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Google The Almighty Buck Businesses The Internet

2005 The Turning Point For Online Ads 154

An anonymous reader writes "Google's advertising sales vice president, Tim Armstrong, said this week in an interview that 2005 was the turning point for online ads. Older businesses went from trying out the internet as an advertising venue to investing full-on." From the article: "'The experimenting and testing phase begun in the 1990s has ended. Corporate ad buyers are investing now,' he said. Jupiter Research estimates the U.S. online advertising market will grow 28 percent over last year, to $11.9 billion in 2005, moving to $13.6 billion in 2006 and $15.1 billion in 2007."
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2005 The Turning Point For Online Ads

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  • Non sequitor (Score:4, Interesting)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:05AM (#14156751)
    They always go to great lengths to point out that ad spending is increasing, yet never make any statements about how effective all this money being spent is. They're throwing cash into this black pit because everyone says to, but how many companies are actually experiences increased sales from onling ads?

    Turning point indeed. In financial terms, this is called an "imminent crash."
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:14AM (#14156815)
      "I know that 50% of my advertising is wasted. I just don't know which half" - John Wanamaker 1886
    • Re:Non sequitor (Score:3, Insightful)

      by moro_666 ( 414422 )
      this kind of hype reminds of the dotcom bubble that exploded some years ago :p

      i think does experience increased sales from online ads, however regular industries that dont push their online services, hardly gain anything, most of what's seen on the screen is forgotten when you turn it off. if you think it's some other way around, tell me what was the 5th banner back that you saw on slashdot.

      currently the webservices have increased into a more mature stage, but i still think it will just explod
      • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:27AM (#14156951) Journal
        All I know is that there are enough ads already.
        Thank $diety for adblock.
        If it hinders page loading and is a remote ad server: adblock
        If it blinks: adblock
        If it blinks with high eye bleeding contrast: adblock and an oath to kill the designer in the afterlife
        If it moves more than a simple rolling static images at a "nice" pace: adblock
        If it's text only, not clashing contrast with the article, or otherwise noticable but unobtrusive: no problem.

        If ad spending is increasing that is a GoodThing, because presumably it implies more free content. I just hope that ads evolve into the less painful types.
        • If it's an ad, adblock.
          • I used to do that, but I realized that there are two paths:
            1) Adblock everything -> Content providers make no money -> content goes away or costs money
            2) Adblock selectively -> Content providers make more money from "nice ads" -> content providers replace "bad ads" with profitable ads -> content stays free with a cleaner and less annoying ad format.

            Both paths are basically an example of natural selection at work. The first selects for extinction, the second for evolutio

      • Re:Non sequitor (Score:5, Insightful)

        by D-Cypell ( 446534 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:52AM (#14157200)
        if you think it's some other way around, tell me what was the 5th banner back that you saw on slashdot.

        I am not sure what you point is. What is the 5th advertisement back you saw on television? Which of your relatives was the 7th birthday back? What was the 12th meal back you ate? (Yes, all of these questions sound grammatically wrong to me too, I cant quite put my finger on the correct format).

        All you have done is prove that people have a poor memory for detailed facts, but if I asked you what sell or which industry you associate nestle with, I am sure you could give me an answer. It is this kind of 'vague association' that advertising folks want to build, so that next time you need a new PC or you need to search the web you know where to go intuitively.

        I happen to believe that online adverts DO serve this purpose, but I would also say that there are companies that I associate negative feelings with because their advert popped onto my screen while I was reading something important (or amusing).

        If I click on an ad, order a product, get a great service, need the same kind of product again, I will probably return to that same site. Advertising may only be the first step, but it is probably the most important as without that ad I would have never have made the order or even found the site.

        So details like "What was the 5th banner you saw" are completely irrlevant if the 5th banner you saw now means you associate a specific product or service with a specific company. Who cares how many adverts back it was???
      • Re:Non sequitor (Score:4, Insightful)

        by pla ( 258480 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @12:10PM (#14157438) Journal
        tell me what was the 5th banner back that you saw on slashdot.

