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Advertising doesn’t really suck all that much.

Currently, advertising is part of our everyday lives. We have commercials on TV, billboards along our roads, and ads in our websites and games. They can be a pain in the ass, but they can also help out by introducing us to new products or keeping services that would otherwise be costly either inexpensive or free. I even run ads on my site here, I don’t make much off them at the moment, pretty much just pays for some of the hosting costs, but it allows me to keep the site up.

Myself, I don’t mind advertising, as long as it’s done the right way. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s probably easier to just tell you about the wrong way to advertise to me.

  1. Auto playing audio.  Seriously, I may open 20 different tabs at from Google Reader at one time, and nothing drives me crazier than tracking down the one tab that has some stupid commercial for dish soap playing on it.  I especially hate this when I have my volume turned up and I’m somewhere that I should be quiet.  I doubly especially hate it when this features explicit material.  Want me to not only ignore the ad but also stop going to your site all together, start playing sound when I visit it.
  2. Those stupid ads that look like a normal banner, but then spread out to cover the entire page when I run the mouse over it.  The more you try to just shove your product in my face, the more I’m not going to want to buy it.  Likewise, if it’s difficult for me to read what’s on your website thanks to your ads, again, I’m probably not going to come back.
  3. Endless pop ups, popunders, pop overs, pop wherever.  There is only one reason for a separate window to open up, and that is visiting the Wwwyzzerdd (seriously, turn off your pop-up blocker and visit that page).  If your website is anything like that one, I’m not visiting your page.  Likewise, if your ad is on a pop-up, I got bad news, because they are closed as soon as they open.
  4. Ads that cover important parts of your page.  If you have ads, make sure they don’t block important stuff.  This is especially important if you are making an ad-supported game.  The ad should never cover important gameplay elements.  Making the game difficult to play isn’t going to convince me to buy the full version, I’m probably just going to uninstall.
  5. Don’t make me wait.  I hate waiting through a commercial for feminine products that’s twice as long as the video that I wanted to actually watch.  Let me skip the ad once I see it’s not for anything that I’m going to ever use.  The same goes for those ads that take over the whole page and make you wait 15 seconds to continue.  It’s annoying and again, I’ll stop going to your page if you use them.
  6. Lastly, I really hate going to a website, and having to figure out which of the 800 download buttons are advertisements and which one is for what ever I’m actually trying to download.  I’m never going to use what ever download manager you are trying to pawn off as a legitimate download, so stop trying to make me download it.  And if you are the one hosting the ads, if I can’t find the right link, or the ads make it look like I need to download some other software first, I’m just going to close the page.

Want me to keep coming to your page, then use text and image ads, or videos and animations where there either is no audio, or it is muted by default.  It’s that simple, I will never install any adblockers as long as the ads on pages I go to stay away from the six types of ads above.

Content providers and advertisers just don’t seem to understand this though.  They can’t seem to understand that when your ads are annoying, people will try to block them, or just stop hanging around, neither of which is conducive to effective advertising.  Their own actions are actually driving the adblock industry.  They are effectively killing themselves with their actions.  Why would they do this?

Well, the reason is that the more annoying the ad, the more effective they are.  For every person that installs an adblock, there are ten people who click them.  These are the same people using IE5, click on the links to make sure that their computers are “secure”, and reply to that deposed prince that’s trying to get money out of the country…