's happened to web browsing in a long time. I am constantly astounded by the sheer number of unrelated to site content javascript is out there. Right now slashdot wants to run javascript from: slashdot.org, google-analytics.com, and falkag.net. All blocked, slashdot works fine.

              If I use a site that depends on Javascript (flickr, etc.) all I have to do is whitelist it with two clicks o' yon
        • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pipingguy (566974)

          My problem is not with ads, but with the ton of scripts and *annoying* ads that many sites use. Sometimes the page simply wont because an adserver somewhere is bogged down.

          Very good observation; I've noticed even Slashdot suffering from this lately (at least from my experience).

          Another really annoying thing is sites immediately wanting to set a cookie just for the "privilege" of viewing their pages. This is somewhat analogous to a store's salesman demanding to have your phone number before you even e
          • I manage cookies too. I set Firefox to ask me every time a site wants to set a cookie. It's a pain in the neck at first, but I'm used to it now. Whenever I go to a new site I will usually let it set up to 3 cookies, as long as the words "media", "ads" or "marketing" aren't in the site URL or cookie name. Regardless, after 3 I usually select "No" and then "Remember this setting for this site".

            I wish Firefox had a cookie function where I could right-click on a page and enable/disable/remove cookies for th
            • Re:Cookies (Score:4, Informative)

              by plover (150551) * on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:52PM (#14961648) Homepage Journal
              Then this extension [mozdev.org] is for you. Cookie Button adds a widget you can place in your toolbar (I placed mine next to the reload button) and it features a drop-down menu with four choices: default, reject, accept session and accept always. I already have "third party" cookies disabled, so it only has to control cookies delivered by the main page.

              I run with "prompt always" too. I differ from you in that for the most part I reject all cookies by default, unless it's a forum or some place I'm interested in creating or maintaining a longer-term relationship. Occasionally I'll be too quick to say no, and Cookie Button makes it darned easy to go back and reenable them. Firefox's cookie manager is horrible to navigate -- it's virtually unusable after you've built up a list of a thousand different sites that you've rejected or accepted at some time in the past.

      • Re:Metrics (Score:5, Insightful)

        by EzInKy (115248) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:09PM (#14960304)

        Then what do you propose as a way the companies that deliver the websites you visit and block ads from should cover the costs they have for serving their content to you, plus a little profit ?


        I don't know about others but I was never really bothered by static banners and occasionally even purchased a relevant advertised product. As a matter of fact I never even considered blocking ads until "Spank the Monkey" appeared.
      • Then what do you propose as a way the companies that deliver the websites you visit and block ads from should cover the costs they have for serving their content to you, plus a little profit ?

        Not my problem. If companies want to make money, they will find a way. People are simply using ad-blockers and the like to tell companies that the current method is not acceptable.

      • Re:Metrics (Score:5, Insightful)

        by plover (150551) * on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:14PM (#14960341) Homepage Journal
        I personally rely on the stupidity of the web-surfing public to not install ad blockers on their machines.

        Remember, no web site ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American public.

        Even if every geek out there installed Firefox and AdBlock, that leaves 80+% of the machines belonging to the great unwashed masses who can punch all the monkeys they want. As long as Joe Sixpack is out there generating eyeballs for these sites, I'm going to free ride the whole trip.

        Besides, I figure I'm just saving Doubleclick the bandwidth. It's not like I've ever purchased anything at all from an on-line ad, targeted or not. All my purchases have been driven by me, through Google/Froogle searches, pricewatch, Amazon, ebay, etc. I do not follow ad links.

      • Then what do you propose as a way the companies that deliver the websites you visit and block ads from should cover the costs they have for serving their content to you, plus a little profit ?

        I'm afraid that's irrelevant - before I used an ad-blocker I never paid attention to the ads anyway. I've been freeloading on websites since 1994.

        Incidentally, I suppose you'd also assert that I'm taking revenue away from TV companies when I press 'fast farward'? You sound like a marketing shrill.
      • Insentive to whitelist their site. On sites where I like their content, I whitelist their pages (which is necessary with the filterset.g updater). I've got one, maybe two sites on the list. For me, however, I never click on any ad any time, and as most sites pay by the standard CPM (shouldn't it be CPT or CPK?) method, my view that leads to neither a click nor a sale shows the site they're advertising on as being less profitable. If I don't even view the ad, they're not wasting a showing on me.

