It’s been a bitch of a week thus far, when it relates to serving ads, and we’ve received many e-mails, tweets, posts and pigeons in regards to spam ads.
Rather than me trying to explain something I vaguely understand, Will has volunteered to write something a little more coherent than ‘BAD ADS MAKE SOHMEY ANGRY’-
Ads on the internet are without a doubt an annoying necessity. It’s the best passive way to make money and allow websites to do what they do. Without ads, we wouldn’t be able to make our comic as well or as frequently as we do. Lar would have to take up a second job as a shoe shine and I would have to become a sexy shirtless pool boy.
Unfortunately, ads aren’t perfect, and neither is the ad industry. You may or may not know this, but mobile and online advertising is something we’ve been a part of and doing since our inception. I’m telling you this because I want you to understand that the following explanation comes from the experience of us being in the industry, and not just out of our asses.
How Ads Work
We get emails and comments all the time about our ads. The thing that we notice most is that people have no idea how ads work on the internet. Consider this a quick advertising 101.
When an ad appears on our site, let’s say for amazon, it’s not because we’ve spoken to that site or service and have personally agreed to put their ads on our site. That’s not how it works. It’d take too much time and effort.
Instead, a site chooses some ad sizes and placements, then using something like Google’s Double Click for Publishers they generate a script that dynamically loads the ad every time someone lands on the site. When you land on our site, a series of advertising companies called Demand Partners bid on your view of that page. Whoever wins gets to display an ad that matches that price range, and probably some of your interests.
When it comes to vetting ads, it’s something that we can’t personally do since we can’t see all the possible ads that could hit our site. No one can, it’s not an ability websites have. It’s something that sales guys all the way up the chain do, and it’s done a few more times through the process before it hits us.
Spam Ads and Redirects
Online advertising is a double edged sword. It helps us monetize our site, but there’s also a risk that something slips through and then provokes people to leave the site or turn on ad blockers. That’s what is currently happening to many sites, including us. It’s one of the reasons we started a Patreon on LICD, because we know that people would rather not have ads, but we still need to survive.
Recently, some redirect ads have snuck their way into the ad exchange. They do this by cleverly cloning sites and legitimate ads so that they get through the vetting process, but then change to something malicious. Sure, it’s might tell you you’re a winner, but it’s an asshole in sheep’s clothing.
This is obviously not something we want as a website, nor as a player in the ad industry. It’s something that the ad industry is struggling to solve and that we personally have been fighting against for a while. It’s probably something that we’re going to continue to fight for a while, but we have a bit of an advantage. You guys. You guys are loyal and have been great with reaching out to us when there’s a problem.
What Can You Do to Help?
While we appreciate the Facebook comments and messages, the Tweets, and the comments on the sites, we’ve created a more direct way for you to reach us about the problem. For those of you who are willing to forgo the ad blocker and would like to help us in this fight, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us the following information:
- A screen shot of the ad or the site the ad brought you to
- The URL of the site you’ve been brought to
- The page you were on when this happened.
- Day and Time of the occurrence (time zone included please)
- The device you were using (mobile or desktop)
- The OS you were using
- The browser this occurred in
If you’re more technically inclined and able to trigger the ads pretty easily, then these are some additional steps that could help:
- The network and/or timeline log of the redirect. This will help us track which partner caused the redirect and we can shut them down.
- If possible, the actual ad script that was used on our site when the bad ad was called. Because of the redirect, this is a lot harder to get.
Thanks for bearing with us. Hopefully we have this solved soon.
And of course, to enjoy an ad free version of this site, sign up for our Patreon thingy-majigy.
Thanks, folks, as always.
-Because I Can.
Quote of the Day
“If a newspaper is to be of real service to the public, it must have a big circulation: first, because its news and its comments must reach the largest possible number of people; second, because circulation means advertising, and advertising means money, and money means independence.”
We missed it last year, but I wasn’t going to let it happen again.
So behold my friends, the (almost) annual LICD Valentines Day Date Contest:
We’re working on a tight window due to the fact that I’m heading on vacation for a week before our trip to Seattle, so consider the deadline right now. Go. Enter.
And as always, please make sure to include all the requested info. This contest is open to anyone on the planet.
Except those who live in Peru.
You know what you did.
-Because I Can.
Quote of the Day
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
-Charles M. Schulz
My wife and I support the Multiple Sclerosis Society through fundraising every year. Between crowdfunding and Kickstarting and Patreons there’s a huge competition for your time and money. Now, I don’t have a lot of skills but the ones I do have are part of the reason you are reading this comic. So here’s the pitch:
From now through April, I am drawing custom avatars with a different cartoon theme each month. For February that theme is The Muppets!
With a donation of $40 or more to our campaign I will draw your caricature/character then email you the files. A a high res png file (8″ square, 300 dpi) and a low res jpeg (for social media). You can print it, make shirts, use it on your website or business cards. And on top of that your donation is TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
Go to tinyurl.com/mscure2018 and make your donation of $40 (or more!)
Send your donation confirmation along with a photo to me (mailto:email@example.com)
I will send you back the art.
Upcoming art themes are My Little Pony (March), Rick and Morty and Yellow Submarine (April). Collect the set!! Get a tax deductible receipt! Feel superior to your lesser non charity giving friends!