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Online Advertising

Pop-up ad

Popup generators | Hover Ads

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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Dozens of pop-up ads cover a desktop. Dozens of pop-up ads cover a desktop.

Pop-up ads are a form of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to increase web traffic or capture email addresses. It works when certain web sites open a new web browser window to display advertisements. The pop-up window containing an advertisement is usually generated by JavaScript, but can be generated by other means as well.

A variation on the pop-up window is the pop-under advertisement. This opens a new browser window, behind the active window. Pop-unders interrupt the user less, but are not seen until the desired windows are closed, making it more difficult for the user to determine which Web site opened them.


For early advertising-supported web sites, banner ads were sufficient revenue generators, but in the wake of the dot com crash, prices paid for banner advertising clickthroughs decreased and many vendors began to investigate more effective advertising methods. Pop-up ads by their nature are difficult to ignore or overlook, and are claimed to be more effective than static banner ads. Pop-ups have a much higher click rate than web banner ads do (about every 14,000th popup ad is clicked on).

Pornographic web sites are among the most common users of pop-up ads. Some particularly vicious types of pop-up ads (again, most often seen in connection with adult entertainment sites) appear to have either been programmed improperly or have been specifically designed to "hijack" a user's Internet session. These forms of pop-ups sometimes spawn multiple windows, and as each window is closed by the user it activates code that spawns another window -- sometimes indefinitely. This is sometimes referred to by users as a "Java trap", "spam cascade" or "Pop-up Hell" among other names. Usually the only way to stop this is to close the browser.

Another variation of pop-up, commonly called "mousetrapping", particularly fills an entire screen with an ad or Web page, in the process removing any menu bars or other on-screen icons by which the user can close the window. This problem mainly affects users of the Windows version of Internet Explorer. Often, access to other open windows and Web pages is denied. One way for PC users to close these ad windows is via the control-alt-delete command, which can result in all active IE windows (including those not connected to the pop-up) closing, and another way to close the mousetrapping window could be to hold down the Alt button and press F4 to close the active window. Another variant, a "static image ad", is a pop-up ad that stays in a fixed position of a window of an ad-supported program. This kind of ad does not distract the computer's concentration of a program window like a traditional popup ad does. One example of an ad-supported program that uses a static image ad is KaZaA.

Non-browser pop-up ads

Processes other than the Web browser can also display pop-up ads, or can direct the browser to display them. Many spyware programs do this, as well as some advertising-supported software, although the line between the two is sometimes thin.

A different sort of pop-up ad can be sent via the Messenger service in Microsoft's Windows operating system. These pop-ups appear as Windows dialog boxes with a textual message inside, usually directing the user to a Web site. Claims have been made that this type of pop-up has been used to commit extortion. Threats of legal action against the company D Squared Solutions has caused them to stop using this technique.

Pop-up blocking

Opera was the first major browser to incorporate popup-blocking tools; the Mozilla browser later improved on this by blocking only popups generated as the page loads. In the early 2000s, all major web browsers except Internet Explorer (then the most popular browser and still as of 2006) allowed the user to block unwanted pop-ups almost completely. In 2004, Microsoft released Windows XP SP2, which added pop-up blocking to Internet Explorer. Many users, however, remain unaware of this ability, or else choose not to use it. Many others are not able to use it at all, as they do not use Windows XP SP2, but older versions of Windows. Some users install non-Microsoft ad-blocking software instead.

Most modern browsers come with pop-up blocking tools; third-party tools tend to include other features such as ad filtering.

Browsers that block pop-up ads

The pop-up blocker included with Internet Explorer 6.0 SP2 The pop-up blocker included with Internet Explorer 6.0 SP2

America Online 9.0
Avant Browser
Crazy Browser
Enigma Browser
Gecko-based browsers
Mozilla Firefox
Netscape 7 & 8
Internet Explorer (with Windows XP Service Pack 2)
Slim Browser
Smart Bro

Add-on programs that block pop-up ads

Google Toolbar
Yahoo! Toolbar
MSN Toolbar
KillAd -- freeware
NoAds -- freeware
Super Ad Blocker
Pop-up Stopper
Pop-Up Sentry!
Bayden Systems Popup Blocker

Problems with pop-up blockers and non-advertising 'pop-ups'

Cyworld is one of the largest Korean communities on the web, with approximately 11 million users. Each user has a home page, pre-designed and the same size, but customizable. The home page itself, however, is technically a pop-up as it is less than the size of a typical browser window (a so-called mini hompy, or miniature home page). After Windows XP SP2 was released, there was a flurry of activity as Cyworld changed its front page to explain to its 11 million users (nearly a quarter of the population) how to get past the pop-up blocker.

Circumventing pop-up blockers

Advertisers continually seek ways to circumvent such restrictions. Many of the latest pop-ups are created using Flash and have extensive animation and trickery; others use DHTML to appear in front of the browser screen.

A form of advertisement that combines elements of a pop-up and web banner is a Flash animation superimposed over a webpage in a transparent layer. The flash animation links to the advertiser's site or product. This is a new form of advertisement, created in response to the growing popularity of pop-up blockers. Because the advertisement is an embedded flash object, it can be blocked, but with more difficulty, as most programs would view it as part of the content of the page. Methods of removing these are by using CSS, or third-party extensions such as Adblock.

On the other hand, the so called Hover Ads or DHTML pop-ups are based primarily on the JavaScript browser capabilities. Certain popup generators utilize JavaScript code that creates DOM object elements organized in a system that uses CSS and mostly the position attribute, but not solely, to produce emulative behaviors and visual effects resembling windows with chrome, content and other attributes and effects unavailable for the old fashioned and blockable popups. This technology and approach of creating popups seems to be hardest to block, as it is a fluent part of the browser's HTML and DHTML content. A way of blocking hover ads is by disabling JavaScript of the browser, but this action leads to crippling the browser and is unacceptable.

External Links/Sources:

See also


External links

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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