10 Most Annoying Ads and their irritating features

When I started this blog I had the kontera content link ads here. It was not like I was earning a lot of money from that but I was basically experimenting with almost all available ad options at that time – most of them with the intention of reviewing.

After sometime, I also had a peel away ad on the top-right corner of the blog. As in the case of Kontera, I did not make much money out of that either but it was looking good on my old theme. Then a couple of my good readers told me that both Kontera and Peel-away ads were irritating for them for various reasons that spoilt the readability and user experience of the blog. I took them out instantly.

Annoying advertisements on blogs

Of course, peelaway ads or Kontera are not the worst examples of ads that can irritate your readers. In my opinion, the following are ten types of ads that I find very very annoying and I have put them in the order of annoyance (1 = worst, at the bottom).

#10 Flash animations

By flash animations, I mean all categories of rather big and too colorful ads that irritiate your eyes. These may be too intrusive that you loose track of your reading. It may be based on the flash technology or animated gif but the irritation factor is much the same.

#9 Stripe ads

The stripe ads – either on top or bottom of the page – are irritating for a different reason all together. In principle they should be rather harmless however, if it is appearing on top, the page load time increase drastically and it is highly annoying that way. Also, sometimes they do not have a ‘close’ button in order to hide them.

#8 Floating or follow-me ads

The floating ads follow you as you scroll up/down the page. These are very irritating as well because the readability is hampered in this case.

#7 Content link ads

Kontera or infolinks or anything else, these are really irritating for the readers because they mask the purpose behind hyperlinks. What the user thinks as hyperlinks are no more hyperlinks in this case but a mechanism to popup ads (or fool the user into clicking something that looks like a hyeprlink)

#6 On page popup signup forms

These came into existence hardly an year back with some of those high profile bloggers putting these ads once per session for their visitors. Mostly these ads ask you to sign up for their latest eBook or offers you tips that make you a Warren Buffet overnight. Some smalltime bloggers have followed their idols and I seem them more often of late.

#5 Audio backgrounds

Unless you have a music blog or an fm station fan page, it is irritating to have audio backgrounds on web pages. These ads, mostly seen (heard) on landing pages of certain products can not only cause irritation but also slow down the page loading process.

#4 Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads usually come into the action five or ten seconds after you start reading a page. This is probably the timeframe during which you are actually developing interest in the content and they strike right then. The page you are reading suddenly turns into a whole page ad with a ‘skip this ad’ option. Needless to say, some people actually click and proceed without reading anything there in and a good percentage of the people hit the browser close button.

#3 Popups and Pop-unders

The long time annoyance is still ruling high! The popup ads according to me are among the top three most annoying ad genres and unless you provide a lot of valuable free services that your readers can’t see elsewhere, you should never think of putting them.

#2 In content affiliate links in the wrong context

We have a number of plugins available these days to convert each keyword on your page into money making affiliate links. However, these affiliate plugins sometimes put the wrong affiliate products on certain keyword links and it is irritating just like the contentlink ads.

…and my #1 most irritating ad type is…

#1 Redirects

Certain low end ad networks actually add scripts to redirect the user to the target pages most of them being some kind of dating portals or tier 2 social networking sites. The worst thing about these scripts is that even if you hit the back button, you may not get back to where you want to go. According to me this is the worst type of ad among my list of 10.

What do you think?

Now, could you take this little poll and pick the ad category that is the most irritating for you. If your least favorite ad does not figure here, please leave a comment to talk about it.

Thank you for voting and Happy Blogging!


  1. Good to know different types of Annoying Ads…. Good post Ajith…

  2. Stopping by to say Hello. Your site looks great and you are still sharing such wonderful helpful hints. I hope life is great for you and the family.

  3. I find pop ups really annoying. In text ads aren’t really that annoying to me because you don’t have to click them.

    Overall nice informative post.

  4. I wold have to say, any advertisement that doesn’t suit the blog. If you’re going tohave ad’s on your blog, atleast make them relevant.

  5. I find the floating ads as the greatest annoying ads.They won’t allows us to read the contents and will create a negative feeling against the blog we are reading !

  6. Sabari :

    You missed the rollover/mouseover kinda flash ads which grow into a bigger one even if you accidentally mouse over it!

  7. for me, popups are the worst ads. they hamper my process of reading a post and diverts my concentration. I wonder you put stripe ads in the list. I just love them i find them the best way to grab my reader’s attention and tell them something new

  8. Lida :

    excellent post ajith. Thanks for sharing and I just voting

  9. While “Redirect” is really bad — mostly some low-end useless websites do that. We don’t typically visit those website on a regular basis. Sometime you go there by mistake from some junk link.

