Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Pop-Up Ads Shed Blocks, Tackle Consumers

Filed under
Security

There was a time not so long ago when you could barely open a Web site without being buried with pop-up ads -- unwanted windows advertising everything and anything up to and including the kitchen sink.

They existed for one very good reason: Annoying as they were, they worked.

Then, the Web browser makers got wise to the ways of pop-up ads, and enabled people to block them. Even Microsoft Corp., which was way behind the curve on this one, finally added the ability to stop most common pop-up ads to Internet Explorer with its Service Pack 2 update to Windows XP.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of pop-up ads.
Now advertisers have begun figuring out new ways to evade pop-up restrictions, and companies with goods and services to sell have been more than happy to place ads via these new channels, resulting in unpleasant surprises for users of such pop-up-blocking browsers as IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

This new crop of intrusive ads comes in two forms. One, pop-unders, appear behind the page you're viewing instead of in front of it. While that saves you from having your Web experience disrupted by a series of Viagra ads exploding in front of your nose, it still leaves you with an ad in front of your face when you close a browser window.

These pop-unders make it through pop-blockers by slightly changing how they create new windows, although they rely on the same basic JavaScript Web code used by traditional pop-ups.

(JavaScript also routinely used to provide legitimate Web site functions; blocking it entirely would render some sites unusable.)

A second kind is not launched with JavaScript code, but from components of a page created using Macromedia Flash. This technology allows Web designers to include things like interactive menus or games, but, like JavaScript, can also be deployed to create and present ads.

Why do companies go to the extra trouble of putting a pop-up or pop-under ad in front of users who, by choosing a pop-up-blocking browser, obviously don't want them?

Because people respond to them anyway, say companies that buy these types of ads.
"They work," said Susan Wade, spokesperson for Herndon-based Network Solutions Inc. "While they're only a small part of our media mix, they do help."

If online ads get too annoying, they will backfire on advertisers. But it's not clear yet if the latest proliferation of pop-ups has reached that point.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Salix 14.2 Xfce Edition Officially Released Based on Slackware 14.2, Xfce 4.12

After being in development for the past three months, the Salix 14.2 Xfce Edition operating system has finally hit the stable channels, and it is now available for download. Based on the Slackware 14.2 GNU/Linux distribution and built around the lightweight and highly customizable Xfce 4.12 desktop environment, Salix 14.2 Xfce Edition ships with numerous improvements and new features that some of you who managed to test-drive the Beta and Release Candidate pre-releases are already accustomed with. Of course, many of the core components and default applications have been updated to their latest versions. Read more

Leftovers: Security

  • Tor 0.2.8.7 Addresses Important Bug Related to ReachableAddresses Option
    The Tor Project, through Nick Mathewson, is pleased to inform the Tor community about the release and general availability of yet another maintenance update to the Tor 0.2.8 stable series.
  • Emergency Service Window for Kolab Now
    We’re going to need to free up a hypervisor and put its load on other hypervisors, in order to pull out the one hypervisor and have some of its faulty hardware replaced — but there’s two problems; The hypervisor to free up has asserted required CPU capabilities most of the eligible targets do not have — this prevents a migration that does not involve a shut down, reconfiguration, and restart of the guest.

TheSSS 19.0 Linux Server Out with Kernel 4.4.14, Apache 2.4.23 & MariaDB 10.1.16

TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) is one of the lightest Linux kernel-based operating systems designed to be used as an all-around server for home users, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses looking for a quick and painless way of distributing files across networks or to simply test some web-based software. Read more

GNOME Control Center 3.22 to Update the Keyboard Settings, Improve Networking

The upcoming GNOME 3.22 desktop environment is still in the works, and a first Beta build was seeded to public beta testers last week, bringing multiple enhancements and new features to most of its core components and apps. While GNOME 3.22 Beta was announced on August 22, it appears that the maintainers of certain core packages needed a little more time to work on various improvements and polish their applications before they were suitable for public testing. And this is the case of GNOME Control Center, which was recently updated to version 3.21.90, which means 3.22 Beta. Read more