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September 10, 2008

The Advertiser's Burden

Last month Seth Godin suggested that, for those content sites (like blogs) that have online advertising, if readers like the content, they might thank the content creator by clicking on an ad.

By ignoring ads, he says, "you're starving content."

Stop ignoring ads and just click on one. The writer will benefit and, as a result, keep putting out great content.

But in most cases, the user won't benefit.

That's why they won't click. It's asking a lot of users to stop whatever it is they're doing and not only click, but consider converting on the site they land on, when they had something else in mind when they landed on the page with the ad in the first place.

Instead, advertisers must find a way to transcend interruption. That is, clicking on a link has to be such a seamless part of the user experience that it actually fulfills or enhances the need that brought the user to the ad in the first place.

We're not going to win by wishing that users would just click on ads out of their own magnanimity.

We'll win only if we create value for the users in a way that satisfies the context of their behavior at a particular moment in time. - Cam Beck


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I think that links in your blogroll or site is the best way to "tip" a site that you enjoy. You end up sending new visitors to the site that really value your recommendation, plus you send over some SEO value:


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