    However the “#2 In content affiliate links in the wrong context” — is what I really hate for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. Once I see a website using this, I unsubscribe from their blog and will never visit again.

    I would rate this (In content affiliate links) as #1.

  10. Nihar :

    Do you visit ibnlive.com ?

    very very bad flash ads that keeps coming up stopping us to see the news…

    I am using infolinks. before i was using kontera. I don’t think in text link ads are bad.

  11. Jerry :

    I wouldn’t agree with Tom (StandOutBlogger.com) as I believe certain blog ads actually create a win-win situation for both readers and blog owners. To me, ads money is actually one of the motivation for bloggers to keep providing good info and isn’t good info what most readers want?

    Nice article Ajith and thanks for running this interesting poll. My votes go to redirects and popups ads.

  12. Melvin :

    A lot of them can be NOT that intrusive depending on the niche and topic.. I voted for interstitial ads because its like disrespecting the readers..

    my 2 cents..

  13. Thank you all for participating in the survey. Looks like the age old popup banners are the most annoying ad type as per the survey results. Let me try to individually answer some of the comments.

    @Samrat, thanks buddy.

    @Tammy, thanks for stopping by, I know I haven’t been too regular with many of your blogs :( Life goes on, too busy…

    @Gary, You are right. As for popups (or interstitial, redirect ads) you have to take some kind of action to get rid of it where as for the content links, you have the option of not clicking it.

    @Tom, yes – relevancy is the key, then comes the ad type itself.

    @Rajeel, sure.. some thing that follows you without you wanting it to be, is really annoying.

    @Sabari, yeah. I haven’t covered all of them but just listed those irritations that came to my mind :) But I thought, these mouseover ads are in general kontera or infolinks kind of content link ads?

    @Tushar, you are with the mass! Popups suck big time for sure. As for the stripe ads, they are irritating when we cannot close them and/or when they make main content loading really really slow.

    @Lida, thanks for the visit and comment.

    @Ramesh, I understand your frustration around wrong affiliate links. I hate them too.

    @Nihar, I agree about ibnlive. Also one of my favorite sites – moneycontrol.com – has too many popups and flash ads as well. Unfortunately, I like their free services and hence keep visiting despite irritation :( As for the content links, most of them are irrelevant ads, I thought. Don’t you think so?

    @Jerry, Definitely ads money is a major aspect of blog income. However, can’t we stick to relevant ads when there’s an option to do so?

    @Melvin, I hate interstitial ads too.

    Looks like the my sequence in terms of irritability is not completely in line with your hate list :)

  14. My personal topper irritator is pop up. Jeez, I am sick of them.

  15. In my view, If a person is earning money from ads. Then he will never bother about what types of ads he is using.

    I hate following ads most then pop up ads. Very less peoples are using following ads as compared to pop ups.

  16. @Chris,
    You are with the mass! Popups are major irritation for most people.

    As the publisher of the ads, yes, one may feel that anything is fine – but readers would just hate it if some of those most irritating things are in place.

  17. Ajith,

    Very good observations and like the fact that it is a fresh perspective.

    other than context links ads, I agree on all other irritations.

    Although context links add to relatively poor reader experience, they are not intrusive. Reader still has to take action of clicking. Quality of text links comes into picture if reader clicks onto the ads. And at that point, it is same as every other aspect of the services. Even in search google may not provide exact information you are looking for…..

    All others forms of advt are being forced on to the reader.

    Best Wishes,

    • @Tip guy,
      In fact, some of the context links ads are very irritating because they show ads that are totally out of context. And sometimes, the popups that appear while hovering needs to be manually clicked and closed :)

      But I agree, they are not as bad as some of the popup types.

  18. Neeraj :

    These popups are their on the indiatimes mail. each time i click on t he inbox an advertising pop up comes up leaving no space for mail to compose and i have to do this always. why they do this?

  19. Peppino :

    The intenet was never meant to be a vehicle to make money or as some say, to “generate revenue”. I’ve been using the internet since the early 90’s and back then, I didn’t see any advertising on it. Over time, the internet has become a sea of shit thanks to all the advertising. I sincerely hope that eventually, advertising on the internet will make no money and those who are interested in the internet only for commercialism will get the hell out, and good riddance to them, and leave people alone to use the internet the way it was meant to be.

  20. sheesh :

    How can you not put AUTOPLAYING VIDEOS as an option in the list of irritating ads? These have to be one of the worst.

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