Five Part Series – Part I – Understanding Advertising
One of the most basic parts of using the Internet – browsing websites – should also be the easiest, right? Sure, but it’s not.
When it comes to navigating through websites, there are a lot of landmines and trap doors in places where newcomers find themselves stumbling onto a website that they didn’t intend to visit. How can that happen? Well, most of the time it comes down to how online publishers advertise.
In order to stay in business, websites place advertisements interspersed with content, and unless you know how to recognize those advertisements, you could find yourself clicking on one of those links and ending up on some annoying, spammy sales page. The easiest way to recognize ads is to look for the small blue triangle in the corner of the ad box, or look for some text like “Ads by Google” that identify the area as an ad.
You’ll usually find some sort of indication, because Google has started penalizing sites that try to “camouflage” ads – so some text indicating that it’s an ad area or “sponsored links” will usually reveal the ad to you. Here’s another example from a mainstream site like the NY Times, so as you can see these sorts of “blended” ads are very common. Learn to spot them.
Another tricky sort of ad to watch for is the pop-over ad. Basically when you glide your mouse inadvertently over an ad, it slides open in a much larger area, even covering some of the page content sometimes.
When this happens, you can just about always find an “X” in the corner of the ad, and most of the time that “X” will actually minimize or close the ad window so you can see the content again. This is even the case when the pop-up ad takes over the entire page and covers up all of the content, like this weird full-page ad at wiseGEEK.
Again, look for the “X” in the corner. It isn’t always easy to find, but it’s nearly always there and usually works.
Some people would say that using something like Adblock is the best solution – but as Chris Hoffman, a former Adblock filter developer explains, blocking all ads can end up doing a lot more harm than good. In fact, if the usage rates for Adblock software continue along the trend they are headed today, the Internet will likely become another corporate-run medium, because start-up bloggers and website owners won’t be able to afford launching new content anymore if advertising no longer pays the bills.
So – instead of contributing to this problem by installing Adblock, just learn what ads look like and how to avoid them as you enjoy all of the fantastic free content around the net.
Sourced from makeuseof.com