Walt Mossberg's article and The Verge's ads


I think Walt brings up a few very good points. The video ads do bother me to an extent, but I mostly avoid video online and it's not the end of the world. Yes, I did sit through a 30 second ad to watch 18 seconds of Tom Brady getting sacked last weekend, but that's a once a month occurrence for me.

Several years ago, though, I complained here about how ads have taken over The Verge. Specifically, the icon on the New Page tab of Firefox for me was, and still is, an ad. It doesn't show The Verge content, it shows the giant ad The Verge puts on top. If I want go to to The Verge, I look for the icon with a giant Samsung logo. This is the only site that happens for me.

What drives me most nuts, though, and this isn't exclusive to The Verge, is how sites think they're being smart by dynamically judging if an ad loads and how large it is. In theory, this means the site looks fine with any size ad, or no ad. In practice, this means the site ALWAYS jumps down numerous pixels after I've already been reading it. This is infinitely worse on mobile, where it seems that sites always wait until I'm about to press the link I want. Then BOOM, everything jumps and I click the wrong link. I hit back, wait for the site to load again, scroll to the link, go to click it, repeat. My choice is to wait an extra few seconds for the site to fully load or go through this. As a user with a small screen, I can't tell the site hasn't fully loaded and will jump. This happens on The Verge sometimes, happens on AVClub several times an hour for me.

For the love of God, just set a certain size for your ads and load the page with those pixels taken, blank or not. Stop moving things around on me after you've already appeared fully loaded and after I'm already reading and interacting with content.