July 28th, 2008 | 1 MIN READ

Dont Dress Up Calls-To-Action Like Google Adsense!

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

We've all heard of "banner blindness" - the phenomenon of completely ignoring anything that resembles an ad when surfing the website.

Image Source: Jakob Nielsen

For this reason you want to avoid sticking important links and calls to action in the right hand sidebar. You especially want to avoid colors and fonts that resemble typical paid search ads.

Home page

Product page

Silkfair product page

Same goes for navigation menus:

There are instances where even Internet Retailer 500 retailers really display Adsense on product pages:

I strongly believe reputable retailers should completely avoid paid search ads on their sites. But what's worse, on Chapters Indigo, you can't even distinguish the ads from the recently viewed products from the cross-sells because they use the exact same colors and fonts.

Further Reading

Yes, there is solid research to back this argument up. Thank you, Mr. Jakob Nielsen:

Banner Blindness: Old and New Findings

Fancy Formatting, Fancy Words = Looks Like a Promotion = Ignored

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