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  1. #1
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Block Ad Blockers

    People who use ad blocking software threaten any website maintained with advertising. Solution? Fight back.

    http://66.33.83.213/forums/showthrea...threadid=11744
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  2. #2
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Why not make your ads not suck?

    X10 ads are stupid.
    Sitepointforums text ads are good, unblockable, and nice.
    Mattias Johansson
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  3. #3
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Ad blockers block any image the size of a standard banner. How can I make them not "suck."

    But if you're in favor of ad blockers then well, I find you the lowest form of human. You're ripping off hard working site owners. You might as well be stealing.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  4. #4
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Hi Aspen,

    I'm not in favor of ad blockers - I don't like the concept. However, there are a few things that I dislike a lot more than ad-blockers... They are called pop-unders, animated flash banners and other punch-the-monkey stupidity.

    Ad blockers block any image the size of a standard banner. How can I make them not "suck."
    Have a look at the top of this page! Look at the sitepoint sponsor! There is not an ad-blocker in the world that can block that one! It's not annoying, nice looking and very informative, and according to sitepoints stats, much more effective than the standard banner ad!

    It's the panacea of internet advertising, if you ask me. The people who block ads are blocking ads because they find
    Edit:

    current ad types annyong, not because they are religiously opposed to advertising.


    If you want to block out people that uses ad-blockers, fine -they will only move over to another site. However, if you adapt your ads to be useful instead of downright annoying, you can tap into the buying power of ad-blocker people.

    "A good warrior turns a loss into victory"
    - Some native american
    Last edited by M. Johansson; Jul 28, 2001 at 20:31.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  5. #5
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Get real, even sitepoint runs standard banners on their site. There are advertising standards on the Internet. While you may be able to get alternative advertising formats in some spots for 99% of sites you have to stick to the standards to get advertisers.

    If you think an ad "sucks" dont buy from that merchant. But blocking the ad only hurts the content driven website industry. You're a theif end of story.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  6. #6
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Aspen, as a content provider, I had no idea that you were the living
    re-encarnation of so many famous dead people.

    <<edited for clarification>>

    The above flippant remarks were made with a hint of sarcasm, because I was
    amused that such an all out assult had been waged by the origninal poster in
    the defence of the "content driven industry". Well I did find this amusing
    because I am not aware of any other type of web site other than a content
    driven one. Although, I have seen some pretty plain 404s in my travels - I
    guess that's not really content. So I find this diatribe to be a little
    melodromatic.

    Specifically, my remarks reflected my musing that unless aspen, as the main
    protagonist in this debate, (which up to this point has been quite unsavory
    IMO) is not claiming copyright or some other intellectual ownership to the
    content he is serving from his site (which I know he is not) - then
    he is being quite unreasonably melodramatic and irrationally excessive in
    his vitriol IMO. In other words, I feel that the OP was carrying on with all
    the drama one would muse that a famous playright would use he been felled by
    a plagarist.

    I am sure we are all aware of the technicalities of serving web objects.
    That is, a client requests a remote resorce named using the universal
    resource locator protocol, and the remote server chooses how to respond to
    that request. Aspen's opening post mentions a link which discusses ways in
    which to configure the Apache HTTPD server to make choices about what
    content to serve based on the reported user agent in the header of the
    incoming request from a client. All well and good. I'm sure there are all
    sorts of technical issues here about how you could fine tune such ReWrite
    Conditions and Rules.

    However, I feel it is equally valid to debate the merits of taking a purely
    technical approach to the problem of banner ad blocking and lost ROI through
    investment in bandwidth and other costs, which is what others have done in
    this rather heated debat. It is dead simple for any client to spoof their
    headers and so these sort of technical tussles will always go on back and
    forth.

    I can also see that different people, and groups will have different
    interests and therefor have differing ethical views on what constitutes a
    fair relationship between a publisher and a viewer. There are a lot of
    issues that could have been discussed in this thread in a civil manner.

    Its a pitty that I am adding these comments now as a result of the nonsense
    that has gone on in this thread - some of it perhaps inspired by my sarcasm.
    However, regardless of how ignorant or annoying or silly anyone thinks
    someone else's opinions are, there is no need to stoop to silly talk and
    name calling. No arguement has ever been won by trying to bludgeon someone
    with a dull wit.

    Finally, if I have offended anyone by my remarks in this thread, or angered
    them such that I have diminished the tone of the conversation then I wish to
    sincerely apologise for degrading the quality of what is normally a very
    informative and civil forum.


