Advertising: Most people ignore web banners!

A recent poll conducted by AdWeekMedia and Harris Interactive reveals that most people actually ignore web advertisement banners while they tend to believe more in television and news paper ads in order to arrive at purchase decisions.

The percentage of Americans who believe that television ads are more helpful is more than one third (37% to be exact) while 17% of the people trust news paper ads. Interestingly, only 14% of the people believe that Internet search ads are of any value at all. Not surprisingly, the percentage of the people who blindly trust Internet ads are mostly youngsters while majority (46%) all age groups together say that they ignore web banners.

The age factor

Age seems to play a major role in the usage of a particular ad medium (TV, news paper, web, radio etc) in order to make informed decisions when it comes to purchases. For example, most retired people (31%) trust the news papers more than anything else when it comes to advertisements. Obviously, in retired age people get to spend more time with news papers. 50% of the people in the age group of 18-50 believe that TV ads are good enough for decision making. Needless to say, only 20% of the youngsters say they ignore web ads. Basically the younger generation that is always hooked on to the Internet make their decisions in life based on what they read on the web.

The role of the medium

In fact the ease at which one can ignore an advertisement varies between mediums. For example, it is not very easy to ignore a printed newspaper ad simply because it is permanently staying there for ever. In order to ignore a TV ad, one has to actually switch the channel while movie (DVD/VCD) ads can be fast forwarded and easily skipped. In the case of web text ads, people can most easily ignore them. Most popups will be closed as soon as they appear and people mostly skip many web pages as soon as they hear/see multimedia ads. As for some of the standard size (e.g. 468×60) banners, the general (viewing) perception is that it is an area that one needs to scroll and skip.


Looking at the ad trends and the insights from the surveys like the one I am talking about, it is very clear that web ads are generally meant for the younger generation. You might find some success if you run a gadget or computer related product’s campaign on the web but the success rate may not be the same with products for other age groups. This also gives some hints for making money online. Probably the niches that will fetch you more PPC/AdSense income will be those niches where the relevant products or services are preferred more by the younger generation. The very fact that the overall market share of online ads is just around 7% gives you an opportunity to potentially make money online but at the same time it is a risky medium to depend on as well.

You can access the full report here!


  1. Richael Neet :

    Why people ignore internet ads? I think the major reason is the belief that most advertising companies are just a small, scam website that took advantage of the cheap advertising options and placed their ads. Most people have grown tired of those flashy “You are the XXXXX visitor to the website, click to claim your reward” types of ads, and go ahead and associate all internet ads with those scammy types of ads.

    More trust is placed on print, billboard, radio or TV ads, since they cost much more than Internet ads, therefore, people view it as legitimate.

  2. Nihar :

    The main reason for less people going for internet banners is there are still very less %ge of ppl who are on the web. there are lots of ppl who still don’t use internet and they look for ads on either news papers or Television.

    Nihar´s last blog post… June 2009 Blog Traffic & Income statistics

  3. Really useful post. If you are as certain as me that those %ges are going to change in favour of internet, there is no doubt that we are at the right spot.

    Btw Ajith, I was looking for a cpm ad network for one of my sites and came across creditburner. Further research on Google showed that they use dubious methods. Thought will let you know since you seem to be promoting them on your site.

    binaryday´s last blog post… 5 reasons why Toolbar Pagerank is still important

  4. I ordered a Dell Studio 15 Lappie based on what I read on the internet, 2-3 phone calls and a lot of tweeting.

    I just don’t trust Adsense ads, its too easy to use Adwords, and setting up a real looking sales website is too easy.

    I think on the internet more people turn to reviews rather than ads, maybe finally the purchase is made via an ad.

    Arun Basil Lal´s last blog post… Add Custom Status or Notes to a Post without a Plugin

  5. i have always felt that web banners are not that effective….but still they are so costly..the age factor you have talked about is very true..

    IndianCashMaker´s last blog post… How does Blogging Make Money?

