6 Percent Of Surfers Generate 50 Percent of the Clicks

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Bad news for the pay per click industry – all those clicks you’re getting may be worthess.

Heavy Clickers Distort Reality of Display Advertising Click-Through Metrics – Starcom, Tacoda and comScore’s “Natural Born Clickers” findings suggest “the click is dead” as go-to measurement of effectiveness for brand-building display advertising campaigns

Approximately 6% of Web users generate 50% of the click-throughs based on the comScore search engine marketing study. Hold on advertisers, it gets even worse: these clickers are not representative of the general population, most have incomes under $40K, and their clicks are not related to any offline buying. The number of clicks on an ad campaign is also not strongly correlated with brand awareness for the ads’ subject, according to the study. Advertising-supported websites such as online newspapers and video sharing sites need to carefully consider their revenue models.

More about the “heavy clickers”

heavy clickers skew towards Internet users between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40,000. Heavy clickers behave very differently online than the typical Internet user, and while they spend four times more time online than non-clickers, their spending does not proportionately reflect this very heavy Internet usage. Heavy clickers are also relatively more likely to visit auctions, gambling, and career services sites – a markedly different surfing pattern than non-clickers.

What is missing from this marketing press release is a clear definition the content of the ads. The article does not specify if the ads are banners, flash/rich media ads, interstitials, or videos. The article only mentions generic display ads. This ambiguity is one reason to keep a healthy dose of skepticism for statistics.

The good news about the Comscore-Tacoda research project is they have likely coined a new phrase: Heavy Clickers.

#note: hardcore search engine optimization fans will notice that this is a dead end article, with no links back to the original site. This is a fantastic piece of linkbait that is drawing a lot of mentions, including from TC & slashdot, and the page is a link sink. Unless Starcom creates links back to their core website, much of this viral traffic spike will be lost.

This is a huge missed SEO opportunity for Starcom. Maybe a savvy SEO will pitch them on their optimization services.

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