    <advisor edit: freakysid was unable to edit his post because the topic was closed. he requested this be added.>
    Last edited by mmj; Jul 30, 2001 at 14:28.

  7. #7
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    If you're so ignorant of copyright laws I suggest you read up them. Specifically you should pay attention to the part about Public Domain.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict -TheDarkEye-'s Avatar
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    i dont see how blocking ads is theivery. in fact, it isnt.

    if i download a page from a public web site, i can do whatever i want to it so long as it is for personal use. likewise, cutting all the ads out of a magazine before i read it, is perfectly legal.

    the fact that you actualy worry about this tells me that you are having trouble with the fact that your business model is flawed and unless you wana end up like a lot of the other failed dot-com's out there, you should probly do something about it. just blocking users running ad blocking software doesnt cut it. people will find a way around this or, for anyone like me, will just continue blocking them out mentaly.

    im not saying that i agree with people using ad blocking software but, just like your site ripping problem, you seem to be opting for the quick fix that doesnt realy address the problem and sorta skrews over anyone not using your site the way you would like them too even though they probly had no intension of ripping you off.

  9. #9
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Its the same as sneaking into a movie theatre without paying.

    You're stealing bandwidth and resources from a site without paying. Sure you don't pay money for it, but you do pay. You pay by looking at the advertisements.

    Ad blockers have the potential to kill the Internet. I'm not kidding and I'm not being melodramatic. Any website run off advertising would be killed by ad blockers.

    You call the advertising based business model flawed? Thats not at all true. TV, Radio, Newspapers, these all have that same business model. The thing is there isn't a way to block newspaper ads, you can go to the kitchen during a TV commercial but you'll still hear it and most of the time, unless you're always really hungry, you'll stay put. As for radio you can change the station, but you still hear the ad most of the time.

    What if we installed a chip on every TV that automatically blocked all commercials? Do you know what would happen? Local TV would die. Free Network TV would die, and you would have to pay for every station you get, and cable prices would skyrocket too of course.

    Sure its not technically illegal, and its not technically stealing. But its still abusing the Internet and I am completely aghast that anyone on this forum would be in favor of them. I would hope we are more sensitive to the needs of the Internet as that is our paycheck, or supposed to be.

    I realize there are alot of kids here, or hobbyist. People who don't work online. But believe me, if you did work online you'd be singing a different tune.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict -TheDarkEye-'s Avatar
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    they dont have the potential to kill the internet. they have the potential to kill web pages that rely on advertizing. i only say potential though, because i dont think they are whats gona do it. advertizers are already catching on that distributed forms of advertizing on the net do not work and its not because of ad blockers. its because people ignore them and dont click through. its not like advertizing on tv or the radio. those ads are right there, in front of you for 30 seconds and you cant do anything to move them out of the way. on the web, you just scroll down and start reading.

    uhm....i have to cut this short for now but id just like to add two things before i go.... just to give people some ideas to discuss.

    1. remember, your not the only one paying for bandwidth and resources. your users are too.

    2. my personal web page: i like to pretend it is my own little business. i pay for hosting and a domain name but i do not have any advertizements. do i consider this a non-profit organization? no. so how do i make money off it? how do i pay to keep it up? easy, im using it to sell something that people will actualy pay for.... myself. i dont have to worry about the 99/100 people that arent interested in me because i only need 1 person to be interested. this is different from a site that relies on advertizing because once the advertizers start to realize that the 1/100 people that are actualy interested in them isnt doing didily squat for their business, theyre skrewed.

  11. #11
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The idea that ad blockers block based on the size of the image is incorrect.

    They have a set criteria they look for. These include everything from the URL of the image to looks for a session string.

    People have had trouble with vBulletin getting blocked by adblockers because of the sessionhash that is visible in the URL on some sites (we hide it in a cookie here).

    There are standard sizes of Ads on the Internet but that really has nothing to do with this... If you don't believe me put a string of 468 X 60 banners on your page. Some hard coded and some pulled in from a company like burst and see which ones show up with the blocking software running.

    I agree in that you should make your advertising relevant to the content and useful to the user. Using alternate ad sizes and formats does give you better results as well. However it isn't the format that tricks the software it is the URL. If you can build your ad without relying on long random URL's then you can block the software until the user manually blocks it themselves.

    On another note let's try to keep these discussions civil. There is no need for name calling or intimidation.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  12. #12
    You talkin to me? Anarchos's Avatar
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    Seriously aspen, I don't know if you read the newspapers but there is a hell of a lot more evil in the world than ad blockers. I think you should reconsider your priorities.

