Reply to post: Right here on the The Register

Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

thames

Right here on the The Register

And the funny part about this story is that one of the sort of ad slots which drives people to use ad blockers is right here on the Register comments page for this story. It's at the bottom of the right hand column and operates as an "onscroll" ad. There's another site which I frequent which has a similar ad slot, but has them on the main pages.

The problem with them is that they constantly cycle through new ads by re-opening the connection and pulling in new ad graphics, resulting in an almost constant use of bandwidth. Having them in one tab is bad enough. If you have a bunch of tabs open at once with them they suck up all available bandwidth and drag the browser to a crawl. If you''re on a personal ISP account and don't have an unlimited bandwidth package, they can chew through an amazing about of your bandwidth cap if you happen to walk away from the computer with a bunch of tabs open for an extended period of time. If you're not careful you could be handed a nasty bill at the end of the month for overage charges.

I don't use an ad blocker because I want publishers to get ad revenue. I have however been forced to disabled auto-play of video because of ads which abuse this feature (this is an option in Firefox). I've been dealing with the "onscroll" ads on The Register" and the other site by either opening a bunch of tabs at once and turning off networking while I work my way through reading the story, or by opening the browser debugging console and killing that one ad if there's only a few of them.

I've never used an ad blocker so far, but these specific types of ads are driving me towards installing one if I can't find another solution. These ads are a relatively new phenomenon on the sites that I visit, so I don't think that site publishers have seen the ultimate effects of this yet.

Publishers seem to like to throw up their hands over the issue and say that they have no control over the problem. The fact that these particular ads are only in specific spots on the page on the two sites that I frequent which use them shows this isn't really the case.

Ad vendors don't have an investment in your web site. To them, web sites are disposable, and if one gets killed by obnoxious ads they'll just move on to the next sucker. If a property owner decides to rent his house out to dubious characters because they offered him a really good price, then he shouldn't act all surprised and offended if it gets destroyed as a side effect of hosting a drug lab or biker gang.

To all publishers out there - it's your site, you are 100% responsible for all content on the pages, including the ads. Your lawyers might tell you that you can duck legal liability for what the ad vendors do, but your readers will vote with their feet (or ad blockers) and your investment in building up an audience will go down the drain. Remember that ad vendors do not have this same investment in your business, they will not shed any tears if they destroy it in the course of making money off your hard work.

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