        Serious

        • Insentive to whitelist their site. On sites where I like their content, I whitelist their pages (which is necessary with the filterset.g updater). I've got one, maybe two sites on the list. For me, however, I never click on any ad any time, and as most sites pay by the standard CPM (shouldn't it be CPT or CPK?) method, my view that leads to neither a click nor a sale shows the site they're advertising on as being less profitable. If I don't even view the ad, they're not wasting a showing on me.

          I may be mist
          • I may be mistaken, but with adblock don't you still download the ad? Doesn't it just get pulled from the DOM tree?

            If you select "Hide ads" then it's still downloaded, just not displayed. I beleive "remove ads" parses out the offending img tag before the page is rendered. ICBW.
          • Not with AdBlock plus. I have no idea for 'classic' AdBlock, as it doesn't have the whitelist support last I checked.
      • Do what I do - use the userContent.css file to not *display* ads. I still download 'em - DSL or massive pipe at work, so they don't bother me - I just don't *see* 'em.
      • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crabpeople (720852)
        Perhaps the lack of ads will drive people to consume less and there will be less useless websites out there. I dont recall ever seeing an ad on wikipedia for instance, and alot of pages just rip that content out and put it on their own page. How many redundant websites exsist? how many blogs that say the same exact things, or do like pipiquail and linkjack others content?

        perhaps there are too many pages for the market to bare. of course when you tell advertising people that, they would just look for ways to
      • by vertinox (846076) on Monday March 20, 2006 @08:23PM (#14961070)
        Then what do you propose as a way the companies that deliver the websites you visit and block ads from should cover the costs they have for serving their content to you, plus a little profit ?

        You know that big lump of color advertising in the middle of the Sunday newspaper?

        Well... I throw that out too without looking at it.

        Do you know what I do when a crappy commercial comes on the tube?

        Yeah... I change the channel.

        Do you know I do when a commerical comes on the radio?

        I... err... Well there doesn't seem to be any ads on my iPod. I guess I could put them there, but maybe that is why I stopped listening to the radio on the drive to work.

        Truth of the matter is I am an advertisers worst nightmare and I don't really go that far in refusing to view ads.

        Its not because I don't like the idea of advertisments, but if the advert interupts my stream of entertainment or causes annoyance... I tend to find a way to stop it or I find another mehtods of entertainment.

        Billboards, related ads to entertainment, and entertaining ads will get my eyes and ears.

        Obtrusive, non-related ads, and annoying ads will get my immediate disintrest.

        Entertainment and information with the ads is just as important as the content... Otherwise if I can't shut out the ads, I'm going to shutout the content.
        • Billboards, related ads to entertainment, and entertaining ads will get my eyes and ears.

          The billboards are starting to get flashier. There are those "triangle" rotating billboards with three ads that switch every 10 seconds or so; I've also seen some billboards with flashing lights, or even worse the kind in NYC that are animated.

          It would be interesting to see government statistics of accidents correlated with the locations of these flashier billboards.

        • Truth of the matter is I am an advertisers worst nightmare

          And yet you bought an ipod.

      • Re:Metrics (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kadin2048 (468275)
        I don't know of any adblocker -- certainly not the ones that I use -- that block text based ads. In fact, if I had the option to block Google-style ads, I probably wouldn't turn it on, since I find the ones on the search results page and on GMail to be occasionally useful. (Or at least amusing -- the ones that it shows next to emailed logs from cron jobs are a bit schizophrenic.)

        My objection isn't to ads per se, but against the ones that are intrusive or irrelevant. If a company wants my attention, they can
      • Then what do you propose as a way the companies that deliver the websites you visit and block ads from should cover the costs they have for serving their content to you, plus a little profit ?

        That's their problem, not ours. The consuming is not responsible for ensuring that a particular business model is viable.

        -matthew
        • That's hardly the point; in fact, I'd call it purposely avoiding the point.

          Humour the debate... what happens if/when a large enough majority of people are using ad-blockers? Will you be happy that no-one's viewing those nasty adverts anymore even though the new alternative is to pay $5 per month to each and every website whose content you'd like to view?

          • Will you be happy that no-one's viewing those nasty adverts anymore even though the new alternative is to pay $5 per month to each and every website whose content you'd like to view?

            I don't see the problem with that, because that just means that there's content worth $5/mo to view.
          • That's hardly the point; in fact, I'd call it purposely avoiding the point.

            It is exactly the point. It isn't my problem. I have the right to filter, manipulate, and censor any and all of the content that I legally download. And that is all there is to it.

