What is Banner Blindness

What is the Banner Blindness?

Banner blindness is an Internet phenomenon in which visitors to a website consciously or unconsciously ignore the advertising banners placed there. The term was particularly coined by the work Banner Blindness: Web Searchers Often Miss “Obvious” Links by Jan Panero Benway and David M. Lane, published in 1998. Alternative names for the banner blindness are ad blindness or banner noise.

The first advertising banner went online in 1994. In the past, banner advertising was considered extremely lucrative and sometimes achieved click-through rates (CTR) of 44 percent – a value that advertisers are far from today. In fact, the most successful time for banner advertising was in the early days of the Internet, when most of the users were still relatively inexperienced in using the World Wide Web. Not surprisingly, advertising banners quickly became one of the most dominant forms of advertising.

How did the banner blindness phenomenon come about?

In their original form, advertising banners should be attractive to both the advertiser and the website operator. The user should respond positively to the eye-catching advertisement and click. At first, it worked – almost every second website visitor clicked on the advertising banner. Today this is only the case for 1 in 1000 users. In addition to the rapidly increasing flood of stimuli on the Internet, banner blindness, in particular, has contributed significantly to this disastrous development.

You may want to read those related articles to the Banner Blindness:

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  3. Web site Usability
  4. Mobile-first Design of a Web Site

Despite their negative image, we still encounter many advertising banners on the Internet today: on social media, in forums, on advice pages, and many other platforms. They are often designed in bright colors and oversized fonts or equipped with changing sliders. In the meantime, however, users have become much more enlightened and associate relevant elements such as large images or eye-catching banners with advertising – that is, content that they have not explicitly searched for. The result: advertising and information banners are largely ignored; users develop blindness for banner banners (banner blindness). Instead, text links are preferred – even if they lead to the same goal.

The banner blindness as an expression of a new form of internet use

User behavior on the Internet has changed drastically in recent years. The motto today is: get to the desired destination as quickly and with as little effort as possible. (Advertising) banners do not lead there in the majority of cases. The logical consequence: they are simply hidden. This effect is reinforced by increasing caution online, triggered by banners that bombard the user with advertising, lead to fake competitions, or infect the computer with malware. A fact that continues to fuel the bad reputation of banner advertising.

How did the banner blindness phenomenon come about?

In their original form, advertising banners should be attractive to both the advertiser and the website operator. The user should respond positively to the eye-catching advertisement and click. At first, it worked – almost every second website visitor clicked on the advertising banner. Today this is only the case for 1 in 1000 users. In addition to the rapidly increasing flood of stimuli on the Internet, banner blindness, in particular, has contributed significantly to this disastrous development.

Despite their negative image, we still encounter many advertising banners on the Internet today: on social media, in forums, on advice pages, and many other platforms. They are often designed in bright colors and oversized fonts or equipped with changing sliders. In the meantime, however, users have become much more enlightened and associate relevant elements such as large images or eye-catching banners with advertising – that is, content that they have not explicitly searched for. The result: advertising and information banners are largely ignored; users develop blindness for banner banners (banner blindness). Instead, text links are preferred – even if they lead to the same goal.

The banner blindness as an expression of a new form of internet use

User behavior on the Internet has changed drastically in recent years. The motto today is: get to the desired destination as quickly and with as little effort as possible. (Advertising) banners do not lead there in the majority of cases. The logical consequence: they are simply hidden. This effect is reinforced by increasing caution online, triggered by banners that bombard the user with advertising, lead to fake competitions, or infect the computer with malware. A fact that continues to fuel the bad reputation of banner advertising.

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