Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Matt Haughey suggests doing away with ads for regular users

Some may call this counter-intuitive wisdom. Matt Haughey, who founded Metafilter, suggests websites to have a two-pronged ad strategy – show ads to new users and shut off the ads for regulars and site members, aka ‘the superfans’.

Matt bolsters his argument by pointing that a major portion of any site’s visitors are new users, often directed by search engines and thus you won’t be hurt much financially.

Advertisers who are paying to put ads on your site (unlike Adsense) may miss out in reaching your ‘core group’ of users and you CPM deals may take a hit.

Last year, Seth Godin said something similar, albeit more cynically, about big sites being okay with not caring much with the one-time visitors.

I guess there will always be a struggle in publishers’ minds about the amount of advertising to shown on their properties. Then there are aesthetic considerations to boot.

Whether these suggestions are applicable to social networking sites including the ‘in-thing’ Facebook, I am not so sure – people are so busy looking for new ‘friends’ and 'spam targets' that I am sure they don’t mind the ads much.

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