The End Of Banner Ads?

from the well,-it's-about-time dept

Just a week after being purchased by Overture, AllTheWeb has launched a new look & feel that simplifies things and makes them appear more like Google. While there are a bunch of little points about the new look, the most important thing to note is that they’ve wisely dropped banner ads. Google has never had banner ads, while AltaVista (also recently bought by Overture) and AskJeeves have dropped banner ads. What I’m wondering is if this is sign towards a larger trend that goes beyond search sites to full content sites. The banner ad has clearly lived well past its prime. Most people are now clearly conditioned to completely ignore any banner ad. The question now, though, is what replaces it? There are two possible directions. First, is the Yahoo belief that “the more intrusive the better”. Second, is the Google camp that believes subtle, but exceptionally relevant text ads are the future. I’ve made no secret of my philosophy that you’re in the wrong business if you need to piss people off to get their attention, so I clearly believe that the Google model makes much more sense. For me, personally, I never click on banner ads, and often try to avoid sites (like Yahoo) that make use of ever more intrusive and annoying ad technologies. However, I find that I very often click on Google text ads, because they are usually relevant to what I’m looking for. In the case of Overture’s new properties, I imagine they’ll move in the direction of text ads as well, since they’ll pick up Overture’s paid placements. However, it remains to be seen if more content sites make the move towards dropping banners and adding contextual text advertising.

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