Home  › Media › Publishing

News Sites Lag Facebook, Google in Ad Targeting

  |  February 14, 2012   |  Comments

Pew Research Center also identifies other missed revenue opportunities for news sites.

Only three news sites - CNN, Yahoo News and The New York Times – out of 22 appeared to use high levels of ad targeting, according to a Pew Research Center study. In these cases, 45 percent or more of the ads were different from one user to the next.

Another three news sites - CBS, USA Today, and MSNBC – exhibited moderate levels of targeting where between 29 percent and 40 percent of the ads were different across users.

Sites with low levels or no apparent targeting included FoxNews.com, WashingtonPost.com, Time.com, and Newsweek.com.

When researchers revisited the sites in January, they found that two - latimes.com and theatlantic.com - showed slightly higher levels of ad targeting.

"By contrast, highly targeted advertising is already a key component of the business model of operations such as Google and Facebook," the study found.

adtargeting-pew

By not targeting ads, news sites miss an opportunity to serve up more relevant ads to website visitors; these targeted ads potentially command higher prices and bring more revenue to publishers.

The center, which studied 22 news sites, identified other trends:

  • 21 percent of the ads observed in the study were in-house ads, which are ads that sell a news organization's own products such as subscriptions to print magazines or newspapers.
  • 18 percent of the ads were from financial services, more than any other industry sector observed in the study.
  • 46 percent of the ads on news sites were static banner ads. The Wall Street Journal had the highest percentage of these ads (100 percent) while the Washington Post relied less on banner ads (18 percent). Instead, Washington Post used sponsored links far more than others, 66 percent.
  • 1.3 percent of the ads on news sites studied had stand-alone video ads.
  • None of the top stories were in a video format, even on sites linked to television-based legacy media. As a consequence, there were no pre- or post-roll video ads. However, since the study Yahoo News created a content partnership with ABC News that includes plans to feature more video amid Yahoo News’ top news stories.
  • Discount or coupon advertising such as Groupon was fairly limited.

For the study, Pew Research analyzed 5,381 advertisements on the main websites and legacy outlets of 22 different news organizations - including national and local newspapers, broadcast, and online media in late June 2011. In January 2012, the researchers revisited the sites to review the levels of ad targeting.

 

ClickZ Live San Francisco August 10-12: Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco! Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covers every aspect of digital marketing. Early Bird rates available through Friday, July 17 - save up to $300! Register today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Maria Virzi

Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Jobs

  • Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC
    Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC (Charter Communications) - StamfordSr. Marketing Specialist, PPC– Digital Marketing Charter Communications...
  • Online Marketing Analyst
    Online Marketing Analyst (FULLBEAUTY Brands ) - New YorkINTRODUCTION: Are you interested in a unique career opportunity where you can represent...
  • Copy Editor
    Copy Editor (ClickZ / Search Engine Watch) - New YorkROLE OVERVIEW The role of the copy editor for ClickZ has many demands. Ultimately, the copy...