This article will be of particular interest to people in these fields:
  • Affiliate program marketers (a.k.a. affiliate publishers)
  • Affiliate advertisement managers
  • Affiliate network managers/personnel
  • Online advertisers
  • Online advertising agencies
  • Web site article publishers
  • Web site owners interested in ad revenue
Are Your Web Site's Loud Ads Irritating Your Visitors?
Before discussing how not to irritate your visitors with ads, let's define the problem and how it affects the end users, publishers, and advertisers. The online advertisement world is in trouble and a sizable portion of the publishers and advertisers don't realize there is a problem. Worse yet, some of these publishers and advertisers ignore the writing on the wall.

Identifying The Ad Problem
Let's fast rewind back to 1997 and surrounding era. We find a percentage of Web sites with the flashy-blinky animated ads. People complained about the over-use of these in-your-face graphic ads. A number of advertisers and ad networks didn't seem to care much what the visitor had to go through to see a Web site. The general surfer would sometimes retaliate by turning off all images or hitting that browser back button in a hurry to get off of offending sites with lots of blinking and moving ads. For those of you who watch The Simpson's TV show, remember Homer Simpson's Mr. "X" Web page?

Next came the pop-up ads. Remember the X10 pop-under Ads? Many people were quite annoyed by those ads and similar regular pop-up ads. Still, the advertisers didn't seem to mind irritating people. They irritated people so much that software companies seen a market for people not wanting to see those ads. And along came the pop-up blocker. Shortly after that, flash ads became en vogue. Again surfers complained of the distracting nature of those ads. Ad-blocker software companies responded by offering to block graphic ads. Advertisers keep finding ways to irritate their target audience and the audience is handed yet another ad-blocking tool to foil advertisers.

When will advertisers and Web site publishers learn that they can't irritate their prospective customers with overbearing ads. Apparently some publishers/advertisers haven't gotten the message clearly because people feel compelled to buy into the ad-blocking software. Of course the software companies creating these ad-blocker programs are carrying out their mission of blocking ads way too far with the blocking of non-intrusive text ads. These software companies are creating a toxic prospect for content providers and for people wishing to visit those content Web sites—See topic "What's Wrong With Ad Blocking?" in the "Related Topics" top right column section on this page. Some people want a free-ride ticket everywhere completely without ads. That's not fair either—See "Related Topics".

Publishers need to wake up and realize that they can't continue down this road of irritating visitors at their Web sites with loud advertising. If publishers don't listen to the rumblings of the general Web user, there won't be any advertisements shown because everyone will use these ad-blocking software packages. Web site owners that want to show ads for revenue generation need to consider going back to basics and simplicity.

The Ad Display Solution
After identifying the problem, we notice that a sizable portion of the Web population generally has a problem with those in-your-face ads. It's not hard to figure out which type ads fit that category. Here are the top offenders and the safest ads to use:

Offensive Ads Safe to Use Ads
Pop-ups / pop-undersText based
Animated imagesStatic graphic
Contextual text based
Animated flashContextual inline text link overlays

Contextual inline text link ads are ad overlays usually indicated by a double underlined link. The surfer can choose to view them. Placing your mouse cursor over any inline ad of this type activates the DHTML ad window. It's easy to dismiss the window. So far the major inline text ad agencies (i.e. IntelliTXT, Kontera, etc.) have been good about not making their ad notices annoying.

Unlike the bad contextual inline ads that were/are forced* upon publishers' Web sites by eZula and similar type software, publishers opt-in and get paid to display safe short ad link overlays. They are safe for the computer user. Hopefully these ethical contextual inline ad agencies show the unethical thiefware companies that it's not necessary to force* Web site owners to show their ads. Reward Web site owners and they'll willingly run the inline ads.

The most tolerated ads are text based and contextual text based. You can place text based advertisements on your site and get revenue sharing from many affiliate networks and from contextual ad sources like Yahoo Publishers Network and Google's AdSense Network. Other contextual ad networks are beginning to appear if you search for them.

Static graphic ads are still plentiful especially when publishers join affiliate networks. Use them judiciously. Overuse of graphics can make a site look messy and unprofessional. Same goes for text based ads—not too many in any certain area of your article. However, if you set up text based ads using the right layout, you can put lots of them on each Web page. Generally these latter types of pages are mainly marketing oriented and not so much article content oriented.

Publishers need to balance the ability to earn ad income while being courteous enough to their visitors. By using ads wisely, hopefully content developers will help convince visitors that they do not need ad-blockers. Let's be smart about it and use sensible advertisement tactics that avoid irritating your site visitors.

The word "force" is appropriately used in this instance due to the nature of spyware / thiefware type ads. The eZula ads were shown in connection with Web sites whether or not the site owner agreed to have them attached to their Web pages (I won't go into how this is accomplished). Secondly, thiefware ad companies do not compensate site owners when their Web pages are used to launch thiefware ads—a major contention amongst site owners around the world. For more info on thiefware ads, see:
Author: Curt Dunmire
Author's Link:
About Author: Curt Dunmire is the publisher, director and owner of; an advocate on topics such as the fight against spyware and extolling the benefits of JavaScript. He has been Webmaster to clients since 1996 helping them establish online business identities as well as a previous full-time CAD drafter using various CAD platforms.
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