In One Sentence
It took me seven years (I'm a little slow) but I figured how to describe the web as an advertising medium in one sentence. Here it is:
The web is a much better yellow pages and a much worse television.
You can quote me on that.
On Second Thought...
I've had second thoughts about my last post (The Epic Screwing Of Online Advertisers.)
The second thoughts are not about the conclusion that online advertisers are getting screwed. There's plenty of evidence for that. My second thoughts are about the data and the math that the guy used who wrote the article I was quoting.
He says that 15% of the "impressions" are technical errors, 60% are bots, and 25% are fraud. If my math is correct, that's 100%. All impressions can't be bogus because I seem to remember seeing an online ad somewhere.
Then he concludes that 85% of online impressions are phony. I don't know where that number comes from unless he is adding the bots and the fraud together, But this can't be right either, since some of the bots must be included in the fraud number.
Then he reduces by 54% because 54% of ads are not "visible." But this number must also be a sub-set of either the bot or fraud number.
So where does that leave us?
First, the definition of an online impressions is still bullshit. Next, 15% technical errors is still huge. The fact that 60% of online traffic is bots is still mind-blowing. The 25% fraud number actually seems low to me based on what I've read. And the 54% "invisibility" factor is well-documented.
However, I don't think it's mathematically correct to add the errors, bots, fraud and visibility factors together as it seems like it's double or triple counting. The impression shortfall is certainly very big, but I'm not sure this guy has it right.