Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's With All The Popups?

By: Lee Distad

Online news is my lifeblood, both for CE as well as for general business and finance. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I subscribe to more than a dozen newsletters that arrive every morning in my Inbox. On top of that, every morning my first cup of coffee coincides with a quick skim of my RSS feeds, and the various blogs I read. Information overload is a very real issue, which is why generally I quickly skim the headlines, only drilling down to take a closer look at things of immediate or direct interest.

I was deeply annoyed yesterday when I followed a headline from a daily US CE business newsletter to their website, only to be barraged by popup advertising. Are you kidding me, what is this, Web 1.0 in 1998? I would expect a popup farm from a shady Baltic ex-soviet state bit torrent site, but to visit a well-regarded legitimate news site and have my popup blocker work so hard that my laptop actually slowed down is ridiculous. They can’t even claim that they were hacked, since enabling the popups allowed me to see that they were ads for mainstream consumer goods, matching the ads on their site.

I’m all in favour of making a buck on the Internet, but the central principle to that is to not drive away your readers. There’s a reason why popup blockers are a cardinal feature on web browsers: it’s because web surfers hate popups. If your website is still using popups, take it from me, you aren’t making any friends. In addition, there’s a saying in the marketing business that “50% of my advertising budget is wasted, I just don’t know which half.” I guarantee that if you’re an advertiser, and you’re been talked into buying popup spots, you’d be better off piling all that money in the middle of your office and setting it on fire.
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1 comment:

sandeep said...

Yeah its true that some of the web-sites consist of pop-ups which cannot be neglected by the browser people got to understand that they need to be more user friendly in order to get more traffic