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Doubleclick sags on Yahoo earnings

By kmself in News
Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:59:24 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

The Standard reports that Doubleclick, leading Internet advertising company, fell 14% today following Yahoo's earning reports. Persistant questions about the viability of online advertising remain.

Doubleclick's two year stock history is a classic Internet rags-to-riches-to-rags story. Starting at $4, the stock hit a peak of 135 1/4 before falling to today's close at 21 3/16. The impetus was Yahoo's quarterly earnings report -- though revenues beat forcasts, advertisers are actually down on the site, 3,450, from 3,675 in 2000Q2. "Pure play" Internet advertisers remain 40% of Yahoo's revenues, a number that troubles analysts.

"Even at Yahoo's level, the visibility on the advertising outlook is not that great so I think while their numbers for the third quarter seemed quite good, it's the outlook that matters," said David Doft, an analyst at ING Barings.

For years, Jakob Nielsen has been saying that Internet advertising doesn't work -- though he acknowledges that the Web is a powerful commercial medium when used in other ways, particularly for classified ads. His column turned three years old last month.

Empowering technologies such as Junkbuster allow users to selectively allow or block ads from given sites. Is the day of the banner numbered?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


How I treat banners:
o Click 'em 1%
o Read 'em 4%
o Ignore 'em 55%
o Junkbuster 'em 26%
o lynx / w3m / links...what banners? 5%
o DNS blackhole banner servers 5%

Votes: 68
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Yahoo
o The Standard
o fell 14% today
o two year stock history
o Internet advertising doesn't work
o classified ads
o Junkbuster
o Also by kmself

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Doubleclick sags on Yahoo earnings | 8 comments (8 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
DNS Blackhole micro-HOWTO (3.00 / 2) (#1)
by kmself on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:07:52 AM EST

Courtesy of Don Marti, Linux '1337ist and wielder of a mean pen, the Privacy micro-HOWTO shows how you can block entire domains which violate reasonable privacy practices. Note that by blocking requests at your network DNS server, you are providing protection for many systems by modifying only one.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.

HAHAHAHAHA... (2.75 / 4) (#2)
by pb on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:13:51 AM EST

I'm sorry the whole tech industry is taking a beating; I like Yahoo! (sentimental reasons, folks; before AltaVista, they were one of the best places to search), I have money in a mutual fund that is probably tracking the demise of the NASDAQ somewhat, and I love computers and tech stuff in general.

However, I hate DoubleClick, and that almost makes this worthwhile. Woo hoo!

I hope online advertising doesn't go away, though. Spam and banner ads are of course blockable, and if anyone ever makes it easy for the average user to do so (and they find out about it, and do it...) then all that will go away... Along with the great free services some of these companies provide. Unfortunately, we probably won't be able to have our cake and eat it too on this one.

I am glad that some sites manage to live without banner ads, though, like Google and Kuro5hin. The ironic thing about it is that the quality of these sites (services and content) seem to be better than the alternatives. Are banner ads moronizing the web? Stay tuned for the next episode... ;)
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
Junkbuster (3.66 / 3) (#3)
by Paul Johnson on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 05:05:29 AM EST

Junkbuster and its relatives will not become popular technology (and hence won't appear in avertising thinking) until it gets bundled with at least one major browser. Mozilla? Are you listening?

Once it does become popular then we will see a rethink of online commerce.

You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.

Internet Advertising (4.00 / 2) (#4)
by Matrix on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:37:29 AM EST

Internet Advertising would work, if it were treated properly. Look at most ads right now. They're usually high-speed, bright-flashing-colors animated gifs. Usually with some horrible animation or cheap trick (like the "dialog box" ads). Few mention the product they're trying to sell and even fewer mention the company. (There are a couple of exceptions, and I've usually clicked on them just for the novelty value) And the policies of most ad banner companies are horrible. Doubleclick's experiments a few months back come to mind as the wosrt of the lot, but most other ad companies have policies that are at least irritating. Recently, I've switched over to using Junkbuster. I don't need to see most of these ads, and I don't want to see most of these ads.

And this isn't even considering the issue that some people, with pay-per-usage bandwidth have to actually pay to have these ads delevired to them.

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett

Re: Internet Advertising (3.50 / 2) (#6)
by Delirium on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 02:16:09 PM EST

I agree - better design of ads would definitely help. It doesn't seem very likely that someone who accidentally clicks on your ad that looks like a dialog box is gonna say "oh, cool, I should buy one of these." More than likely they'll say "oops" and close your site, now possibly annoyed with you for wasting their time.

Ads for websites (or most products, for that matter) need to have the website in the ad somewhere (not just a link). Occasionally I find myself noting the URL of an interesting-looking ad I don't want to or don't have time to visit at the moment and go back to it later. Sure, then the hosting site doesn't get the click-through (if that's how the payment is set up), but at least the advertiser got another viewer and potential customer. If the URL wasn't in the actual image (as it often isn't), the only way to get to the site later is to find the ad again to click on, which isn't very easy to do.

[ Parent ]

Re: Internet Advertising (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by Matrix on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:04:27 PM EST

That reminded me of another point... Advertising has never been about selling things directly, but about gaining attention for your product. So paying based on click-through rates is silly. A much better method would be the number of unique IPs viewing the ad, which is even slightly less open to abuse than click-throughs.

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Don't bug me (5.00 / 2) (#8)
by kmself on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 03:25:29 PM EST

I have to agree with your points regarding ads and annoyance factors. Banners which strike me as devious, or just plain unpleasent to deal with, are a major turn-off. It was a set of "jitter gifs" and Java-based banners which finally pushed me (about 18 months ago) to figure out how to stop having to deal with these annoyances.

I use the following four tricks to both speed up and reduce the aggrevation of browsing:

  • Squid caching proxy. This runs transparently on my home firewall box. Single user hit rate is about 10-20%. More users actually gives you a more effective cache.
  • Junkbuster, previously mentioned.
  • DNS blackholing, previously mentioned. This means that particularly aggregious domains simply disappear from my network. They don't exist.
  • James Vasile's "Gif Animation Toggle" (I prefer "Terminator"). This does a binary edit of the gif rendering code inside a program -- it works on Netscape, Opera, Mozilla, and Galeon, replacing the text string which indicates an animated gif should loop infinitely with another string. Result: a single animation cycle, often completed before you can see the gif. "Jitter gifs" in particular are frozen as they cycle so fast. You can accomplish the same effect with a binary editor. Mozilla/Galeon, you want to edit libnsgif.so under the "components" directory.

The next possible step is to put a re-writing proxy up to strip out annoying bits of HTML, including various font and face tags, background sounds, and the like.

It's a fungable medium. Funge it.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

In links I trust. (3.50 / 2) (#5)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:06:35 AM EST

I find that a huge failing of banners is not simply that I don't want to buy anything, but that they lie. I don't follow links that don't look legit, and only a few banners tell you the truth. You might want to call it the 'free pr0n' phenomenon, though it applies to just about everything.

I'd click on banners more often if only had some faith in them. I know some companies have legit banners, and I'll click on them if I'm interested.

farq will not be coming back
Doubleclick sags on Yahoo earnings | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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