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Major bug discovered and fixed relating to ad delivery on Neowin


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We discovered a pretty major bug that effectively tried to load multiple ads in the same spot, it caused the page to stop rendering until all of the ad code was read, and usually resulted in an ad not appearing in another spot.

I debugged it earlier this week and was able to track the company responsible, their team confirmed and fixed the issue yesterday.

Now, if you whitelist Neowin, our pages no longer 'wait' for ads to load, they only appear when you scroll to where it should appear, there's also a nice hover behavior that 'lights up' the ad when you mouse over it (without clicking). Other possible problems fixed:

  • Expandable ads will now only expand when you do it yourself;
  • Video/Audio ads will no longer 'autoplay' (I have confirmed this myself with a Netflix ad),
  • Any popup/overs may have happened due to the buggy code (and is definitely not allowed on Neowin).

It goes without saying that I appreciate everyone who whitelists Neowin, it enables us to do a bit more for you on the backend, so thanks!.

As always you can screenshot and report any 'bad ads' and I will follow up on it for you (web inspector/firebug is also very helpful to me and the ad company).

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Now that you are done with that little niggle, can you please fix the issue with ads using AdSense on mobile (Safari on iOS) whereby tap and hold no longer gives the URL to copy to report? Irrelevant ads are still an issue.

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Now that you are done with that little niggle, can you please fix the issue with ads using AdSense on mobile (Safari on iOS) whereby tap and hold no longer gives the URL to copy to report? Irrelevant ads are still an issue.

If you have disabled tracking or use an opt-out extension of sorts the ads won't be relevant to you. This isn't a bug.

 

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If you have disabled tracking or use an opt-out extension of sorts the ads won't be relevant to you. This isn't a bug.

Sorry Steve, but a site that's all about technology shouldn't show ads about anything other than technology. This isn't about disabling tracking or opt-ing out or what not, it's about the types of ads that you allow to be displayed on this site. Just like I don't want to see an ad about some graphics card when booking a flight, I don't want to see travel-related ads when browsing Neowin. Now if Google AdSense doesn't let you fine tune things to only allow tech-related ads, you should have a word with them. Likewise, if you'd rather outsource the relevancy of ads to AdSense as long as Google dollars keep rolling in, that's another matter entirely too.

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Except that's not how ad companies work, ads are loaded in based on the viewer's interests, not the site. The only control we have over that aspect is the more expensive campaigns where tech related companies will pay to have their ads shown here. That's why we have a company that does all that leg work for us.

I have ensured that dating related ads and casino/gambling ads aren't shown here, although sometimes they do slip through, in that case report them and I will inform our ad provider. (firebug/inspector + screenshot and/or link to where the ad goes is also helpful)

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Why is it not possible for ad companies to take what they know about me and the site that I am visiting and show me an ad that combines the two? I don't see how an ad about some washing up liquid shown while I read a story about the latest Android-based handset makes sense.

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  • 1 month later...

Why is it not possible for ad companies to take what they know about me and the site that I am visiting and show me an ad that combines the two? I don't see how an ad about some washing up liquid shown while I read a story about the latest Android-based handset makes sense.

It is possible, to a degree. I haven't used AdSense for awhile, so not sure if they have the feature or not, to specifically state keywords, but some ad networks do. Usually, though, Google should only display ads that are related to the site, by default, unless the user hasn't opted-out of interest-based ads, because then all ads are based on your interests, regardless of site category.

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It is possible, to a degree. I haven't used AdSense for awhile, so not sure if they have the feature or not, to specifically state keywords, but some ad networks do. Usually, though, Google should only display ads that are related to the site, by default, unless the user hasn't opted-out of interest-based ads, because then all ads are based on your interests, regardless of site category.

It shouldn't be rocket science. And neither are people expected to jump through hoops to ensure that ads presented to them are appropriate. If ads are related to the site, you can't go wrong. 

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