I think this is a fair question. If I had ads on this blog, would you click them? More importantly, why would you click them?
I had my first web page in, oh, um, way back before the turn of the century. I’ve been on the Internet in one form or another since before the thought of the turn of the century, before the time the Y2K issue was even developed. I’ve seen web fads come and go, and the ads get really big, then really small, eventually becoming text ads, and now everyone has ads, even diary blogs feature ads of various shapes and size.
In all that time, even on commercial and retail websites, I can only remember clicking 5 ads. Of those 5, at least 3 were by accident, thinking it was a link leading to something non-commercial. There might have been more, but there were totally unconscious and unintentional clicks.
Is this just me, or are the rest of you paranoid about clicking ads?
In my early days of beta testing a wide variety of software products (back when they were written in Basic and DOS – oooh, that dates me ;-) Anyone even remember Fortran?), eventually moving out onto the web, I’ve been rather paranoid about viruses, regularly practicing safe computer sex (no sharing floppies, mind you!) long before it became fashionable. Advertising seemed to fall into that lot when it first started, flashing and blinking to grab my attention towards something I had no interest in. Mind you, when it comes to shopping, I am a thrifty spender and major shopper rolled into one. If there is a bargain to be found, my nose is to the ground sniffing. But ads on web pages never “did” anything for me other than annoy me. And that trend continues today.
I HATE having to scroll past ads to get to content. Makes me want to leave the site immediately. I hate ads that don’t match the web layout or design, or load first with content coming in last, so I have to wait through the mind-numbing blinking, flashing, or stupid words (“Discount Toner Broker Cheap Discounts”) just to find answers to my questions. As for the naked women flashing their tits to the world on a lot of forums, chats, software, and game pages – don’t get me started.
Yet, I have no problem with people putting ads on their blogs. Sure, you want to make money. Great. Sure, you want to offer your readers “more” than just what you have to say or the long list of links you’ve collected. Of course, you want this blog thing to at least pay for itself. I understand that.
But honestly, do you click on ads when visiting blogs and websites? Do you really pay attention to them and think “Hey, here’s a bargain! Why don’t I click it to find out more?”
Why do you click them? Is it because of the deal they are offering? Is it because you really need those ink cartridges or posters of naked girls? Or do you feel sorry for the poor sot hosting ads in order to pay for their blog? Do you click the ads knowing that this blogger might make .06 cents every time you click it? Do you feel like you are supporting the blog and the content by clicking ads?
There is a lot of research into where to place ads on your blogs and how to get the maximum number of clicks, even by confusing people who can’t tell the difference between an ad and content so ad clicks are increased just by accident. There is a lot of research into what types of ads work best, testing words, layout, colors, and demographics. But how much work is really done exploring the truth about clicking ads?
I know people are clicking ads. Bloggers are making money from ad clickthroughs. I want to know if YOU are clicking and if you are, why are you clicking. If there were ads on this blog, would you click them and why? Let’s do an informal study to see what say you, the blog fan, of how you personally use ads on other people’s blogs.
Do you click ads on blogs? Why?