  6. It is almost that once we get used to them our brain automatically glosses them over in the search for the information we came there to locate in the first place. Just like reading a magazine and not noticing most the ads. Only the special ones will get your attention.

  7. I got to know about this for quite some times, many people ignored banner ads or text link ads, especially “Ads By Google”. I agree with you, only younger generation would click on the ads because they have minimum knowledge about internet and ads as well. I noticed that most of the people don’t even know about Google Adsense, this was why they will click on the ads if they interested with the ads.

    I’ve actually built 3 blogs about construction, I’m targeting construction contractor, because most of them don’t know about Google Adsense. I did receive quite some clicks from construction blogs every day. :)


    Make Money Online´s last blog post… Make Money Online With Forex Trading System – MyForexTruths

  8. moserw :

    Honestly very true. I’ve never bought anything myself based on internet ads. I have however bought a lot of stuff based on reviews on the internet. But I believe the internet is the future. A long while ago people read newspapers for news, then it was TV and now its the internet. News about MJ’s death was first on the internet. Similarly ads and marketing too will go the internet way.

    moserw´s last blog post… Going The Fruit Diet Way…

  9. @Richael, Absolutely. More than well known brands and products, many of the web banners carry junk services behind them. Having said that the existence of blogs like mine is largely based on how easily we can attract people to click on those ads 😆

    @Nihar, you are right about the internet usage… But I thought this particular survey was conducted with those who use all the media.

    @SK, you and me are attracted to blogging due to those web banners right? 😛

    As for the CreditBurner, I had some issues in the past but they seem to have sorted out all those redirection-to-junk-sites issues. I tested it (still using them) on my tools pages – so far no issues but I shall definitely keep a watch.

    @Arun, I agree with your views on shopping research. Perhaps, the web provides an excellent platform to research but actual purchase may not happen via web (due to a banner ad)

    @Tushar, What did you mean when you said banners are costly?

    @Jacques, intrusive ads usually drags your attention but unlike newspaper, magazine ads you have the option to close the browser or quickly move away from the page.

    @Lee, LOL I wish all my readers clicked some of those Google Ads on my pages :). Did you give out a clue that we should focus on niches where the typical reader is not tech-savvy and do not understand Google Ads??

    @Rajiv, I believe that reviews are somewhat helpful but you have to read 10s of them before concluding something. Still, you might want to take a look at a particular product offline before making a purchase decision. You are right about the way in which newspapers, TV and web is evolving. Every medium is more like a marketing channel these days!

    Thank you all for your wonderful views!

    • Haha, everyone is wishing that their readers click on their Adsense ads. Nevertheless, regular readers definitely will not click on it because they know what is this and they know where is it, but first time reader might click on the ads if they don’t know what is it and where is it, perhaps accidently.

      Yes Ajith, if you tend to make money with Adsense, try to aim for people who don’t know much about internet or Google Adsense. You might be able to get more clicks. 😀


      Make Money Online´s last blog post… The Truths They Don’t Tell You About Making Thousands of Dollars Online

  10. Raju :

    As a web-master, this is scary. I tend to agree with this survey. As more and more people get “web-aware” the tendency to click on ads online reduce. i observed this personally at home with my mom and sister. It gets challenging as a webmaster to create niches which attract youngsters.

  11. Honestly I was never attracted to banners :S I prefer text ads but then for banners it also depend.. some banner are so well designed that i can stop to look at them for a while lol.

    You know those adsense scientology ads? They are really interesting to watch at times.

  12. @Lee, @Kurt, @Raju, to be frank AdSense clicks are generally coming from those first timers or wanderers. In fact, aren’t we all alluring people to click by changing fonts, blending with the colors etc? 😆

  13. Rahul :

    This is fact peoples ignore banners.

    Rahul´s last blog post… Tips How to Make Successful Blog

  14. Yeah. I agree. Me too simply ignore the banner, i dont think that google crawl text from banners. so i prefer placing text than banner.


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