Which was the World’s Commercial Website? Any Guesses?

Which was the World’s Commercial Website? Any Guesses?

Which was the World’s Commercial Website? Any Guesses?

by November 26, 2012 0 comments

When you are busy reading something online and a flashy ’50 % discount banner’ starts floating right above the text. Close the banner and it appears again the next minute. Although they may seem quite annoying to you, they greatly assist in selling one’s product or a service. However, these ads have not always been there. Though annoying to the readers, ads are found all over the Internet and believe me they do generate sales.

Worlds first commercial websiteIt was in 1994 that a bunch of techies came up with an idea to post advertisements over the internet. This was expected as internet was one of the blooming communities during those times. The first ad banner was sponsored by AT&T and placed on HotWired, thus making it the first commercial website. The 460 x 60 banner was designed to rightly fit into the vacant space available at the top right of the webpage. Amazingly, this banner had a click-through rate (CTR) of 78 % compared to 0.07% of the average CTR today.

While Hotwired enjoyed the glory of being known as the first commercial website, Tim O’Reilly claimed to have already tasted success in 1993 with the launch of Global Network Navigator, an information based internet center. According to O’Reilly, it was the first website to contain an online advertisement. GNN was later sold to AOL in 1995.

Of course, there does seem to be a dispute on which website actually is the first commercial website – HotWired or GNN. But, one thing is nailed down for sure – it all started well before you thought it did.


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