Tom Webster, writing and speaking

A Research Topic the IAB Desperately Needs To Pursue

Added on by Tom Webster.

I checked out an article on CNNMoney.com today on fitness gadgets, and it was the gazillionth article I've read that split a simple list post into multiple pages (one for each list item) in a desperate attempt to increase page impressions. This was the straw that broke the camel's back, at least for this camel. There are two ways to monetize what is essentially a list post: embed relevant contextual ads throughout a one-page article, or embed relevant contextual ads on each of "n" pages, as this particular CNN article does. I only pick on this article because it's the most recent example I've seen of this unfortunately widespread practice. I don't know about you, but this style of content presentation pisses me off enormously, and when I actually do read these, I click "next" as fast as possible to finish the article. Sure, I could hit the "print" link. I get that. But I can tell you what I am not doing--even looking at the ads. In other words, they may register as impressions, but I am clicking through the screens so fast there is no chance I am taking an action. The IAB should fund a study to determine the efficacy of ads on a one-screen article vs. a franken-clicker article. Impressions aren't the endgame, and the sooner advertisers push back the better.