        Slashdot has banner ads?

        I leave unobtrusive text sidebar ads alone. For everything else, a combination of AdBlock and FlashBlock make the web FAR more tolerable.

        People wonder why Google has done so well, despite having the potential to turn into the next Microsoft-like Evil Empire? Simple - They "get" it. Provide me with something useful (a great search engine), and don't deliberately piss me off to get my attention.

        If EVERY single online advertiser used a small text sidebar to advertise, I wouldn't bother blocking any of them. But when some marketing "genius" decides that garish colors, loud sounds, and insanely distracting motion will make me more likely to buy their product - Welcome to AdBlock.

        Of course, "unobtrusive" also includes only taking up one fairly modest sidebar with text. If I start seeing two-deep sidebars on both the left and right, along with top and bottom "side" bars, I suppose I'd have to start blocking those as well. But as long as they stay reasonable, I'll stay reasonable.
    • Re:Non sequitor (Score:5, Insightful)

      by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:15AM (#14156833) Journal
      Actually, compared to things like magazine ads and bilboards, online ads are MUCH better in terms of finding out how well they work. You can actually count the number of people that click the ad out of interest. You can't do that with most other forms of advertising.
      • There have been studies done on this. Scientists in white coats and everything
        99% of people that click on ads either did it by accident (it popped up over the link they were aiming for) or were tricked into it by a fake close button or something.

        Though, the ad companies use the "throw a bucket of paint on a wall" analogy, arguing that 1% of the internet population is still an amazingly large number. Still, it's only clickthroughs. Can they not tie these to actual purchases, or do they simply not want
      • True, but you also have to distinguish between the people who clicked the ad due to genunie interest, and those who were chasing an ill-mannered ad around the screen whilst trying to kill it.

        It's only reasonable to assume that advertisers (whose market is retailers, NOT consumers) will inflate the "positive click" numbers as much as they can get away with, to enhance their product's attraction for retailers.

        • Re:Non sequitor (Score:3, Insightful)

          by liquidpele ( 663430 )
          Well, if 5% of people that come to your site and buy something from a page you advertise, that's good. If .001% buy something comming from another site because they users wer being tricked or whatever, that site may be one you want to ditch. Then again, maybe a site just wants attention and so they annoying ads work for them? I never needed a home security system, but I sure do know what x10 is now....
          • Yeah, but now that you know what an X10 is, and have been chased all over the net by their popups... do you want to buy one, or do you want to see them in hell? :)

            Good point tho, that advertisers clients (that is, the retailers) need to distinguish how people respond to a given ad in a particular location, and not just assume that because one ad worked well, 50 ads would work better, and turning the entire net into a billboard would be perfect!

            • Funny story actually.... after my apartment got robbed, I went to to check out their cameras for a cheap security system. It got bad reviews on a couple sites for the video being to grainy, but for the price I'd expect that, so it's actually not a bad product. It's funny how you can hate a company until you need something they make, huh?
              • LOL! Yep, that's karma for ya :)

                BTW I've been told that ancient CGA monitors work real nice with cheap surveillance equipment. No idea what X10 hooks to or uses, but could be time for a quick run to the junkyard :)

    • I work for a domain name company and my boss throws huge amounts of money at google. He seems pretty happy with the results too.
    • Think of it this way:
      Internet ads are cheaper than TV ads, and the quality doesn't have to be as high.

      Think of it this way: If I see a TV commercial, it had better be good, because no matter how excited about it I am, it's going to be a while before I have a chance to spend money on the product. If an Internet ad sparks my interest, I can be spending money on their website in a matter of seconds.

    • To a crash witness, all of the sudden, everything becomes a crash in the making.

      Oh yeah, click on my google ads por favor.

    • This really is the cool thing about Google's model. They deliver targeted adds catered to the individual. If a person clicks on the link, you can't necessarily assume that they are going to open their wallet, but it is a reasonably safe assumption that your message was recieved. In order for it to be as successful as it has been historically, since it is pay-per-click, they must be delivering a pretty decent volume of messages, right?
    • Re:Non sequitor (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wellspring ( 111524 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @12:08PM (#14157405)
      They're throwing cash into this black pit because everyone says to, but how many companies are actually experiences increased sales from onling ads?