    Secondly, I don't find anything wrong with ad blocking, although I don't do it myself. People who use ad blockers are not going to click the banners and they're not going to generate any revenue through the banners, even if they didn't use ad blockers.

  13. #13
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    How do you know they aren't going to click on or view an ad?

    As for evils in the world. I'm not going to even address that comment, its apples to oranges.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  14. #14
    You talkin to me? Anarchos's Avatar
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    No, it's not apples to oranges. It's having the morality to value human life over money.

  15. #15
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    For someone who has the name Anarchos I find that quite hypocritical.

    But why are you online right now? Shouldn't you be off saving the whales? Or working in a hospital? Don't you care more about human life than being online?

    How did you go from wanting to stop ad blockers to caring nothing about human life? You made a huge leap there buddy. I suggest thinking more clearly about what you're trying to say before posting. Or atleast back yourself up a little. Right now all you're doing is being inflammatory.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  16. #16
    You talkin to me? Anarchos's Avatar
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    "But if you're in favor of ad blockers then well, I find you the lowest form of human"

    This is the statement to which I was referring. There was no leap necessary at all, so I suggest you think about what you've already stated before judging my posts as "inflammatory". You are the one flinging insults.

    "For someone who has the name Anarchos I find that quite hypocritical."

    "Anarchos" means "leaderless one", so what is your point?
    Last edited by Nicky; Jul 29, 2001 at 18:28.

  17. #17
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Okay, first of all, lets stick to factual discussion. Drop the flamethrowers and the morality discussion. I suggest that we focus on how to adapt to the ad-blocking phenomena, instead of turning this into a war of ethics.

    Originally posted by aspen
    How do you know they aren't going to click on or view an ad?
    You just need to look at banner statistics, sir. The click-thru rate of a standard banner is between "awfully horrible" and "unacceptable". The sales-per-click is often even worse.
    Fact: It's about 95-98% chance that the average user doesn't click an ad. Users that are hostile towards ads enough to make the effort of downloading an ad-blocker, are probably even less likely to click the ad.

    Get real, even sitepoint runs standard banners on their site. There are advertising standards on the Internet. While you may be able to get alternative advertising formats in some spots for 99% of sites you have to stick to the standards to get advertisers.
    Your first statement - Sitepoint uses banners: True.
    However, Sitepoint only advertises two things, the SP ebook and Webtrends. The banners have very polite animations, and are not very annoying, unlike many banners on the Internet. I would also remind you that sitepoint only uses one popup, which is extremely polite - i.e. you can ask it to go away forever, which is nice.

    If I userstood your second statement correctly, you state that it's easier to get CPM/CPC banners than putting up alternative, non-annoying ads. (like search-boxes or text links to affiliate programs) If this is what you are saying, you are totally incorrect. Fact: It's much easier for a site to get accepted at affiliate networks like CJ and Linkshare, than getting accepted at CPM/CPC brokers like BURST or FastClick.

    Making non-annoying ads are extreeemely simple. Go sign up for Amazons affiliate programs, get a few books that your visitors may be interested in, and put them up as ads, in a nice, informative way.

    Then, go to CJ.com and sign up. Find merchants that are related to your interests, and put them up as ads, with a short description and a recommendation next to them.

    Third, go and sign up for a search-box program, like searchrefferal or searchtraffic, put the searchbox on your site, and prefill it with terms related to your site.
    Mattias Johansson
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  18. #18
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Oh, we should not forget that banner ads are non-profitable. There are already enough sites serving ads, and the rates have fallen through the floor! I'd say affiliating are more profitable for most sites.
    Mattias Johansson
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  19. #19
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I really don't think you know much about the online advertising industry.

    You didn't answer my question either. I asked how do you know a person who uses ad blocking software would not view or click an ad they do not even have the opportunity to see if they saw it?

    Not all advertising is for clicks, there is such a thing called branding that is achieved if the person views and remembers an ad.

    If I userstood your second statement correctly, you state that it's easier to get CPM/CPC banners than putting up alternative, non-annoying ads. (like search-boxes or text links to affiliate programs) If this is what you are saying, you are totally incorrect. Fact: It's much easier for a site to get accepted at affiliate networks like CJ and Linkshare, than getting accepted at CPM/CPC brokers like BURST or FastClick.
    No, you didn't understand my statement.

    First of all affiliate networks are run on a Cost-Per-Lead or Cost-Per-Sale basis. I'm not going to say never, but in 99.99% of casis you will not make even close to the same amount as you would if you served CPC or CPM ads. I don't even consider affiliate programs in this at all. Its not comparable.

