Banner frustration

17471462035_4b3ff87149_kI’m quite sure you have also experienced this already: at the exact millisecond your mouse pointer (should you still be using one of those prehistoric devices called laptops or desktops) or your finger reaches the area you intended to click/tap, the link to the content you wanted to access jumps 1 or 2 centimeters down. Which causes you to click/tap another link than the one you intended, ovbiously bringing you to some content you were not looking for. Theoretically this could lead to the revelation of some unexpected, surprising, amazing and wonderful piece of information that enlightens your day and potentially has thrilling, life-changing consequences – in reality you know that it simply does not. You simply land on a page that might well be extremely interesting to loads of people, but most definitely not to you.

The reason why this happens is quite easily explained: it’s because of banners (various types of so-called ‘display advertising’ to be more precise, but we’ll refer to all of it here as banners). When you go to a webpage, a part of it starts loading to make sure that you know very quickly that you are on the right page (internet users are known to be a very impatient bunch: have them wait just a second too long and they’re off, trying to access another – and quite likely competing – page) and if the page is well organized, this will result in displaying some of the things on the page that you might want to click/tap on.

But then the stuff that takes a bit longer to load into the memory of your device is loaded… like banners, that can be bigger because they are animated (meaning: having more chance of attracting your attention) or have a link to one or more tracking tools used to measure the effectiveness of the banner (in the browser you can often witness this by monitoring the info shown about the content being loaded: it will then say something containing ‘ad’ or ‘stat’ in the name). And if the banner is meant to be shown on a part of the page that is above the point you wanted to click/tap, this soon-to-be-clicked/tapped-upon content is moved down a bit. Resulting in banner frustration.

Is there anything you can do to avoid it? Not really. Well, of course you can a) stop using the internet (according to some the Middle Ages weren’t all that bad) or b) patiently wait until the connection speed is so fiber-awesome (or whatever will come next) that every component of every page loads in a nanosecond, but for the near future: learn to live with it, as an ad-free internet is also not going to happen (and should not happen either, as the ads  are in fact paying for a lot of the things you massively use for free).

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