            Humour the debate... what happens if/when a large enough majority of people are using ad-blockers?

            They'll find a new way to make money or they'll close down. The internet got along just fine before ads became the norm, albeit with less content.

            Will you be h
      • I don't care, as long as it doesn't BLINK.

        Interrupting my page-read to put an adserver on my block list (I use Proxomitron) is in itself a distraction for me, so many adservers are not blocked. But if an ad is flickering loudly to get my attention, dancing around the page or floating over the content I'm trying to read, such that I find that step less of an interruption, that ad company loses its place on my screen permanently. If so many people block the ads that piss them off, I think web companies will s
      • Then what do you propose as a way the companies that deliver the websites you visit and block ads from should cover the costs they have for serving their content to you, plus a little profit ?

        I propose that, if they really want to deliver their content, they just suck it up and absorb the cost themselves.

        If you really want to deliver something on the web, then do it. Notice "making somebody else pay for it" is not part of the equation.

        Where in your constitution does it say "A free market, being necessary

    • Konqueror (v. 3.5.0 and later) has AdBlock, same as Firefox does. But it is automatically built into the browser and not a separate extension :D
  • by BACbKA (534028) on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:41PM (#14960051) Homepage Journal
    At the places where I am the root, doubleclick.net and the likes are DNS-null-routed (to a localnet IP 127.0.0.127). At other places, I
    use Firefox, JS selective blocking, and Adblock to disable them forever (occasionally after getting a single hit). Spyware/adware sucks, I am not supporting them, and willing to invest my time to make my point and educate my co-users.
    • That would be a great way to block the previous generation or two of web analytics providers like DC. These days though, many solutions in that space rely on a first party domain for their data collection, which they use DNS to send to the vendors data collection server. This is easy to set up and requires nothing to be hosted via the website being tracked...they just have to set up their DNS appropriately.
    • At the places where I am the root, doubleclick.net and the likes are DNS-null-routed (to a localnet IP 127.0.0.127)

      A combination of several hosts files available online:
      http://www.xs4all.nl/~marschip/hosts [xs4all.nl]

      You need to ADD it to your current hosts file (not replace it)
    • If I were a system administrator I would do it as a security measure. If ad companies are going to start using more metrics than a simple click, I would consider that a potential breach of security. Who knows what information they might be gathering. But if they are gathering any information which might be personally identifiable. The last thing that a company would need is to have an advertisment database that included the company's domain name with what the people at the company look at on the internet. C
    • I strongly recommend the Adblock Plus [mozilla.org] extension for Mozilla Firefox, together with the Adblock Filterset.G Updater [mozilla.org] extension. The dynamic duo has kept my web browsing experience fast and clean ever since I discovered them.

      With the advent of these powerful and extensive adblockers (supports regular expressions!), and the ease of installation and usage, it makes me wonder how online advertisers could survive...
  • DoubleClick who? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:42PM (#14960068)
    DoubleClick? Aren't those the guys who have just <html style="display:none"></html> for any URL within their domain?

    Oh, wait...

    Online advertising had crossed the line of tolerance more than ten years ago. I'm afraid that with more and more sysadmins protecting their users against ads and trackers, most future analyses will show that most users are IE-using uneducated home folks...
    • I put doubleclick.net as an empty zone on my DNS server (among other domains).

      None of my users ever get any of their stuff anymore.

      Know what else? NOBODY NOTICED. Users don't care if there is a 404 in that box or an ad, all they know is the site runs a little faster.

      My HOSTS file on my own machines is something like 16k of data (found the list somewhere).

      If I weren't really lazy, I would add a whole bunch more by finding them myself... so far I have just used lists others generated.
    • I think their black and red "Blocked by Netgear" logo looks pretty classy!
  • ...block doubleclick.net at my router, do they track that?
  • oh boy (Score:5, Funny)

    by SydBarrett (65592) on Monday March 20, 2006 @05:48PM (#14960120)
    Now we can use detailed tracking to figure out EXACTY how and where people punch the monkey for a free XBOX, or if they would rather enjoy shooting the ninja for a free Ipod.
  • DoubleClick Inc really are the enemies of the internet that we enjoy today, yet they will argue ad naseum about revenue stream keeping the internet alive.

    Thier marketing practice is little more than virtual fish trawling - destroying vast tracts of future growth in order to reap thier rewards.