      Honestly, I have no idea.

      Advertising does have strategic benefits. When I was working at a mobile software platform company, we skipped ads altogether. Result: companies thought that we were either not viable or not a major player. When we started running ads, the concerns evaporated. So people weren't exactly persuaded to buy by the ads, but they did help give us some credibility. Having a winning image helps differentiate you from your competitors in established markets. In new markets, it helps educate your consumer-- so prospects that your salesmen pick up can be more quickly qualified (ie you don't have to do 4 flights worth of meetings to discover that your prospect has no need for your product, and to help customers realize opportunities to use your product that a cold-calling salesman might not realize).

      What I like about Google's model is that they're gradually working towards a model where you pay not for views (like most ads) or for clicks (as things w/ google work today) but eventually for sales. Every step is getting us from the current "black hole money pit" model where marketing is overhead, to marketing as a cost of sale. In accounting terms it's great, but also it helps you finally get a sense of what really works out there.

      For all the statistics and numbers, marketing is still pretty much voodoo. I'm just happy that we're finally getting closer to a point where you can really start seeing what works and what doesn't.
      • Advertising does have strategic benefits. ... companies thought that we were either not viable or not a major player.

        Uh, no. You haven't actually described any strategic benefits whatsoever, just illustrated the pass-the-buck structure of marketing; it's all about image. Did your company know what the actual strategic benefit of advertising was? No, but you knew you had to have them. Did the "companies" know what the strategic benefit of advertising was? No, but they knew they had to have them. The onus of
        • Uh, no. You haven't actually described any strategic benefits whatsoever, just illustrated the pass-the-buck structure of marketing; it's all about image. Did your company know what the actual strategic benefit of advertising was?

          Actually, I thought I explained rather well what the advantages proved to be for us. You dismiss "image" but the fact is that prior to our ad campaign customers expressed skepticism about our position in the market and financial viability. After the ads, we were recognized and it w
          • Re:Non sequitor (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sapgau ( 413511 ) *
            Brand recognition

            They are all intangible but somehow people can associate a premium to them (i.e. Lexus, Cadillac, Rolex, Luis Vouton(sp?) ).

            But to accountants that all means overhead in trying to achieve it, I don't think that would ever change.

    • you can be assured of NOT winning.

      When you DO have a ticket, you have a chance.

      With Google trying to organize everything, it should be unnecessary to run an ad, adding your voice to the babble out there, but an ad or a review moves you to the front of the consciousness, and its the only way to get something really new/novel/innovative out there.

      Nobody's going to come looking for something they don't know about or at least aren't curious about.

      For example: I heard about a new product that I was tangentially
    • how can 'they' have the data on conversion to comment on this? i kind of think that may be one of the reasons that google released the analytics deal - to get a bit more of a window on how advertisers goals and conversions are coming along versus ad spend.
      at a small software company i worked at previously the online ad spend was in the 10k-ish a month range, and using referrer info and urls specific to the online campaign they were able to see that the return on investment on that was great, justified every
      • how can 'they' have the data on conversion to comment on this?

        Why not simply line up the IPs of those who came to the site from one of your advertisements (you can get the last URL of a visitor, right?) Match the IPS up against whover brought from your store that day, and see the correlation.

        Not perfect, i admit. It won't see people who browse one day, then purchase the next.
    • I'd like to see online Coupon ads.. generic product ads, saying "Click here for $1 off Charmin Ultra" or some such... basically some 468x60 ads that follow the tv ad model, for pretty generic, loosely targetted ads... wonder what it would take to work with google on creating such a thing...

