Internet Marketing Promises

by Luke Wroblewski July 6, 2004

Slowly but surely, Internet Marketing is making gains on its bubble-era promises. Not only is there increasing revenue (possibly due to increasing costs), but increasing integrity as well. Online ads have a greater responsibility to meet expectations because fulfillment is only a short download way: if an ad makes a promise and does not deliver, consumers know right away. As a result, honest relevant ads are better brand builders that benefit both consumers and companies.

Stanford’s Web Credibility research (PDF) showed an increasing loss of credibility for sites with automatic pop-up ads from 1999 to 2002. These ads were irrelevant; they essentially consisted of random servings of spam. Tying advertising to content innately makes it more appropriate and thereby more credible. The Web lets advertisers leverage the power of many to determine appropriateness.

Affiliate programs and automatic systems like Google’s Adsense incorporate targeted ads across the web by allowing Web content authors or content analysis algorithms to determine which ads are most relevant for a particular audience. Paid search inclusion programs are giving way to natural search indexing and even Microsoft is moving toward separating natural search results from those derived by paid placement -all important steps toward increased credibility.