The Effect of Credibility of Host Site Upon Click Rate through Sponsored Content

  • Martin Colbert
  • Adam Oliver
  • Eleni Oikonomou
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8462)


This paper demonstrates the effect of website credibility upon the click rate through Sponsored Content. The study compares three versions of a live website - high, medium and low credibility – and collects quantitative data from traffic logs, and qualitative data from remote usability tests. The high credibility version of the website achieved a significantly higher click rate through sponsored Content, because the site’s credibility encouraged visitors to explore the site for longer, and because the perception of the site overall ‘rubbed off’ on the perception of the Sponsored Content in particular (a halo effect). This finding is important, because it shows how site design and content creation may increase persuasiveness without impairing user experience – there is an alternative to Banners and Banner blindness! We hope the paper helps the on-going rethink of the design of online publications in relation to their underlying business models.


advertisement sponsored content click through rate traffic study remote usability test credibility halo effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Colbert
    • 1
  • Adam Oliver
    • 1
  • Eleni Oikonomou
    • 1
  1. 1.Computing and Information SystemsKingston University LondonUnited Kingdom

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