Advertising Annoyance

One thing these days that really chills the enthusiasm for blogging is just how awfully annoying Internet advertising is becoming. I’m reluctant to link to a site that pops up a million things in front of you before you can even get to the article. The bad news is that almost every site these days is doing it, and it’s causing me to read a lot less news than I used to. Brietbart is a prime example of what I’m talking about. I’ve avoided using ad blockers because it tends to hide obnoxious ads from me, which means I don’t know not to direct all of you to say, some awful auto-play ad. It might fast become time to start using one, however.

I get why content providers are going to such lengths: because online advertising pays crap, and popping up ads drive click throughs, which drive money. I’ve never really understood why print advertising was worth so much, while online advertising isn’t. A relatively unobtrusive ad is really no different than a print ad. My theory is that online advertising, because you can measure effectiveness via click throughs, exposed print advertising as an emperor with no clothes, and so advertisers aren’t willing to pay the rates for the online analogue of print advertising. Why do that when you can get context-based advertising or micro targeting through social media? It’s hard for a content provider to compete with that.


18 thoughts on “Advertising Annoyance”

  1. This is why I won’t click through to Examiner articles. The writing is usually very good, but by the time I’ve clicked all the Xs and minimized all the ads that won’t go away, I’ve lost interest in what I was going to see. I absolutely get it that they need to pay the bills, but there has got to be a less obnoxious way for the advertisers to present their crap.

      1. Auto-playing audio content (advertising or otherwise) is bad, but the worst is when these sites are coded to force the browser to refresh on a regular basis, thus causing unwanted and unexpected audio content to spew from background tabs at completely random times.

        The absolute worst is when one of these background tabs has an audio advert that’s having some kind of bandwidth issue that prevents it from buffering fully: it ends up cycling between several seconds of buffering per half-second snip of audio, making it nearly impossible to locate WHICH tab is the problem.

  2. Unfortunately I am starting to judge the info on the sites by the obnoxiousness of the ads. It seems like the more “Enquirer”-like sites with “news porn” are employing them. Washington Times being an example. When I start avoiding sites because I fear they will churn all my spare CPU cycles reading a text-based article then we’ve got a problem.

  3. Luckily, the shift in the mainstream online advertising industry is towards more content-based stuff, like Outbrain or Taboola links.

    Unfortunately, the firearms industry is not on the cutting edge of online advertising, so while we push towards that goal, we’re going to be dealing with awful banner ads for a while. The good news (shameless plug) is that sites in the GunUp Network don’t use those kind of page takeover ads. ;-)

  4. Auto-play video ads are why I installed an ad blocker. Guess what? It does not block those, perhaps because the player is also used to drive actual content on some sites.

  5. If a site pops up a window of any sort that blocks the article, I just close that tab without attempting to read the article. If everyone did that, the pop-ups would stop.

  6. I’m with you on this. While I do still link to some major news sources that have annoying ads and for various reasons, there are a lot of minor news sources, including several gun-related blogs that I really enjoy, that I no longer go to and no longer link to if the first thing you see when you go to the site is a black screen with an ad in the middle or a black screen with a “subscribe to our site” box. It’s terribly annoying, and disappointing. Those things are lucrative in the results the site gets from them, and I’ve considered them myself on my site, but I’ll try to never do it…

  7. The internet has advertising on it? It’s been so long since I surfed without an adblocker (adblockplus) that I forgot what it was like.

    1. Yep, and I use the “report problem” function to report an ad that didn’t get blocked! Seems to work, as that ad usually isn’t there later on.


  8. In order to surf the web painlessly and without constant interruption and frustration I use Adblock Plus, Ad Blocker for Gmail, Flashblock, Ghostery and No Script – and I keep my sound off. I don’t think I could do it any other way.

  9. I’m right there with Not Clauswitz – I’ve got enough prophylactic measures running on the box I never see ads, all it would do is tick me off and convince me to never spend money on that product or service if I did.

    What I find even worse online is the scripting. I’ll agree to temporarily allow and ytimg in No Script to look at a short youtube video, but if I have to allow more scripts than that, screw ’em. I haven’t been to Breitbart in a year because I’m not going to allow 26-30 unknown scripts (yep, count ’em next time you’re there).

  10. I’ve been using AdBlock for years, ever since Pizza Hut ad-spammed some sites I frequented with multiple badly written flash or javascript ads that slowed my computer to a crawl. (Literally. I could click to close the tab or browser, go make a cup of tea, and still have to wait when I got back.) This has been reinforced recently with another site getting spammed by ads that were repeatedly crashing Firefox on my Nexus tablet. I installed the AdBlock Plus plugin on that, and the problem was immediately fixed.

    I hesitated about it, way back when, because I believed that the site owners deserved the income for their work, even if the income or work were minimal. I still do, really, but not enough to sacrifice my ability to actually view the content I was looking for.

  11. Waaah! Waaah! *sniff* Waaaah!
    FFS people, an ad blocker should be right up there with antivirus, NoScript and Ghostery for all PC’s. If you haven’t figured this out by now, (which means you’re probably using IE as well) then you probably aren’t smart enough to safely navigate the web anyway.
    Turn off your PC and go find a nice magazine to read…

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