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The Internet needs less of these

Posted by on 05/07/2011


The Internet has come a long way from the simple ARPANET framework back in the 1970s. A lot of good has come out of it in terms of information sharing, but webmasters sometimes add too many distracting features to encourage users to keep on viewing their little spot on the net, rather than going to the competitors. While some of those bells and whistles can either be useful or tolerable, others are just downright annoying. Here are a few of those annoying things which all webmasters should stay away from:

Pop Up boxes about Subscriptions

Usually I encounter these types of pop-ups when I use Google to find information. It is understandable that most big sites don’t use such tactics, because they know better. Clearly the webmasters are interested in raking in as many subscribers as possible for their amazing news letters or soft cover books. There is a rule on the net that if you want your readers to see something, you should stick it directly in their faces. However, many fail to realize that sticking it to the point of blocking the real content will turn them away. For most users who don’t browse with an ad blocker, these nasty pop-ups show up as soon as the page is completely loaded.

These ads remind me of day of playing Pokemon Red, when you tried to pass through a single bush without encountering a wild pokemon, only to get caught at the very start or very end. Hopefully the webmasters who use these pop-ups realize sooner than later that it is more of a distraction than a benefit and that it takes away from the real value of their site … the content.

Read More links

Another annoying trend is the use of Tynt’s SEO link tool, which attaches an annoying extra line to any content copied of sites using the service. You may have seen something like this:

Random paragraph

Read more:

Of course the SEO freaks out these love such a thing, because it pastes a link to the article at the bottom of each segment of copied text from paragraphs. They do this under the assumption that folks may copy and paste it to other websites or forums, which allows for those links to form a backlink to their website. However, it proves quite annoying otherwise. I usuallly submit content to a couple of aggregate news website and I despise having to remove those links every time I copy and paste a snippet from the story’s paragraph. If I want to get an excerpt from the story for a post on my site, it’s also annoying because I have neater ways of linking back to the original post.

While a number of reputable sites use the service, my sentiments are shared by many Internet goers, as seen here.

Unskippable video ads and ad overlays

Usually I’d check out the latest headlines on the web at work, but with my very slow Internet connection, loading up video news segments is a pain by itself. Sadly enough, a number of news agencies insist on including unskippable adverts before the actual news item which means I have to buffer a craptastic ad to actually see the story. I remember waiting half an hour once for a news item to end up closing the window out of frustration.

Even though I see less sites implementing such a strategy these days, YouTube has jumped on the train with a trial program of unskippable ads, and sadly enough their feedback results are actually in favour of them, but this is versus overlay ads. These are the pesky pop ups which cover the bottom bit of videos seen on YouTube after the 10 second mark. Even though AdBlock Plus does a good job at hiding these, the few times that I have to endure seeing them, they have proven be quite an annoyance mainly because they cover relevant text at the bottom of the videos (captions, etc.). While I don’t have a problem with people trying to monetize on videos, there must be a better way of doing it.

Unreadable Captchas

Google and a few other sites have quite a reputation for using Captchas that are simply unreadable. Of course they have good intentions in mind is trying to keep down those nasty spam robots, but when the text is just simply unreadable at the human level, maybe then they should consider something else. I’ve always felt that random the question and answer verification method was always more effective, since robots would have a challenging time trying to figure out the answer. Such an example would include “What color is the sky?” and the most common answer would be “blue”.

Comment Section Site Promoters

These are those guys who insist on trying to promote their new blogs in the comment sections of other bigger websites, in an attempt to bring across visitors. While some of them blatantly spam the comments with prices about Nike shoes, others try to disguise the links into a relevant discussion. While this may be seen as ‘okay-ish’, it would have been helpful if the actual post they were linking to had some sort of substance. It’s disappointing to hear them rant about how much information their post has to offer, when indeed it only contains on or two recycled lines from the page they linked on. My solution to these types of commenters are to blacklist them. There are other ways to legitimately promote, so why not use them?

Anyway, that’s my rant. (a million smiley faces)

  • I0i0i

    YEAAA i agree with all of this

  • Leo Monroe

    Another annoying thing is those stupid cpa popups, it forces you to take an endless survey to see the content behind it.

  • Bradley Wint

    Actually you should look out for those. They are scam sites, because the scammers get money for every completed survey. A lot of the times, the sites that you’d like to reach are bogus.

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