Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Weird On-line Advertising

Ok, so this is one of those things that has probably been going on for some time and I only just noticed it today.

A few minutes ago, I was reading this article about how the International Astronomical Union has finally come to a decision on what defines a planet. (Incidentally, there are going to be 12 celestial bodies recognized as planets - eight "classical" planets and four "plutons".) In the article, I noticed that there are a few words that are text links. Expecting them to link to something related to the article or the particular word in the article, I was surprised to find out that they were nothing more than advertisements! If you click on the link, it takes you to the advertiser's web site. If you simply roll over the link, a little window pops up with a mini-ad from the same advertiser.

I don't know how I feel about this form of advertising. I guess it's easy enough to ignore, which is mainly what I do with on-line advertisements. But imagine reading a whole article in which many of the words are hyperlinked advertisements. That could be really annoying. And then it would be hard to determine which links are just advertisements versus links to information legitimately related to the article. Bluh.

1 comment:

Greg said...

I've seen pages like that before. They're just annoying. I believe the way it works is that after the page is rendered, sans links, a javascript runs which picks out words that would be good for ads, and then inserts hyperlinks.

Personally, when I see a page like that, I tend to go elsewhere for news.