Some advice for mobile users who encounter pop-up ads trying to access Spector’s Hockey, and a reminder why we run ads on this site.

In recent weeks, several of my Canadian-based Twitter followers informed me they’ve received pop-ups for Android gift ads on their Iphones when trying to access links to my site, obscuring the entire page. This issue was predominantly affecting those in southern Ontario and Alberta.

We don’t run these ads on Spector’s Hockey.

This was odd, since I don’t run “pop-up” ads, and have no intention of starting anytime soon. I was troubled by the complaints (usually averaging two per day), and spoke with my site designer/tech support about them. After doing some research, we discovered those pop-up/redirects were from something called mobgifts.org.

As my tech support noted,“It seems to be a marketing campaign by ad companies like; AirPush, Appenda, LeadBolt, Moolah Media, and StartApp, that bundle their ad software with smartphone apps, of all shapes and sizes.”

It turns out only the device user can remove them. As the ads seems to be targeting mainly Iphone users in Ontario and Alberta, we found instructions on how to remove them.

After posting these instructions on Twitter, a few followers “tweeted” back insisting the problem still rested with my site. One follower suggested we have our host do a search for an “sql inject” in our coding. Another claimed our site was hacked.

I take constructive suggestions from my readers seriously. Earlier this year, several readers informed me the site was tripping their anti-virus program. We ultimately determined the problem was a search toolbar, which we promptly removed, thus resolving the issue.

Regarding the Mobgifts pop-up, over the course of a week, we took down various ads in an attempt to pinpoint if one of those were responsible. My site designer tested our content management system, including the plug-ins and theme. We had our host servers scanned for signs of hacking or any potentially malicious code.

After all of this, it was determined the ads weren’t coming from my site. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that the Iphone users have somehow downloaded the offending adware from elsewhere, and it’s reacting to my site.

If you’re getting a pop-up on your mobile devices while trying to access my site, either clear your browser data, or follow the instructions in the aforementioned links.

 

A couple of you have written in about brief ads popping up when viewing my site.

Those ads aren’t pop-ups, but are in-text ads, which only appear if you move your cursor over the green highlighted words within the text. If you don’t wish to see those ads, don’t scroll over those green-highlighted words.

 

Some of you have written in complaining about the amount of advertising on Spector’s Hockey, claiming it’s “ruining” your enjoyment of the site. A couple of you accused me of being greedy.

Folks, greed has nothing to do with it. If I could make a living running this site without ads, believe me, I’d do it.

The simple fact is, I rely on this site for my living, and to earn income from it, I have to have advertisements on the site. I’ve tried to keep them as unobtrusive as possible. I don’t run pop-ups or pop-unders, and remove sound ads when they’re brought to my attention. It’s why I’ve gone with “in-text” ads, rather than pasting more banner and skyscraper ads throughout the site.

In the past, we’ve experimented with other options to generate revenue. We’ve tried going the donation route via Paypal, which was a gigantic failure. I briefly thought about staging quarterly “beg-a-thons”, but doubt begging for handouts would generate sufficient revenue to keep the site going, let alone for me to make a living from it.

I’ve considered going the paywall route, but I’d likely lose half my readership in the process. You like your content to be free, but to do that, I need advertising revenue to keep going.

Rest assured, I appreciate your feedback, especially the constructive suggestions. I never take my readership for granted, and never will.  If there’s a legitimate problem or complaint, we move swiftly to address it.

Those of you who follow the site – be it regularly or occasionally, whether you agree with my views or not – make it possible for me to continue living my dream as a free lance hockey writer. The last thing I would do is ignore your concerns and complaints.

I hope you’ll understand the rationale behind the ads, and continue to support the site.

Thank you.