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Displaying ads the nice way

| Luke Harris

A problem faced by many webmasters today is how to earn money from your site. Most people will tell you to use ads, and most listen. The problem is, most people also block ads.

Why, you ask. Why do people block your ads? What's the insane reasoning behind this? Well, it's because of the mistakes of other webmasters, and ones you're probably making right now as well.

The first major mistake is too many ads, which most of the time are visually loud, out of place on the website, and just plastered all over the page. YouTube is a good example of some very bad ad mistakes (and I'll reference them a lot here), and so are the majority of news sites and blogs owned by people desperate for every penny. People hate seeing that crap, they're not there for the ads, they're there to view the content on the site. And if the ads are in the way or too distracting, guess what, they don't want to see them anymore and find a way to hide them.

Another mistake is placing gigantic resource-intensive ads, like YouTube, again. Flash ads, video ads, popups, all those are extremely annoying. In a hypocritical moment I admit I actually do use adblock on sites with *** webmasters like YouTube, because I can't watch the videos without lag because of the ads or can't read the content because there's a dozen windows popping up, annoying video ads with sound, and other crap.

Now, you may not be an *** webmaster like the ones I've outlined, but the crimes those ***s have committed affect you as well, because the stupid developers of those adblock methods made it so they block ads on all sites, instead of the worst sites. So how do you get the poor sheep to go to the trouble of unblocking your ads? By not committing those crimes.

Here's my methods, which I believe that if most webmasters followed, we'd have more people going without adblock and make the web a better place.

  1. Display only one or at max, two ads on the page. On my forums I prefer to display one ad at the bottom of every page, out of the way, and almost invisible to most people. The header spot is tempting but it's really in your face and I don't like that. I also put one between the first and second post in a thread.
  2. Make sure those ads aren't annoying, that is, don't use ads that play music, don't use ads that create popups, crawl up the page, and other nonsense like that. Background image ads are also a no-no.
  3. Link monetization is a no-no. I know it's tempting to monetize a link with hundreds of clicks a day, or to monetize the whole site, but it's ridiculous and really doesn't get your much. Plus it's annoying as hell to have to wait 5 seconds and listen to video ads.
  4. InfoLinks and other keyword popup ad services are stupid. They're annoying, they get in the way, and they're really damn useless too, because no one clicks them on purpose. You're trying too hard if you use that crap.
  5. Ads in videos are also annoying as hell. I don't want to wait 10 seconds to watch a damn video I'm only going to probably watch part of and I have no interest in those stupid video ads. You'll make far more money off of a couple page ads.

I've got to emphasize the placement of the ads a bit more. One of the reasons users block ads is because they can see them, and placing your ad in the upper part of your page is going to make it get seen. Sure, marketers will tell you it will get extra clicks up there, but remember, no one clicks ads intentionally, so placing an ad up there is just stupid. If you do place one up there, don't commit the sin of putting it before everything else on the page, even the logo of the site itself. Only ***s do that.

If your users are already blocking your ads, which most likely they are thanks to YouTube and the other ***s out there, then you can use a guilt trick on them. I made this script to display a message when it detects an adblocker, which you can use to [nicely] ask the users to unblock your ads. It only works on noobs who are unlikely to dig through the code of your site to find the JavaScript used in this so they can add a special filter just to block it,  so if you encounter any hardcore anti-ad ******* nerds on your site then you're damned.

Lengthy blog post, but if you actually took the time to read through my magnum opus, then you should definitely keep on living on this earth.

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