I was looking for the "First time here?" welcome banner that used to be on Stack Exchange pages, because I'm considering adding something similar to my own site and wanted to see examples. But I see that the banner has been removed, and I'm curious what led to the decision to remove it.
I don't see any mention of the change in the last few months of blog posts, or any other discussion of the change here on meta. I'd especially like to know if significant numbers of visitors complained about the banner, or if statistics showed it was not effective. What's the story?