Banner blindness is a particular phenomenon in online advertising, where users ignore ad banners on a page. Researchers measure banner blindness to understand whether or not certain types of banner advertisements are effective on websites.
Modern research has shown that in many ways, the majority of web surfers have some form of banner blindness. Repetitive studies show that people are much more likely to focus on the core text and headlines of the site than even looking at or interacting with ad banners on the top or side of the page. Banner blindness started early in the life of the Internet, as more and more people learned that banner ads were often low value additions to the site page. It is also easy to ignore these ads once one has been conditioned to do so, because they are usually at the periphery of the page.
Some studies show that up to 86 percent of readers do not focus on banner ads at all. In order to combat banner blindness, advertisers have utilized creative tricks like making banner ads look like system messages from the computer. This increases the efficacy of banner ads, but they are still largely seen as something pretty much obsolete and relatively ineffective in online advertising.