On Website’s Priorities and Advertisements

Most of you may not have noticed this. I certainly would not have if not for a run of bad luck a while back.

Modern computers run fast. The internet is fast. And there are plenty of websites out there that serve web pages whose contents are almost exclusively advertisement… to my everlasting frustration.

A long while ago I noticed the website about.com. I hate that site. I never ever find any useful content on their pages. Their pages have so much junk on them that it takes over a minute to load it all. And I end up with two lines worth of actual content applicable to my search inquiry. And I give a 90% chance I already knew everything the page had to say, anyway, as it was trivial information.

Those two lines of almost-meaningful content are stretched and divided about several advertisements. At least three-quarters of the page are advertisements for a dozen different things. This may not be true every day or on every article of theirs… but it seems to be the trend I have observed. And I exaggerate a tad bit, so please don’t call me a liar. In any case, I find it nearly pointless to ever go to that site. I have actually begun to add the logical expression “-site:about.com” to my Google searches – it removes all search results to a website from your list.

Most websites are guilty of this to some extent. I don’t fault most of them, though. I don’t mind an advertisement here or there. But I do mind it when it takes my browser over a minute to load a page comprising of only adverts and useless trivialities otherwise.

But here is what prompted this post. This is the story I wish to tell. A few weeks ago my desktop computer broke. I was forced to break out this ancient laptop from storage. It was “mediocre” back when I bought it in 1999. Its crappy beyond crappy. But it lets me get online – otherwise I would toss it in the trash, not worth its parts. This computer is slow and it maintains a slow internet connection. And this is what I have observed through it all, if any of you want to try it.

Nearly all of the websites I go to which serve advertisements, I actually can watch as the page loads.  I watch as it loads text, as it loads media. I watch the page unfold before me byte by byte. What I have observed is how the web page content is prioritized.

First, advertisements. Second, the pages intended content.  It doesn’t matter if its text or media, adverts always come first.  I am forced to sit and watch, and wait, for junk to load before I can get at what I want to get at.

Websites are fully capable of discerning which operating system I have. They can tell me what browser I am using.  They can, or should, be able to tell above all other variables how fast the connection is.  And yet, they still force the most elaborate media down my throat on what is equivalent to a 10k connection.  Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to violate my privacy by logging my IP address, but not caring enough to provide a page that would be appropriate for my connection speed.

Whats worse is if that page happened to be useless to me, like about.com, which already took forever and provided nothing worthwhile.

There are in fact adverts so fantastic and high-tech that my browser on my computer actually freezes up.  I’m forced to reset and I am sure never to risk recurrence by going back.

Given my predicament,  I would simply deactivate all media and JavaScript and CSS in my browser to speed things up – except I wouldn’t get the useful media that I need for my research, I wouldn’t get the content-type that my browser and computer can handle, nor would advanced sites like wordpress.com work for me.



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