When you surf over to any website, the chances are good that you will encounter banner or display ads that serve not to attract you to to click on the ad but rather to turn you off from the product or service they are trying to sell you. In fact, according to a new paper co-authored by members of Microsoft Research, really annoying banner ads might prevent some people from going back to the website that displayed them in the first place.
The Microsoft Research blog has a summary of the paper, The Cost of Annoying Ads, that was co-written by Dan Goldstein and Siddharth Suri of Microsoft Research New York City, alongside Preston McAfee of Google. Part of the research involved a study of people who were asked to give their opinions on a series of real banner ads.
Here's a shocker: The ads above are considered annoying by most people, especially if they are animated.
It's not a surprise to learn that the ads that most annoyed the people who took part in the survey had a lot of odd animations and movement. The paper's authors state, "Complaints about movement or animation and how they distract from the content show there is a cost to users and publishers." Ads that look cheap or appear to be a scam were also not ranked highly, as were banner ads that contained graphics that did not relate to the product or service, " ... such as a dancing wizard in an ad for online classes."
But do showing these ads actually cost website operators money in the long run? The authors used Amazon's Mechanical Turk online labor market to
basic idea was for the researchers to find out how much money the
Source: Microsoft Research | Image via Microsoft Research