      My bbs site, for example, winds up with ads for Telnet/SSH servers, etc, and honestly, those do almost squat for me, because the people that visit my site, aren't really interested in similar technologies.
  • by rd4tech ( 711615 ) * on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:06AM (#14156754)
    Can anyone give any real-life examples of offline vs online advertising profits? What costs more? What pay's off more? Which one is better targeted?
    • Print/display ads are sold on a cost per thousand basis. Trouble do you verify the ad has indeed been viewed by a subscriber, visitor? Online ads where things are pay per click ensure that the viewer has engaged with you on atleast some level, as opposed to flipping by a page. Try it out at RambleWeb []. You have the option of browsing past or engaging in depth with the gift idea presented. Choice is yours...In a magazine, there are ads in there you'll never see yet someone paid for them.
    • No mention about returns but this statement alone ..
      "By contrast, Google, which dominates the fast-growing market for keyword-search advertising, has been growing at three times the industry rate, or around 100 percent a year"

      Google has some very key data centers... give them some an entry into the cable market, set top boxes with targeted ads, disable TiVo ad skipping, and I'll probably have to quit watching TV entirely. It easy to firewall off my wife's shopping habits, but this would be the turning

    • Online advertising - is it good or is it whack?
    • In my experience we have been more successful with Online advertising opposed to print (magazine) advertising. This is for a software company though, who's users are more likely to be online.

      Also, perhaps you can get alot more advertising for the same money, when doing it online.
    • I read a stat in Harper's that the estimated combined ad revenue of Google and Yahoo in 2005 matches that of the big three TV networks - ABC, NBC, CBS, in prime time ad slots. And I'll give you one guess as to which one is growing faster.

      My 1000th comment! And oddly relevant.

  • by xoip ( 920266 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:07AM (#14156763) Homepage
    Targeting of customers by major brands is obvious. The main challenge is accessing the local market. Finding a central portal/site where consumers from a certain neighbourhood visit is the main challenge for the local business who lives off walkin traffic.
  • I thought Google had a policy [] of no longer talking to CNet/ZDNet reporters. Did they change this?
  • What is this "internet" thing you speak of?

    You say, billions of people will use it?

    That sounds good. Let's wait 15 years, and see if it will take off, then we'll see if we can make some money off of it.

  • Investing Full On (Score:5, Informative)

    by faqmaster ( 172770 ) < g m a i l . com> on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:10AM (#14156779) Homepage Journal
    "Investing full-on" == the return of pop ups. I've noticed more and more pop ups, not in independet windows, but as CSS overlays. Annoying as hell. Plus, it seems every page now has full-motion 30 fps quarter-page Flash movies. The return of the bad-old-days.
    • I know not all overlays are Flash based but the pros of uninstalling certain browser plug-ins far outweigh the cons.
    • Re:Investing Full On (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There's also the trick of trapping your first click on the page with javascript and make it trigger a pop-up window at that moment (works with Firefox's default settings).

      I don't really see how those pop-up equivalents can be eliminated short of eliminating the new window javascript function and CSS overlays completely.
      • Re:Investing Full On (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rjstanford ( 69735 )
        If you're on a Windows machine (as a lot of people are), I recommend AdMuncher. I'm a paying customer, and its worth every dime. It serves as a kind of dynamic web proxy and rewrites using the best set of rules I've yet found. Ads are effectively eliminated with very few other issues, all rectifiable with a quick right-click. I used to use a hosts file, and deal with some annoying issues because of it - this works an order of magnitude better. And it comes with (IIRC) a 30-day free trial.

        I wonder if th
    • I've noticed the same thing on my machine at work. Just terrible pop-ups, even with firefox, some of which mimick MS's security center or are just more 'punch the monkey' ads. I've seen flash embedded spam with voice-overs, which are unintentionaly hilarious with this dead-pan 1950's voice.

