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Peak Advertising and the Future of the Web

"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 3, 2014 - 173 comments

It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the internet.

It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the internet.
posted by analogtom on Apr 10, 2012 - 81 comments

The ODP bans its successful users.

The Open Directory Project bans TNL.net Tristan Louis's web site can no longer be used to access the Open Directory. Why? apparently they can't handle the traffic, so they banned links coming from his pages in the early afternoon.
posted by clevershark on Jan 17, 2003 - 25 comments

WebLogs bring less traffic than major media sites.

WebLogs bring less traffic than major media sites. There isn't any surprize there, but what kind of traffic does each bring?
...those Google/Scientology articles I wrote didn't get nearly as many links from blogs... but they were of much broader interest to readers than the blog articles, so when a few major media sites linked to them, they got a ton of traffic.
Major media sites have to appeal to a common denominator, while smaller sites (MeFi) can focus on quality and thought provoking content. Is there any wonder there's less people interested in the specifics?
posted by KnitWit on Apr 5, 2002 - 12 comments

A pyramid scheme for web traffic?

A pyramid scheme for web traffic? ExitBlaze apparently sends traffic from one member's site to another's (or, no doubt, to other sites they must sell hits to): Bob doesn't know it but a pop-underwindow displaying an ExitBlaze member's site has just shown up underneath the main browser window. And Bob owes it all to you!
posted by mattpfeff on Dec 11, 2001 - 5 comments

AOL Dominates Web Traffic,

AOL Dominates Web Traffic, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, who found that AOL Time Warner’s combined share of the time Americans spent online last month was 33(!) percent.
posted by frednorman on Feb 27, 2001 - 8 comments

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