AdBrite = AdDumb. Why You Should Avoid In-line Ads, Whether Contextual or Not.

Here’s a classic example for stupid “contextual” in-line ads:


Clicking on the “feature” link in this article brings up skin care products.  The “tool” link in the first line points to Honeymoon Planning Services.  Here are some more cases of “contextual” advertising gone bad:


But all these mishaps aside, here’s another reason why you should avoid such in-line hypertext ads:

They seriously reduce readability. This article happens to be quite important, so the first thing I’d like to do is click on the link to the Google tool that allows me to protect my account (you should read the original article to understand what’s at stake). But I can’t – the link is hijacked. In fact I can’t even tell if there is any intentional, relevant link in this post.   Blogs, wikis, you-name-it: online writing is all about linking and relevancy. But there’s only so many we can deal with: when your article becomes a link-jungle, it becomes impossible to find the meaningful ones, supporting your message.

See also: Ridiculous Advertising – or the Case of the Hijacked link


  1. Text based ads are pain to read, readers get distracted from your content it annoys them and makes them restless and they leave this kind nuisance behind and go some place else more serene and quite.

  2. You could be right. Those double-underlined links are a pain in the ‘arris.

  3. green link hater says

    Yes, all those green links are truly annoying. Luckily there is a way to eliminate them (on a site-by-site basis) by editing your hosts file and assigning the IP address to the domain they are coming from. Trouble is, this won’t work if you are connected via a proxy because then the same should happen on the proxy server and you (usually) don’t have access to the same file on the server.


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