      Screw the return of the bad old days, I block using a host file [] so no matter what browser, mailer, etc I'm using, a lot of this stuff doesn't get through. Funny, I still spend an incredible amount of money on purchases
  • by BattleRat ( 536161 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:10AM (#14156786)
    that a good bit of the Firefox users (about 10% of the online browsing community, if I remember correctly) use the Adblock, Flashblock and NoScript extentions. We were largely ignoring them before, now we are even seeing them. I wonder if investors are taking this into consideration or are they fishing for the IE masses? It's only a matter of time before non-tech savvy grandmas and the like are going to start using Firefox in order to cut through the craptastic ad-laden world that is viewed through IE. (Not to mention the IE vulnerabilities)...ugh.
    • > It's only a matter of time before non-tech savvy grandmas and the like are going to start
      > using Firefox in order to cut through the craptastic ad-laden world that is viewed through IE.
      Hopefully this will yield 'better' advertising.
      That is, targetted, on-topic, acceptable, and possibly even helpful (ie. Google style); as opposed to bigger and more obnoxious graphics desparately trying to grab your attention.
      • hopefully it will lead to less advertising, so money put into marketing can be put to actual productive use.
        • > hopefully it will lead to less advertising, so money put into marketing can be put to actual productive use.
          I'd prefer it lead to more effective advertising which in turn leads to less (wasted) advertising.
          Reducing advertising as a whole may have other ill effects.

          For instance, many content-providing web sites gain most if not all revenue from advertising. A reduction in advertising may affect such sites.
    • I'm an avid firefox supporter but as the firefox user base grows so will the "AIM, eBay, and Amazon toolbar for firefox" and such. Adblock is a great extension, but at least for me , it doesn't work completely as advertised(some flash ads are unblockable ). And to think that Adblock or other such extensions will cure the pop-up/ad bug is being very optomistic. Web Ads change with the software running them. Example is when IE came out with pop up blocker, now a lot of websites I visit are using CSS overl
  • So-called "click fraud" seems to be the weak link here.

    Microsoft should fund a click-fraud network, to undermine the whole PPC/advertising-based model. Microsoft can't expect to play that game like Google, so if they destroy that business model, Google will be worse off.

    And then we can all go back to Desktop applications - and Bill will become all the money.
    • So-called "click fraud" seems to be the weak link here.
      Not compared to most other forms of advertising. Companies buy ads everywhere from magazines to billboards to skywriting, none of which give direct feedback.
  • Filters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marol ( 734015 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:14AM (#14156816)
    Thankfully, Adblock [] works rather well, filtering out visually disturbing ads from actually useful and/or entertaining information on the web.
  • I'd like to see the numbers for online advertising. I personally never find much interest in ads other than an irritation that gets blocked. Then of course there is the bane of pop ups and pop under ads that drive you nuts at times.
  • Due to text ads? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:17AM (#14156848) Homepage
    Does anyone else think that this is partly because of text based advertisements, and also because of the "adsense" idea? They've finally made advertising that is relevant to what you're looking for.
  • by gasmonso ( 929871 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:17AM (#14156853) Homepage

    The online advertising is so successful because it allows any company big or small to get recognized for as little or as much money they want to spend. If you look at how adwords functions, it allows you to bid on keywords to get your ads placed on sites with Adsense. Sure, some keywords get very expensive, but in general the prices are reasonable. Now with other companies like Yahoo getting in on the action, this will drive prices down. What's key here is how effective these ads are or are not. Everywhere you go, my site included, has Adsense. I bet many people click on the ads not even realizing they were ads, thus diluting them a little. But the fact that they are content based, does make them effective. This is the future for now and the kinks will be worked out. Let's just hope tv shows start using adwords so we can get rid of commercials :)

    gasmonso []
  • 2005 is also the year we saw popup blocking easily available to the masses. Firefox, Opera, IE, heck even AOL now blocks most popups.

    I would guess that many /. readers block inline ads as well using tools like Adblock, Flashblock, Proxomitron, etc. I wonder how long it will take for the masses to easily experience the web annoyance free. hmmmmm....
  • The way things are shaping up on the internet, it's no surprise that people are going to utilize the available traffic for benefit. Online advertising is and will become and even bigger industry.
  • I don't personally let myself be swayed by advertising. It only exists because they want you to buy their stuff but in most cases they can't explain too well what their stuff is or why I should actually care. I have not run out and bought an iPod just because of their slick commercials, no popup ever convinced me to buy an X10 camera, and I don't even pay attention to ads on web pages because the ones I have seen are mostly for crap no one wants.

