Do Developers Click Ads?

I was reading a forum on software development. One member asked whether developers in general click on ads when browsing. This guy had released a product specific to developers. He was getting a lot of impressions per day on his web site. However he really did not get many clicks on ads. So he was wondering whether this was specific to the development community audience.

There were a lot of interesting responses to this posting. Many developers said they use ad blockers such as AdBlock+ in FireFox 3. So there may have been a large portion of the development community that never even saw the ads. Other developers said they flat out never click on any ads. They just go directly to the target sites by typing in their URLs. However some developers said they would click only when they wanted to buy something. Others said they would click if the subject matched what they were looking for.

The majority of developers who responded said they did not click on ads when they were browsing. The rationale was that it costs somebody money when they click on the ads. So they did not want to do it. One guy piped up and said he did click, but only about once a year. There were some developers who themselves were advertisers. They said that they do get hits and sales when placing ads on Google AdWords, especially when done on the content network.

I have some experience in this area. I author a number of technical blogs that target the development community. What I have found is that I do get occasional clicks, but it is a small percentage of people who view my web pages. I tried a number of techniques to try to get users to click on ads more. None of them seemed to help much. On some of my blogs, people hardly ever click on the ads.

The good thing is that I usually make a good amount of money per click on a technical or programming sight. The goal is to make more money. So I might have a non-technical site with a lot of clicks. But if the profit per click is low, my total earnings are low. Development sites may get fewer clicks. What they lack in volume, they make up in higher costs per click. The important lessons to learn is that you will probably not get rich off this advertising. You will get enough change to buy a Big Mac.