    Sitepoint uses non standard ads, not affiliate programs, and those are what I was talking about. 99% of ads or sponsorship opportunities are going to be using standards as set out by the Internet Advertising Bureau (iab.net). If you make an abnormal banner size you will have a much harder time getting advertisers for it. I'm not talking about affiliate programs, I'm talking about actual advertisers.

    I am involved with Amazon.com I have a few 100 highly targetted amazon.com links on my site. It gets me about 1/20th the income that my banner ads server through burst does.

    Also a professional does not litter his site with pay-per-search boxes and everything else. It looks bad, cheap, and it isn't at all targetted. If someone goes to your site and has to search more for what they want then your site needs more content.


    Oh, we should not forget that banner ads are non-profitable. There are already enough sites serving ads, and the rates have fallen through the floor! I'd say affiliating are more profitable for most sites.
    Do you have any actual experience with this? I get 2-3% CTR on my above the scroll banners, some campaigns as high as 6%. On one site I get 1% CTR on below the scroll ones. Overall average CTR is 1% and that includes buttons and cubes as well.

    Banner ads do very well for me. Like I said, 20x more revenue from paid sponsorships than from commission based affiliate programs.

    Fact: It's about 95-98% chance that the average user doesn't click an ad. Users that are hostile towards ads enough to make the effort of downloading an ad-blocker, are probably even less likely to click the ad.
    And? Thats excellent statistics. At 20 cents CPC even at only 2% CTR you'll be making $4 CPM. If you got 100,000 views a month thats $400. Pretty good I'd say.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict Seer's Avatar
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    I've used ad blockers on occasion, so I guess I fall into Aspen's so named "lowest form of humanity" category. I've used the internet for a long time and i've never paid any attention to ads. As far as i'm concerned they're taking up space that could hold more useful information. Maybe a year or two ago ads were less obtrusive and profitable in some way or another. It seems the brilliant idea is to not only have more ads but to make them bigger, more distracting and of course animated. Look at Builder.com's 160x600 sidebar ad, or their 728x90 topbar ad. These are a prime reason for using an adblocker. All that to distract me into seeing a price of something that I have no intention of purchasing. I use the internet for information more than anything else. If I want to buy something i'll drive 5 miles down the road and buy it, no shipping and handling, no wait and I know what i'm getting right there. As far as sites shutting down because people aren't viewing their ads, i'd say they're already forgotten by the visitor and might as well be.
    Everything has been figured out, except how to live. - Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

  21. #21
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    And who pays the bills of the person who puts that information up for you?

    If too many people use these programs there will be no more free information. Instead of the advertiser paying for it you will have to. Ads don't look so annoying now do they?
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Addict Brian Asselin's Avatar
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    Down with the ads!!! We should stop all ads in television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and everything else too while we're at it, yeah!!!!


    Whatever. Don't want ads? start you're own ad free website that does everything all your favorite websites do.

  23. #23
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by aspen
    I really don't think you know much about the online advertising industry.
    Thank you for that excellent insult, sir. It certainly contributes a lot to this discussion. It's true, though - I don't know lots about it, and I never claimed I did.

    You didn't answer my question either. I asked how do you know a person who uses ad blocking software would not view or click an ad they do not even have the opportunity to see if they saw it?
    You CAN'T know. On the other hand, you know for a fact that there is a less than 1-3% probability that the person will.

    Not all advertising is for clicks, there is such a thing called branding that is achieved if the person views and remembers an ad.
    Yup. I admit that! But I do think even branding ads are much better off in alternative forms. For instance, remember when The Register's [url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/] hardware section was sponsored by Intel? They changed the standard color (red) of the page into blue (intels corp. colour), and added, "sponsored by Intel" at the top right. Very clever, not very annoying, and un-blockable.

    However, Branding ads are very rare (I have seen very few, at least), since they are generally extremely expensive, regardless of medium. And when they in fact appear, they only appear on very large sites, like sitepoint.

    No, you didn't understand my statement.

    First of all, affiliate networks are run on a Cost-Per-Lead or Cost-Per-Sale basis. I'm not going to say never, but in 99.99% of casis you will not make even close to the same amount as you would if you served CPC or CPM ads. I don't even consider affiliate programs in this at all. Its not comparable.