    IMHO, all that advertising money should be put back into pro

    • Nice to see someone else who ignores ads. I've told various people during similar conversations that I'm an ad agencies worst nightmare. I don't watch commercials on tv (except the Captial One ads. I think they're funny and well put together) and fast forward through them when watching taped shows, don't look at the ad inserts in my sunday paper (grocery store excluded) and ignore ads on the web (don't have AdBlock installed but nor do I have Flash).

      If anyone from an agency or store would ever ask wh

    • Re:Feh! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by asdfrewq ( 887186 )
      You personally might not be affected by advertising, be it web-based or traditional, but in one way or another the majority of consumers are. Be it due to hectic lifestyles, demand for the immediate satifaction of owning a product they just "KNOW" suits their every need, or sheer ignorance, people by the bucketload are more then willing to let their purchasing decisions be swayed by the advertisments they see everyday.

      Even those who pay no attention to advertising themselves are at least indirectly affec
  • by iceT ( 68610 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:22AM (#14156909)
    Much like the 'blink' font tag in HTML, Internet Ads need to learn that it's important to be present, but not distracting. No self repecting web designer uses the blink tag any more. It's just too obnoxious, and actually puts people OFF of the website. Online Ad designers need to embrace this same philosophy. It is my opinion that the adblock extenion for Mozilla browsers was created because some ads are just too destracting, and make the content of the PAGE harder to read.

    Rotating images/text is one thing, but blinking/flashing graphics will NEVER get me to click on the link..

  • I have to totally agree with previous comments. I think this is Completely caused by the revolution in more relevant marketing brought about by Adsense and apps like Chikita Web mall. They're only showing you the Ads that you might want to see based upon what you're reading. I wonder how long until the ads start talking to me and using my name al la Minority Report. [].
  • Mod me as offtopic or whatever, but it must be said:
    Flash advertising is annoying and very distracting!
    It is harder to read text next to a flash ad....sometimes I will even zoom in to the point of obscurity to disable the flash ad. It doesn't make me want to buy the product/service any more if the ad is moving and flashing between white and red backgrounds.

    Okay my rant is over.
  • Yeah right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ender Ryan ( 79406 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:23AM (#14156921) Journal
    I work for a company that has made money selling online ad space since 1995. We are indeed one of the first companies to actually make a profit at it, AFAIK. In 2001, after a brief period of net advertising being absolutely out of control, it all came crashing down, because there was just too goddamn many ads, and people tuned out. Just like what is happening with TV ad spots today, they become less effective when there's just too much of it.

    So while ads are reasonably effective again right now, it'll crash again, because website owners are just cluttering their sites with too damn many of 'em.

    The company I work for has learned, and is maintaining a reasonable number of ad spots on our site. Others would do well to do the same. But I guess that goes against the current trend of dangerously short sighted business practices.

  • Temporary? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hagrin ( 896731 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:26AM (#14156949) Homepage Journal
    I've started a tech site/blog just like a million other people around the world in the hopes that I too could cash in on the online advertising scheme.

    However, running a tech blog, I have noticed one definite fact - that Ad Munching occurs on almost 70% of the users that visit my site. That means that my "revenue stream" (I've made less than it would take to fill up my car's gas tank) is one Greasemonkey script, one AdMuncher default installation, one MSFT OneCare configuration away from being completely obliterated.

    Technical users are already speeding up their web browsing experience and once default OEM computer installations come with ad blocking (MSFT could potential block AdWords ads with Vista out of the box), you could see a filtering of advertisements off the web. Especially since Google is relying on contextual ads, their JavaScript code is one security setting away from never even reaching the user - no less having them click on the ad and then actually buying something.
    • Google Adsense may use JavaScript, but is it dependant on it? I don't think so. They can match ads to content from their crawling process, and the ads themselves contain JavaScript to mask the Google redirect URL that lets them bill their advertisers, but this isn't necessary for the functioning of the ad, just a bonus for the user experience.

