Oh, No They Ditn’t

I was reading some web info this am via RSS, which provides a stripped down text-only view of websites. It’s a great way to scan for points of interest, and even better for dodging ads, which are annoying but understandably essential for revenues. Unfortunately there’s been some situations where ads are getting placed into the RSS feed, defeating that work around. And it just got worse. On a website I was lead to as I followed a story, I found that they’re putting fake “hyperlinks” into the story and attaching ads to them. Although there is a modest difference between a “true” link’s appearance and the ad link’s appearance, being simply the color and underline settings, the rest is deceptive as hell. When you position your mouse on it, you’re presented with a little ad. Disgusting! I won’t name the site ’cause I don’t want to drive any visitors their way but as viral as the web and advertising is, I fear we’ll be seeing more and more of this in the next few months.


Written by gsm

03/16/2007 at 5:08 am

Posted in  Technology 

3 Responses

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  1. I hate, hate, *HATE* these in-line ads, as well. The “intelligent analysis” done to mark anchors for potential ads is usually rather stupid (like the “customers” link above – oh, gee, there’s a good term to search on), and outside of the almost _immoral_ feel that slamming such ads into otherwise useful articles appears to provide, I just hate the fact that an otherwise small and possibly useful article is now bloated with it’s own version of adware.

    Hence the reason SafariBlock is a critical part of my browsing experience – and a feature which I’ve requested be added directly into our browser of choice.

    Be warned: Some websites are so insane as to connect their RSS feeds THROUGH such redirects – ensuring ad revenue anytime a user clicks to read the full story. But, if SafariBlock is active, attempting such actions won’t work – you are essentially blocking the full story from appearing at all. That’s simply a site which I refuse to read anymore, and which gets a nasty email from me regarding their far-too-greedy attitude.


    03/16/2007 at 7:55 am

  2. In case it will help, here’s the list of sites I’m permanently SafariBlock’ing:


    You can use “Import File…” to bring these directly into the SafariBlock preference area (I’ve already added the wildcards to start & end). Perhaps we should collaborate in building/enhancing this list, which I’d be happy to maintain there, for our use?


    03/16/2007 at 8:04 am

  3. The first time I encountered these ads I thought I’d been the victim of a browser hijack, having seen similar behavior once on a machine infested with CoolWebSearch. Perhaps these inline advertising links were around before the hijacking hijinks, but to my (admittedly limited) knowledge the bad guys were the first ones to deploy this technology, and this deeply colored my viscerally averse reaction to it.

    The Cubelodyte

    03/16/2007 at 9:12 am

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