Many advertisers, especially larger corporations, may reduce the number of websites their ads appear on, according to a Business Day story in the New York Times Thursday May 30, 2017 by Sapna Maheshwari. The title is “A Bank had ads on 400,000 sites. Then just 5,000. Same results”. The bank is J. P. Morgan Chase.
The cutbacks were first motivated by a desire that ads not appear on “fake news” sites or near hate speech. This resistance from advertisers has grown as testimony before Congress has indicate that Russia appears to have engineering manipulating social media news streams with fake news in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. The deliberate nature of this manipulation with various bots has been more significant than previously believed.
But now companies are realizing that they do not need to appear on amateur sites, which may either be fake or have lower volumes, in order to get product sales from ads. This discovery could indeed endanger what the article calls the “long tail” of the “comet” of Internet advertising business models, eventually endangering free service platforms for user generated content.
I never buy products personally from online ads directly. If I see something interesting (especially a movie or book) I will usually visit the appropriate site (usually amazon or imdb) myself shortly. I am more likely to look for a product I “need” (such as a chess clock with 5-second delay, something I need to get soon) myself on Amazon directly. That’s not good for everybody else, or for the business model my own Internet presence depends on.
Likewise I am very careful about opening emails because of the security issues. Sometimes I visit the site of the company sending the email myself. It is very difficult to “recruit” me to join causes or petitions or specific funding needs on the spot. No fair?