    If they manage to piss off 1000 users to get one click through, they have achieved an objective. How sad.

    It's the most disgusting form of advertisting, as subtle as unsolicited junk mail and just as annoying. But hey, they make money from it?

    So how about a revolution against these dire marketing tactics, that would turn the web into one big advertising board - I'd say that it's entirely possible to thwart these corporate assholes at thier own game, track thier methods and just jerk them around until they start to lose revenue.

    Unleash a mess of spiders onto the web to emulate the traits they are looking for in users - a huge zombie net of "fake users" who fry any attempt to gain "meaningful" information - just complete random noise at massive level.

    How I would love that - possible? - perhaps?
  • Online advertising? (Score:3, Informative)

    by halivar (535827) <bfelger&gmail,com> on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:02PM (#14960245) Homepage
    They still have that on the web? For some strange reason, the entire internet shed its ad clutter the day dowloaded Firefox + AdBlock + Filterset.G.
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:02PM (#14960250) Journal
    They're tracking the to-and-froing of the mouse on Web pages
    Two things:
    1. How do they do this? (JavaScript?)
    2. They're going to find my mouse movements utterly baffling. I like to wave my mouse around in circles, highlight random chunks of text & various other pointless, yet occupying hand motions.

    I'm going to start practicing how to spell out "Suck It" in mouse movements, just for these guys.
  • by Serveert (102805) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:06PM (#14960273)
    Effective CPM tells you everything you need to know, the little bit of data like where the mouse is is all gravy. Nothing in this article shows innovation or anything remotely new/interesting. In fact, online advertising hasnt evolved much from the 90's with the exception of adsense.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:20PM (#14960382) Journal
    Selling advertising space online isn't what it used to be. Sometimes, the goal isn't even to get people to buy your products -- the goal is to learn more about what products consumers want.

    The article describes a banner ad campaign that was used to determine demand for different food products in the preholiday run-up. This kind of market research is taking the place of (or augmenting, in some cases) traditional market research like telesurveys, focus groups, etc.

    The problem as I see it is that we're getting even more LCD goods as a result. All the people who want the same products I want are blocking the research tools. Not to sound elitist, but when only morons are hit up by the market research, more products for morons are released.

    This is one reason why we get crap films, crap television, crap music, etc rammed down our throats.
  • The state of Internet advertising isn't great because now people are worried about fraud from Google & Yahoo. Especially with Google having to make that settlement for click fraud recently. Even before that there has been increasing chatter about cost per action advertising as opposed to cost per click/views. People want something new, they're looking for it and that research is showing in more and more news articles coming out about tracking, etc. Tracing people through a webpage isn't new. I can'
  • Is this the place... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cube farmer (240151) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:29PM (#14960447) Homepage

    Is this the appropriate topic to vent about how the Internet's promise of customized ads -- ads tailored to the audience, ads that we'll want to look at, ads that are relevant to our lifestyles -- is a crock?

    By way of example, I have three tabs open in Mozilla right now, each with a Slashdot story displayed.

    And each with an ad for Lane Bryant.

    Now, tell me, how are those ads tailored (ahem) to a 37-year-old white male geek with no unusual tastes in clothing, beyond the occasional geeky t-shirt?

    • Is this the appropriate topic to vent about how the Internet's promise of customized ads -- ads tailored to the audience, ads that we'll want to look at, ads that are relevant to our lifestyles -- is a crock?

      Well, you have a choice. Be tracked, and have potential "privacy violations", but get relevant ads, or don't be tracked, and get nothing relevant. You can have one or the other, not both. If you don't want to be tracked, ads based on site content are the closest you're going to get to relevant.

      Although
  • It's okay, really. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrNougat (927651) <ckratsch@gMOSCOWmail.com minus city> on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:30PM (#14960451)
    Yes, many web sites require ad revenue to continue to exist. Yes, many people have been driven to use various forms of adblocking because of the intrusiveness or annoyance factor of online advertising.

    One could infer, then, that the people who are not using adblocking fall into one of two categories: those who enjoy the advertising, and those who do not, but are too novice to set up adblocking. Both of those classes of people are the kinds that online advertisers want to target, because each of those classes is more easily separated from their money than the class of people who do not like online advertising and are savvy enough to block it.

    This is why you don't hear online advertisers really making much noise about adblocking. Those who are blocking ads are much less likely to buy were they to see the ads anyway, and the fact that they're blocking reduces load on the technology supplying the ads.

