I don’t normally rant on this blog, but I’ve been having issues with pop-ups lately. Pop-up advertisements are one of the fastest and most efficient ways to drive me away from a site. It doesn’t matter how much I loved the article I was reading, what the pop-up is saying, or how long I’ve been a fan of that blogger or website.
If the administrators interrupt my concentration with an unwanted pop-up, they’re going to lose a reader for good. If their pop-up includes a video that starts playing automatically, I’ll be so annoyed that I will tell friends and family members to avoid that site as well.
No, I’m not opposed to the use of advertisements on websites in general. They’re a necessary part of making money on the Internet, and I completely understand that. Banner ads are fine, as are advertisements that are inserted halfway through whatever essay or article I’m reading as long as they don’t make noise or cover up the text.
I don’t care what kinds of racy pictures an ad might include or if they use clickbait titles to grab the reader’s attention. Those are some of the things I’ve come to expect from the web. Non-intrusive online ads are like billboards: sometimes they’re silly; often they’re cheesy; rarely they might even be helpful or interesting.
When a website decides to interrupt me when I’m reading one of their articles by launching a pop-up that I never wanted, though, they’re sending a very clear message about how little they value my time and attention.
It would be like a server interrupting you in the middle of a meal to take your half-finished plate away and ask if you wanted to order another entree. I can count the number of times that is acceptable on one hand, and every single one of them would begin with you asking for help due to something like undercooked meat, a fly in your soup, or food allergy issues.
You don’t just randomly start taking things away from people if you want them to keep coming back.
So, please. For the love of pete, stop using pop-up ads.