A Word about the Ads on Spector’s Hockey.

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.

17 Comments

  1. I would just ignore all the complainers. Most of them just want everything for free because of their own greed and have no clue how much running a site like this costs.

  2. Funny that when I was reading your comments about no pop-ups on the site, it was obscured by a pop-up on your side. There are tons of pop ups on your site. Are you serious?

    • Re-read the post again. You obviously missed the important information regarding that pop-up. Were you on a mobile device? Or a laptop/desktop?

  3. Love the site, and have been reading for years. I don’t mind the ads either, I get it. But….every computer (4 different ones) and even the Ipad that I use to view this site, stirs the pop-up ads. Happens everytime.

    I love the site, so I deal with it…..

    • You probably have ad tracking cookies, or adware, on those computers. Either clear the cookies entirely, go through each one and removing the offending ones, or upgrade your ad-aware detection.

  4. That is the type of sincere response you never see in conventional media streams. People pay for newspapers and cable news; and their critiques are never addressed. Here we have a free news media that takes our attention seriously, temper your expectations.

    • I brought up the pop-up situation and my ‘complaint’ was answered within an hour or so with sincere concern I’d say. Now I read this….

      I will forever, just like always, support Spector’s Hockey! Bring on the ads! I no longer see them in the same light.

  5. Love the site, almost always agree with your take and visit daily. It’s unfortunate that some experience intrusive ads but I understand your position and wish you financial success (ok, we know you won’t make Parise money). I use firefox with an ad blocker and very rarely do I get a pop up, I don’t think I’ve seen one in nearly a year. Thanks for the job you do.

  6. I have no problem whatsoever with ads, so long as they are unobtrusive, and I’ve never had a problem with this site. I’ve never experienced a pop-up ad either, and I’m not running any special pop-up blocker.

  7. do what you need to do to do to keep the site up and running i say. if i was that annoyed by the various ad types i would stop coming here so clearly the desire to read vs the annoyance still leans toward the desire.

    just spit-balling here but what if the site was free to read but there was a small cost to join the site and only site members could post comments. might solve a couple of problems at the same time.

  8. I love the site…best hockey news anywhere. But I get it from my laptop, and I have to be very careful trying to access rumors and news without getting pop-ups…I even got so frustrated that I didn’t use the site for a while..for us older and not so tech-savvy guys, it can be problematic…

    • Follow these instructions:

      http://www.wikihow.com/Delete-Tracking-Cookies

      You can also try an adware removal program. Running a periodic check with your own antivirus software can also address the problem.

      Most browsers today come with a “pop-up” blocker, which you can activate, which should also address the issue.

  9. Nicely done – unlike a certain US network, actually fair and balanced, and even, yikes, thoughtful:-)!

    Keep up the good work….

  10. Well, I don’t know if this is cheating or not, but I use adblock in Chrome and Chromium, and I never see any ads on any sites. This site is crisp, loads fast, and I see no ads on the sides like I used to before installing adblock.

    Just do a google search for AdBlock 2.5.37, it removes ads on every site you go to.

  11. For those using ad-blocking software, Lyle may not be getting paid for your visits. My poor understanding of the ads is that they generate revenue based on views, and so if your computer does not trigger the ad as having been viewed, no one gets paid. (Although perhaps the ad-blocker does this in the background?) Just a thought.

  12. Site is great, truth be told I would pay for it! No problems with your site. Now back to Hockey Rumors and News!!!!

  13. Hello Spec, Im glad to see you have added an explanation to the adds that are being ran on your site. First off I wish to say that I have had issues with my iPhone having pop ups just as discribed above.

    In order to hopefully help you clear up what kind of issues you may be having with that and also to debunk the idea that some ad is reacting to your site specifically, please allow me to share my background.

    I worked for a company that does support for Microsoft for about four years, during which time I supported the Hotmail domains and various product lines of MSN such as messenger. In the last year I worked for this company I was part of the ad filtering team when Microsoft bought 240 million dollers worth of ad space.

    We found many issues, pritty much exactly like your having, from what you wrote, (invasive or intrusive ad pops or general bad scripting) as well as from what Ive seen on your site as it changed and grew as I have been a big fan and avid reader for 6 years or more now at least.

    I am originally from British Columbia but am working in Alberta for 4 to 5 monthes out of the year, only in this region have I found this pop up occuring. From my background and expierience I cannot disagree more about the idea that the iPhones are reacting to a visit to your page. The most likely source is whomever is paying for add space has targetted these regions and users from them are seeing the result.

    Often times you will find a commercial on TV show up on certain time slots during the pay or certain programs with specific demographics. If this helps you relate to what I am convaying.

    I dont know who you have hired to look into this on your end but I highly recommend seeking a second opinion as I find this conclusion rather laughable for any professional with expierience in the field to finally rest upon and be satisfied with. It is actually rather elementary knowledge, but I do understand your probably dealing with programmer/webdesigner rather then the source of the ad space you rent out.

    Good luck with getting to the bottom of this as I have felt, like many of your users, we love your honest take, and professional insight. We also understand this is a source of income but I fear that some ads overlap your content or pop up on mobiles. I will be honest and say this has detracted some from the enjoyment of visiting your page.

    Thank you.