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Eye-Tracking Study: Online Ads Don't Work

An eye-tracking study from Jakob Nielsen reveals what many marketers have long known: Web users have trained their eyes to move directly towards content, away from ads. As a result, ads need to look more like content, right? Unfortunately you can't really do that on the Web like you can in say, a print magazine. So what are advertisers to do?

Eye-tracking studies don't exist for newspapers or magazines. You can't measure where someone's eye lands. For example, whole sections of a paper are often ignored--sometimes, the paper just sits there. Other times maybe 10 percent of it is read.

There is a lot of talk about the impending death of the print newspaper industry, but what is far more startling is that advertisers still spend $50-plus billion a year on a medium in which only a fraction of the ads are ever seen. At least with Web pages, consumers are (most likely) consuming the content on the page, and even the ads, in some instances.

Read the whole story at Silicon Alley Insider »

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