What if you knew that 41% of your prospective user base actively avoided your site just because there are too many ads, or the ads were too annoying. It's not just that they don't think about going there or that you don't have good enough awareness - your site is in their mind as a 'do not visit' because it annoys them so much. The data comes from this recent study.
So, what kinds of sites would do this? My guess is that many of them are local media site. Many local media outlets are struggling financially and it's understandable that they want to earn as much revenue as possible. But at what cost? Let's take a look at a few local media sites I visited at random:
Here is the Atlanta Journal-Constituion web site. The first thing that loads is this massive auto-expanding ad. Maybe I'm on to something here:
Next, the Denver Post. No massive auto-expander but as I scroll down I find a single screenprint section with three ads in it, lots of animation, and one auto-play video.
Then I hit the Miami Herald. A pop-under!? Is the sub-$1 ecpm they make off something like this really worth annoying the user - on their first page visit at that?
Finally I visited star-telegram.com, the Fort Worth, TX, newspaper site. As the page was loading, tags from Tacoda, Quantcast, Dotomi, PointRoll, DoubleClick, Adify, BlueKai and Yieldmanager all loaded. Surely someone has written in these pages that slow load times don't make for users wanting to visit often.
I understand the conundrum facing these local publishers. But, is the incremental revenue they earn from over-advertising worth turning off this many users?