Vast Majority Of Popup Click Throughs Are Accidents

from the whoops dept

For years, anyone with a bit of common sense has known that pop-up ads were bad for business. They piss people off and studies have even shown that they're bad for business generating more negative feelings for the brand than positive responses. The problem, still, was that advertisers who used them still swore by them, pointing to the much higher clickthrough rates than other types of ads. Advertisers used this stat to prove that, for as much as popups pissed people off and brought them ill-will, they still "worked." Well, now it's time to disprove that as well. A new study has shown that approximately 90% of popup clickthroughs are accidental, caused by people trying to shut down the damn windows so they can get on with their surfing. This quote says it all: "Achieving an over-inflated click-through rate might help brands to justify their spend, but they are only deceiving themselves. The brand, which we used in our research study, is not only wasting up to 90% of its budget by paying for unintentional click-throughs, it is also frustrating and deceiving users."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Bryan Price, Jul 13th, 2004 @ 7:10pm

    This reminds me...

    If the blank comment shows up, kill it. Sigh. :(

    As I was trying to type-

    A website I was on some time ago was particularly obnoxious in that while I was reading it, I was doing something else, and I would click on a blank portion of the page to reset my focus, and allow myself to use the mousewheel to scroll. It was actually linked to some obnoxious thing about selling whitespace, and I really lost my patience with it. I don't remember who or what it was, and I haven't run into it since.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Grizzly, Jul 13th, 2004 @ 7:19pm

    No Subject Given

    they also have the web pages that look like the familiar x to close the window, but it just sends you to the site

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    dorpus, Jul 13th, 2004 @ 11:18pm

    NY Times last year

    used to have a really obnoxious flash ads that played the sound effect of banging on piano keyboards, for the "Best Buy" brand. I've been sure to avoid shopping there since.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    dorpus, Jul 14th, 2004 @ 12:26am

    Re: NY Times last year

    Oh and, last weekend I bought a $750 computer monitor. I went to the Best Buy store to get information, then went to another store to buy it. If Best Buy had never run those ads, they might have got my $750.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    thecaptain, Jul 14th, 2004 @ 6:15am

    No Subject Given

    Personally this helps a lot against:

    1 - accidental click throughs on the actual page (I use Opera and Mozilla, I haven't seen a popup in ages)

    2 - Interstitials

    3 - Slow page loads because ad.doubleclick.kc or whatever isn't loading.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, Jul 14th, 2004 @ 7:58am

    Re: NY Times last year

    Can we ask you to start running these particular ads on this site to help keep Dorpus away from here, too?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2004 @ 10:43am

    Re: NY Times last year




    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Tim, Jul 15th, 2004 @ 12:59am

    ever stopped to think that

    If pop-ups didnt work advertisers wouldn't use them?

    Businessmen don't care if they are annoying or not, they only care about the bottom line.

    Advertising is expensive, you can be sure they spend plenty of time examining their stats to ensure their campaign is paying off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 15th, 2004 @ 2:57am

    Re: ever stopped to think that

    Er... think one step beyond the short-sighted view and realize that in being annoying, they piss off users, those users go away and don't come back. That's BAD for business. That's BAD for the bottom line. The whole point of this study and the others, is that it's showing that these things are bad for business, and do not help the bottom line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    thecaptain, Jul 15th, 2004 @ 6:55am

    Re: ever stopped to think that

    I disagree, I don't think these "businessmen" know how to interpret these stats at all. They see clickthrough rates and slick talk from marketting execs, but in the end they don't see HOW pop-ups affect the bottom line.

    The bottom line ends up looking good because popups are likely a small part of a huge campaign including other things. So the bottom line looks good...but they never see that it could look BETTER without popups.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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