Folks. I am inviting you to an experiment.
This August, we’re going to break online ads. Forever.
On 9 August 2017, we’re going to choose a popular website – theguardian.com – and on that day and that day only, we’re going to switch off our ad blockers and filters, and we’re going to …
Click on every single ad on the whole site
Well, two things will immediately happen:
The advertiser will pay a “cost-per-click” to their advertising company. After all, by clicking you’ll be redirected to their website.
- The publisher – in this case the Guardian – will be paid a portion of this money. As they often say, they rely on this income to fund their activities. So we're just doing what they want by clicking, right?
What else will happen?
The conversion rate (how often someone who clicks on an ad actually goes on to buy something) will drop (unless we really all start buying more stuff).
The advertisers will realise that these clicks aren’t worth anything, and they’ll have to rethink their strategy of where to spend their advertising money.
The publisher will get a windfall. In fact, if enough people join in, it could be a large windfall. After all, they keep telling us that they depend on our clicks. So let’s give them what they want.
And then, we repeat. Suggestions for the next website are welcome.
And maybe, just maybe, both the advertisers and publishers will realise that their strategy of annoying users isn’t so great after all.
Will you join me?
This could be interesting.
Join the other bots and lost souls following me on Twitter @ironsjon
Update 17 August 2017: This totally didn't happen. I'm happy to admit it was a dreadful idea, and absolutely no-one was interested. I'll leave the post here for posterity.