29th September 2010
See ads on the page? Chances are the publisher gets paid by the pageviews—maybe not directly, but the volume of traffic is what dictates the price of the ads. This means that to make money they have to get you to visit as many pages as possible on their site. Doesn’t matter what you do on the page, they can’t track that effectively yet, all that matters is that the ads load.
This creates a tension between you and the publisher since the motivations for your visit differ. You’re there because you want to learn, be informed, or be entertained. The publisher wants you there because they’re making money for having you there. They make even more money when you browse more of their pages, loading more ads in the process. Their primary motive is not to teach, inform, or entertain because the visitors are not paying them for that service. Indeed, the visitors are not even the customers—the real customers are the advertisers who are purchasing eyeballs by the thousand.