    Sitepoint uses non standard ads, not affiliate programs, and those are what I was talking about. 99% of ads or sponsorship opportunities are going to be using standards as set out by the Internet Advertising Bureau (iab.net). If you make an abnormal banner size you will have a much harder time getting advertisers for it. I'm not talking about affiliate programs, I'm talking about actual advertisers.
    We'll have to talk affiliate programs here, aspen, since they are heavily used on the internet, and will be in the future. Sitepoints non-standard ads could very well work if they were affiliate programs, bt the way. Affiliate programs ARE actual advertisers, they just pay CPA and CPS instad of CPC/CPM. We can't simply leave them out of the argument.

    I am involved with Amazon.com I have a few 100 highly targetted amazon.com links on my site. It gets me about 1/20th the income that my banner ads server through burst does.
    That's good! I do think that you should make the link much more promient. Make it bigger, put a price tag on it, and put it under the book title. I would consider turning into a button, and perhaps add "support this site by buying this book at amazon...". There are lots of tricks that could be empleoyed. You banners are flashing like crazy, are at the top of the page, and have more space. It's not very strange that they get higher clickthhrus.

    Also a professional does not litter his site with pay-per-search boxes and everything else. It looks bad, cheap, and it isn't at all targetted. If someone goes to your site and has to search more for what they want then your site needs more content.
    Humm.. I visited your litterature site. At the top of the page I find the crazy super-flashing "You have one message waiting for you", that imitates an alert window.

    Following that, is a "take our survey - popup". When I click "no thanks" an alert box pops up, informing me that the ad will not bother me again.

    When I leave the page, another ad pops up, this time for a newsletter, I belive. I click "no thanks" and is immideatly greeted by a prompt that informs me that I will not see that ad again.

    How does this not litter the site?

    Do you have any actual experience with this? I get 2-3% CTR on my above the scroll banners, some campaigns as high as 6%. On one site I get 1% CTR on below the scroll ones. Overall average CTR is 1% and that includes buttons and cubes as well.
    Nope, no first-hand experience - I don't run a site yet, as I really don't know much about the online ad industry. I have heard a lot of good things from people on geektalk and sitepoint, though.

    I see only two above-the-fold banners at your literature site, after refreshing several times:
    1. "You have one message waiting for you"-ad (flashing at least 2 times per second)
    2. "115$ shopping spree"-ad, also flashing at more than 2 times per second.
    Both of these are annoying ads that trick the user. Both are also known for their high click-thru rate. They are also making a lot of people download ad-blockers (I assume).

    Banner ads do very well for me. Like I said, 20x more revenue from paid sponsorships than from commission based affiliate programs.
    That's maybe because the current ads trick users into clicking. And make them download adblockers, in effect.

    And? Thats excellent statistics. At 20 cents CPC even at only 2% CTR you'll be making $4 CPM. If you got 100,000 views a month thats $400. Pretty good I'd say.
    Yup, it's excellent statistics. In fact, they are so excellent that almost nobody has such statistics. I was being very positive with 2%. The click-thru rate is probably closer to 0,5%, if we are being more realistic. The CPC is realistically closer to 10 cents. Also, note that perhaps 3% (i'm not sure of that one - can someone provide stats?) of your visitors use ad-blockers. This essentially means that you lose 1,5$ total on the ad-blocker phenomena. Those stats may be totally whacked out, though.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  24. #24
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    I'm sorry about all the formatting and spelling errors, by the way... It's 5 am over here... Eeergh.

    I'm going to bed.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  25. #25
    Database Jedi MattR's Avatar
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    We employ "regular" banners (e.g. L90, doubleclick, etc.) and their payouts have been going to pot as everyone knows. We offer sponsorships on a site and forum level (much like sitepoint).

    We currently have a section-wide sponsorship by an on-line gambling (please no complaints; I don't care if you think gambling is bad):
    http://baseball.fanhome.com/forums/index.php

    It's a simple image in the header and is fairly unobtrusive:
    http://a256.g.akamai.net/7/256/5527/...com/i/ba_s.gif

    And then in a forum itself we have a simple image:
    http://forums.fanhome.com/i/b/trade-superchat.gif

    Currently it's advertising a chat we have planned but we have cell phone things, etc. pop up there from time to time.
    (http://baseball.fanhome.com/forums/f....php?forumid=1)

    We also have a pop-up which *should* pop up once every 15 minutes (or longer if you visit continuously since it is tied into vB's authentication scheme). It is a pop-under and is usually fairly small. Occationally it is a flash ad which annoys people but it's no big deal to close it a single time.

    We're trying to get more targeted advertising but really there are far few sports-centric advertisers out there (or even people purchasing sports ads) so we make do with what we can get.
    Last edited by MattR; Jul 29, 2001 at 22:02.


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