Web Advertising

Advertising on the World Wide Web takes a number of forms, one or more of which may meet your needs.

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Advertising on the Internet's World Wide Web falls into two main categories, which are almost always combined:
  • Building and maintaining your own Web Site.
  • Placing advertising on other company's Web Sites.
The most effective way to advertise on the Web is to have your own Web site, which contains a mix of interesting and/or useful information plus your advertising messages. Then you have to advertise your site by every means possible, on the Web and off. The most effective on-line method of increasing traffic to your site is to trade links with sites related by interest to yours.

Placing advertisements on other people's Web sites is another option (though these ads usually link back to your own Web site). Web users have largely rejected paying for access to Web pages. After all, if they can't see yours for free, they can probably find the same information elsewhere for free. This has forced a great many Web sites to try supporting their content with advertising, the same way magazines do.

Companies like Double Click have become the advertising agencies of the Web. They charge advertisers money for placing banner ads on Web sites and pay the Web site for the space. There are also "banner exchanges", where members place each other's banner ads for free.

Banner ads are a bit controversial right now because advertisers are having a hard time measuring whether or not they are worthwhile. "Click-through" rates are quite low, though the the banners may also be worthwhile just to keep the company's name before the audience in support of other advertising.

Web users dislike distracting advertising when they are looking for information, so they try to ignore it. Many use filtering software that blocks advertising from the pages they are viewing. Advertisers try to block the content from people using filter software.

Some Web sites are trying far more obtrusive ads that are as unavoidable as television advertising. These ads literally stop the browser's progress while they display, then release it until time comes for the next one. This sort of thing risks major rebellion against the Web site and high resentment against companies that use it.

Some of the more sophisticated sites track your usage of the site to determine what your interests are, then present advertising appropriate to those interests. It does this under the guise of "personalization", promising to make your browsing more efficient by showing you only stuff that matches your interests. Obviously, a site that does this can demand a higher rate from advertisers, but it takes a pretty big, high traffic site to make this method effective.

Another method is advertisers purchasing actual content space on Web sites. This falls into the "infomercial" category. This is a new approach and not much is yet known about how it will succeed or how much it will cost.

Still another method is to give away software that automatically downloads advertising when the user is attached to the internet. It then pops up an ad every once in a while. A major perpetrator of this scheme is Radiate, which has become rather well known because their software also gathers and reports back information without the user's expressed permission.

Yet another scheme is to give away a "free PC", but lock it to an Internet service that downloads ads and displays them on the PC at set intervals. These "free PCs" also usually gather information about the user's habits and report back to the provider for advertising targeting purposes. This scheme has pretty much failed. People who agree to the terms for a "free PC" aren't likely to belong to a demographic advertisers are interested in. Also, computer sophisticates have no trouble subverting the perpetrator's intent.

©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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