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Banner Blindness

The term Banner Blindness refers to the phenomenon that many users overlook banner ads. The advertising does not have the desired effect. This is not to be confused with deliberate fading out using ad blockers.


Banner Blindness is by definition the unconscious ignoring of banners. Users know by experience where on a homepage the targeted contents and the advertising banners are located. Automatically they immediately fix the places where the editorial content is located.

Benway and Lane published the first banner blindness study in 1998, they invented the term. This banner blindness can be determined with eye-tracking.

What does Banner Blindness mean for online marketing?

These findings do not mean that no one clicks on the banners. However, advertisers must expect that the click-through rate (CRT) is low. This figure indicates how many clicks on the advertising link there are in relation to the total number of page views. Given the low click-through rates, advertisers have developed alternative strategies. These include:

  • You position banners not at the edge but in the middle of the text.
  • They also design banners that resemble editorial content and are not immediately recognizable as advertising.
  • You work with layer ads: these ads lay over the content, banner blindness is impossible.
  • Text links are gaining popularity, no reader can overlook this.

Further links: Francis Online

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