      I reckon Google could remove JavaScript from Adsense pretty easily.
    • I put ads on my website, but I never see them since I block ads. I'm not going to get upset with someone for blocking. I'm just going to take advantage of those who don't.

      It's not like the people who block ads would actually give you clicks anyway.
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:31AM (#14156978) Homepage Journal
    Don't. Not unless you can afford establishment advertising.

    Honestly. Advertising can work for the very select top tier products that become the establishment product, but in the long haul, there is only one way to make a product successful and profitable: quality.

    It doesn't have to be the best, it has to work in the customer's situation. If you sell service, do it happily and as close to perfection as possible.

    In all my years of being in business, I have never seen a good return on advertising that turned into a long run of regular customers. Sure, I may have seen some profits, but I also so many losses. I will never advertise again, I can't compete with Target or the like. What brings customers to my various businesses? Word of mouth. It spreads like wildfire when you perform a really good service or sell a great product.

    The web is in trouble as programs like AdBlock and the like gain use. I know many of you use AdBlock, but if you use it on a website you like, turn it off. Click the damn ads. How do you think that site is being provided for? I pay as a subscriber to slashdot, and this Christmas I'm planning on giving a dozen or so subscription gifts to people on here that I admire. Sure, Taco and the boys have some nice money now, but I love the site, and I will continue to support it.

    Advertising online doesn't work as well as many think it does. I've been watching the companies that have started to use AdSense within their catalogs (offering paid links to their competition). Only the top companies are making it big. I've spoken to some large bloggers (off the record) and their numbers in advertising don't make their blogging a real income. Yeah, there are a few who are making it big.

    Google is taking in the most, but they have to find ways to combat against AdBlock and other ways to avoid the advertising. I don't know how they'll do it, but as I find AdBlock being used on more and more systems, I know that Google won't remain the king.

    I do believe that sponsorship advertising of the web might work. Basically a monthly payment in order to say "Slashdot, brought to you by Microsoft" or something of the sort. Some podcasts I've listened to are receiving sponsorships, and they are't tacky ads but well thought out slogans or quick product placements.
    • Good thing I didn't take your advice two years ago or I'd still be in my parent's basement.
  • While most ads are annoying, Google's ads are helpful. When I am looking for something online, usually just browsing though, I can click on a Google ad and off I go. What is wrong with the blink tag?
  • "Jupiter Research estimates"

    That better not include the makers of Xupiter spyware... Otherwise this study is significatnly biased.
  • This will spur innovation in ad blocking software for all common platforms. If you look at magazines now, more than 50 per cent of many are ads. I don't buy magazines anymore because of this. At least on the net you can kill them.
  • Actually, the system is pretty cool: They pay for websites that post ads that I don't see because of the Adblock [] plugin for Firefox []. Everybody is happy: The companies get to pretend somebody is reading their ads, the websites get me as a visitor, and I get content.

    Ah, capitalism and Open Source software. What a great combination.

  • How? (Score:2, Interesting)

    First, I have grown accustomed to ignoring online ads. I have NEVER clicked on an ad, and by extension bought something from a web site in that manner.

    I have also dabbled with creating a website using ads and can safely say I am not making any of that $12 billion. Again, few people click thru an ad and buy a product. In fact, browsers like Firefox ship with the default setting for cookies to delete them after exit from the app, or at least this option is available. This means that many websites using co
  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @11:57AM (#14157267)
    .. due to an extreme focus on clicks.

    Regular magazine advertisements have no direct link between the advertisement and the shops selling the products, while online advertisement do.

    The problem is that for a long while, web adverts were considered useful only if they gave DIRECT hits to the target website. That is highly unfair imo. Having people SEE the banner is useful enough on it's own. It helps generate brand recognition.