    It's a win-win. Those who don't want to see ads -- don't. Those who want to target ads to the consumers who are most likely to respond and buy -- do.
  • by bigpat (158134) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:34PM (#14960479)
    Web Sites will have to start hosting their own ads again, or else somehow detect that the browser is no longer letting ads through and cut off content. Actually, from a coding perspective the app server could proxy those ads for delivery without a problem, but there needs to be a whole new level of intimacy between the ad server and the content provider, otherwise their metrics are going to get screwed up or be untrustworthy.
    • Ok, but how would that really help? The AdBlocking I'm familiar with - proxomitron - wouldn't be deterred by who's hosting the ad, it doesn't care, it bases it on the div ID or the size of the banner, or some identifier in the path or really anything. I'm assuming that AdMuncher, AdBlock and the upcoming Opera Content Block will be likewise.
    • there needs to be a whole new level of intimacy between the ad server and the content provider, otherwise their metrics are going to get screwed up or be untrustworthy.

      That's why I don't think we're going to have to worry about that approach. As the online game world has shown us, you simply cannot trust the client. Since these are advertisers, who make a living screwing over as many people as they can, they're going to expect others to do the same.
  • Mike Skallas' HOSTS (Score:4, Informative)

    by arrrrg (902404) on Monday March 20, 2006 @06:37PM (#14960505)
    I've found this ad blocker to be exceptionally good: http://everythingisnt.com/hosts.html [everythingisnt.com]. Just install and you're good in any browser.
  • by blooba (792259) on Monday March 20, 2006 @07:02PM (#14960650)
    The one thing in TFA that surprised me:

    The ads placed on pages unrelated to the advertisements' message actually attracted 17% more looks.

    This means that contextual advertising, whether by topic or keyword, actually has the reverse affect that it is intended to have. Contextual advertising is supposed to attract attention and therefore clicks, but according to TFA, contextual advertising is doing the exact opposite.

    • That depends. Number of looks isn't nearly as important as number of conversions. As an advertiser, given a choice between an advertisement that'll bring 1000 people into your store but only 1 will likely buy or an advertisement that'll only bring in 100 people but 10 of them are likely to buy, which one is a better advertisement?

      A high number of views may mean that you're getting your ad out in front of a lot of the kind of people who click through an ad solely to cost the advertiser money or to give the

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday March 20, 2006 @07:24PM (#14960804)
    they're finding new ways to group shoppers by age, Zip Code, and reading habits

    You know something? I'll be really happy about being a member of the human race when we all turn into free-thinking individuals who appreciate uniqueness in ourselves and in others. The fact that too many people revel in mediocrity & lack of change in their lives means that the marketing vultures can use their insiduous "pigeon-holing" techniques to sucker yet more money out of us.

    PLEASE don't make it easy for these people - don't just buy one type of music, don't just read political novels, have the GUTS to try something new and different occasionally.

    As people, we are the sum of our experiences & if all we've ever experienced is mediocrity, then we are mediocre as people.

  • Metrics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daigu (111684) on Monday March 20, 2006 @08:10PM (#14961020) Journal

    Let me be the first to say it. If you have 50 different ways to measure something, you do not have any measurements that matter.

    When advertisers are looking at buying media, they want to use a standard metric so that they can do a rough apples to apples comparison. The question advertisers want to know is how much it costs and how many people that might buy their product will see it. In the world of three network TV channels, you could talk about cost per million and you basically have a homogenous mass, so it was pretty easy.

    Nowadays, you have media fragmentation and advertisers do not know what to buy. Should you buy commercial time during the NCAA tournament? How about the Simpsons? How about on MTV? Since people are using DVR, maybe it is better to do a product placement and put that Coke can on American Idol. Maybe you should just buy search advertising on Google.

    You get the point. While it may be interesting for advertisers to track purchase habits with loyalty cards at grocery stores, through capturing personal information via Google or targeted search results ads, the bottom line is that you can measure it 50 ways till Sunday and it doesn't much help with the central problem - what media do you buy and how much do you buy? Advertisers want an algoritm that breaks it all down and gives them the best bang for their buck.

    There is an old saying in advertising, "I know I'm wasting half my money on advertising, I just don't know which half." The reality is that despite all the scary privacy issues that are starting to come into play - advertisers generally have no clue about what they are doing. And you know what? It's only going to get harder. People can talk about getting into the content tail, but it doesn't make the advertiser's job any easier.

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