I took a screenshot of the ‘above-the-fold’ view I see on my resolution (1280×1024). I end up seeing almost a perfect 800×800 square. Now as you can see there are two very prominent ads taking up prime visual space on my home page. The top banner is a 730×90 and the second (much more obnoxious) ad is 300×300 in size. Let’s do some math:
- Total Pixels: 800 x 800 = 640,000
- Banner Ad: 730 x 90 = 65,700
- Box Ad: 300 x 300 = 90,000
- Total Ad Space = 65,700 + 90,000 = 155,700
- Percentage of Page filled with ads: 155,700/640,000 x 100 = 24.3%
I thought, ‘Wow, 1/4 of the page is dedicated to advertising’. I tried to think of some way to weight the box ad since it’s right in front of my face. I wasn’t successfully clever enough. I started thinking some more and I realized, ‘is 24% typical?’
Google’s page does expand to fit the full screen so there may be more total pixels but perhaps a smaller percentage?
- Total Pixels: 1264 x 800 = 1,012,000
- Top Links: 935 x 85 = 79,475
- Side Links: 660 x 300 = 198,000
- Total Ad Space = 79,475 + 198,000 = 277,475
- Percentage of Page filled with ads: 277,475/1,012,000 x 100 = 27.4%
Wow. Perhaps I was quick to jump to conclusions. Google is dedicating more space for ads than Myspace. Granted, the links don’t take up the entire section and you don’t even seen them everytime. Additionally, the ads are more-or-less out of the way and certainly less obtrusive than Myspace’s.
I guess there are a few things to take away from this post. First, quality ads (Google’s) are important. Second, unobtrusive is a plus. Google has trained me to look to the top/side if I want to spend some money. Myspace is just taking up room and being an ugly annoyance.
Myspace is obviously laughing it’s way to the bank while I complain. But, hey, this was a fun exercise…
PS: Facebook is only 15.2% and I couldn’t name a single ad ever run on the site.
[tags]myspace, social networking, advertising, internet[/tags]