    I think the web sites oversold the idea of clicks so much it made companies undervalue viewings of the ads. In my opinion web ads should be more expensive per square cm per viewing than regular ads, because of the added statistical information the client gets. In addition, clicks should be rewarded.
    • That's an understandable opinion but you're incorrect and the numbers in the article and summary kind of prove it. When you have smaller websites like mine having real visitors really do matter much more than being a brand which people recognize, because what's the point if no one visits? You may not appreciate the value of a visitor but trust me, if you were a website owner I think you would agree that targeted visitors (the ones Adwords can bring) are the lifeblood of your business, just like any merchant
  • by dbmasters ( 796248 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @12:24PM (#14157571) Homepage

    While I can't comment much on how EFFECTIVE advertising online is, I have noticed in my home audio recording based community that there has been a significant increase by the industry in advertising on my site, and I presume others in my space. 2005 was pretty interesting, I was contacted by many manufacturers over the year, and now that it's toward the end of the year, many of the manufacturers I did enter into agreements with have now started talking to me about re-upping for next year, so really, I can only assume that the advertising has been effective for them.

    But then, there are some companies that throw money at things without watching exactly where it it's anybodies guess...but since it's my site, I would like to think it's cuz my site sells stuff for them :-)

    Bottom line: What I do know is 2005 interest picked up a lot, and they want to reup for 2006, with more companies wanting, well, I see validity in the article.

  • Wrong direction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by linuxhansl ( 764171 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @12:37PM (#14157739)
    I find it strange that we are all "worshipping" a company whose only revenue stream is placing internet ads and whose main focus is to pester us with more ads.
  • I think a lot of you are placing blame in the wrong places...for every company willing to pay somebody to place a nasty popup, popunder, expanding flash, spyware injecting or moving target type of advertisement, there is also a lame webmaster that actually PUTS IT on their, who is to blame, the company trying to buy it, or the webmaster that puts it online? I for one never accept those types of ads for my sites, for the reason you guys site, they suck...and are even dangerous... don't hate the pl
  • Surprising (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Thursday December 01, 2005 @12:52PM (#14157915)
    I am very surprised to hear this. I personally have only seen a handful of adverts on the web in the last few months - this is because I use firefox and adblock as well as a few other tricks. And I help everybody I know to do the same.

    The truth is - most people despise adverts because they are deceptive, annoying or irrelevant (and quite often all). When I buy things it is often despite having seen an advert for it; that is how I feel about the kind of advertising we are presented with, and I think many feel the same. When I want to buy anything more expensive than a bottle of milk, I first research what my options, find what I need and where it is cheapest - then I buy. Adverts don't enter into it, unless you count such things as catalogs that you pay for. And that illustrates the difference between reality and the fantasy if the advertisers: my research presents me with the information I want, whereas advertising is in your face, disruptive - and highly unwelcome.

    What I find particularly strange is that what you would have thought was otherwise sensible businesses keep doing this when it so obviously alienates a lot of people.
    • Re:Surprising (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dbmasters ( 796248 )
      Well, while I personally agree with your sentiment, it's obviously simply not true because ads sell things...false ads work...hell, look at politician ads around election time when they start getting desperate. I put your thoughts up there with many I read here, many /.ers think that everybody thinks like them, works like them and shops like them, and it's simply not true, /.ers are, on the average, more technically proficient and savvy people, most don't know HWO to block ads and many shop with them, the

  • Proposal: remove all ads and put them on dedicated websites

    Rational: people like to see ads when they choose to

  • Every ad next to yours reduces the impact of your ad geometrically. One ad is effective. One ad in a sea of thousands no so...

    SO, the TRUE turning point in advertizing will be when ad companies start paying for BLANK space on all the billboards near thier ads. Imaging just a single ad on the road between here and Nantuckett, instead of 300... Imagine two minutes of black screen followed by a single ad, followed by two more minutes of black... THAT ad will have serious impact!
  • What? There are still advertisements on the web? I hadn't noticed thanks to the Firefox adblock extension. It's only a matter of time before someone comes up with a bayesian filtering mechanism to operate on arbitrary HTML elements, and even text-based advertising will be a thing of the past. Spam still survives because it's virtually free for the spammer. People have to pay for web ads, and once they find most of their audience are filtering them out it is no longer an attractive proposition.


Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong