Network Structures of Commercial Portal Sites

Implications for Web Advertising Planning

Dongyoung Sohn
University of South Florida

Joonhyung Jee
The University of Texas at Austin

INTRODUCTION

The online advertising market has grown exponentially since the graphical browser was introduced. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), total online advertising expenditure in the USA had already reached $4.6 billion as of the first six months of 2004 (IAB 2004). Although there have been some fluctuations in online advertisement spending, it has become apparent that the internet is not a trivial medium, but rather an essential element of the advertising media mix.

Consistent with this trend in advertising expenditures, web traffic analysis and audience measurement issues have received considerable attention from advertisers and media professionals (Coffey 2001). For example, Leckenby and Hong (1998) attempted to view the web as a medium equivalent to the traditional mass media, and applied the existing media exposure distribution models, which had been developed for reach/frequency estimation for mass media, to the web. They found that most of the existing media exposure models produced acceptable estimation results with minimal errors. This finding was striking because it revealed empirically that the web might be more akin to mass media than the portrayal of the one-to-one communication medium, embraced by many early proponents of the web, implied. Similarly, Cannon (2001) argued that applying conventional media planning procedures to web advertising could be beneficial for developing common standards for a variety of media types including the internet, television and magazine.