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-   -   Advertising on Clubtread is WAY OVER THE TOP!! (https://forums.clubtread.com/9-site-feedback-help-suggestions/86946-advertising-clubtread-way-over-top.html)

idealistic74 09-17-2017 04:38 PM

Advertising on Clubtread is WAY OVER THE TOP!!
 
I was reading a trip report while not logged in (on safari) and noticed words in the trip report like "cubs", "small frame", "headlamps" and "Little Diamond" were linked. So I clicked on the links and it took me to products on amazon.com, ebay.. etc. and I saw that it was done by some firm called "viglink.com" which specifically goes through and links words we use in posts on clubtread to products. This is super uncool.

I cannot believe that in addition to the bottom of our photos being cut off by endless ads, that we have to be careful what words we use so we aren't advertising random products. Very unfortunate.

What a terrible decision that brings down the value of our posts and our community. It's "cheap" and it sucks.

Candy Sack 09-17-2017 05:24 PM

Agreed.

guntis 09-17-2017 09:07 PM

I use an adblocker on the net. Always. Personally, I hate the fact that I need to do so, but the it's a necessity nowadays. Adblock Plus for Firefox works for me, but there are others (and apparently other browsers)

zeljkok 09-17-2017 11:54 PM

+1 for add blocker (in fact I installed in thanks to guntis post several years ago & never looked back since)

This is maybe philosophical discussion, but adds are reality of Internet today. They are everywhere. I don't find it a big deal anymore. CT is free & they have to generate revenue somewhere. If you don't like adds, use add blocker -- as simple as that

idealistic74 09-18-2017 02:49 AM

Guntis and Zeljkok,

Anyone who comes to clubtread (who might not belong to clubtread and have gone to the trouble of downloading ad blocker) is going to see OUR words leading them to products (and who knows if ad blocker, blocks viglink?.. even if it does.. it won't for visitors to Clubtread - so they're going to see "us" advertising products. They're not going to realize it's some outside company that has turned our words into links to products). I don't like the idea of having to worry which words I use on here are going to be turned into a link to some random product.

The ads everywhere on clubtread suck, but I get that they have to generate revenue... however, this viglink business is a whole other level of suckiness. Not cool!

VSadmin 09-18-2017 02:05 PM

Those types of ads should only be visible to non-members of the site. Guests and such should see them, but as soon as they register/sign in, they should disappear.

Are they showing for you when signed in?

Kevin

ecarter1 09-18-2017 02:20 PM

I agree. I understand the need for advertising and don't really mind when it's actually related to the topic. I occasionally pop in and read reports without signing in and am always surprised by the ads at the bottom. I can't imagine that looks good to a new visitor to the forum.

Do those click-baity style adds even work? I doubt many people looking at this forum care about "Ways to beat a Canadian traffic ticket" or "That one fruit that is slowly accumulating in your body and killing you that you'd never believe"... I would have guessed a few well placed backcountry.com or MEC ads would be infinitely more successful?

idealistic74 09-18-2017 03:48 PM

hi Kevin,

Words turned into product links doesn't show up for me when I'm signed in - but that isn't my point. Our words on this community forum are being turned into links to advertise products. Anyone seeing those links is an issue. I don't agree to my words being turned into product advertisement.

The ads = one thing. This appropriation of our words to advertise products is something entirely different!

zeljkok 09-18-2017 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by idealistic74 (Post 813370)
hi Kevin,

Words turned into product links doesn't show up for me when I'm signed in - but that isn't my point. Our words on this community forum are being turned into links to advertise products. Anyone seeing those links is an issue. I don't agree to my words being turned into product advertisement.

The ads = one thing. This appropriation of our words to advertise products is something entirely different!

I was actually not even aware of this, guess because I'm always logged in when I'm on.
I do agree this is big turn-off for potential new user; you know what they say 'first impressions count'

VSadmin 09-19-2017 11:00 AM

It's a randomly assigned ad feature. There is no targeting with it, which also means I can't exclude it from targeting specific users either.

Kevin

prother 09-19-2017 11:08 AM

Maybe I have tunnel vision, but the ads don't bother me at all. I hardly even notice them.

trick 09-19-2017 01:11 PM

I don't see the post editing ads, but I have an extension to keep ads from tracking me, and one of those may have killed it. That said, this form of advertisement is really bad: both in terms of user experience (because users can't differentiate content from ads) and legally, because it's basically fraud (advertisers are posing as a poster).

xj6response 09-19-2017 09:20 PM

I just log in and they're not much of an issue. However, for someone looking at CT, just checking things out, the ads are very intrusive indeed.

VSadmin 09-20-2017 03:03 PM

Hey guys,

Just to confirm none of these ads are being seen while logged in for anyone?
Can you guys provide us with a link to an ad heavy page?

We wil check it out while logged out.

Though as Kevin mentioned, this is a concern if this appears for logged in members as well.

Richard.

tricouni 09-20-2017 06:53 PM

I'm always logged in, and I don't see any of these ads within posts, but I do see ads on the sidebar on the right side of the screen and on the bar at the top of some pages.

I don't use any ad-blocking software.

xj6response 09-20-2017 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tricouni (Post 813706)
I'm always logged in, and I don't see any of these ads within posts, but I do see ads on the sidebar on the right side of the screen and on the bar at the top of some pages.

I don't use any ad-blocking software.

Ditto, sidebar ads only, no ad blocker, always logged in when on CT

VSadmin 09-21-2017 12:29 PM

These are just the standard ads and not the ones described above?
The ads that are hidden within words/phrases?

Richard.

idealistic74 09-21-2017 04:44 PM

OUR words are being turned into links to products (it appears by some company called viglink). That's the ads I'm talking about.

Candy Sack 09-21-2017 05:59 PM

I'm usually logged in when viewing CT and use an adblock. I've said before that without adblock the site would be unbearable for me. However, I just logged out and viewed one of my TR's and I feel that idealistic74 makes a good point. A bunch of words in my TR are hyperlinked and take me to ridiculous ads for random products. Not to mention my pics have ads splatted onto them. It's pretty lame. I don't know what can be done, but I know for me, I won't spend time on websites that have too many ads. For non-members without adblock this website is not attractive, IMO.

Also, when I log in, why am I still getting asked to vote in an old photo contest?

VSadmin 09-22-2017 10:16 AM

Where are you seeing the prompt to vote?

As to the viglink comments. As has been stated they are randomized and don't target by user, if you're seeing them hit heavy saturation on a post or report please link it here and it can be looked into.

Kyle

Candy Sack 09-22-2017 11:32 AM

I see the prompt to vote on the index page when I log in. It says:

"Hey Candy Sack!
The entries are in - time to vote!! You should head over and vote for your favourites!
ClubTread Community"

So, the viglink is random. But you guys can't choose to stop it completely, even for non-members?

zeljkok 09-22-2017 01:26 PM

I have also seen this prompt to vote

Yesterday in Apple Store I browsed CT Forums and then 1 of my reports. Never saw this viglink thing; only 'normal' adds that were fairly blocky (but not different from what you can see on other sites). I checked both iPad and MacBook. Was NOT logged on.

VSadmin 09-22-2017 04:28 PM

I cleared the voting notice in the back end so you should not be seeing this anymore. I used a test account of ours and tried it myself and it isn't there anymore. Can you confirm on your end, @Candy Sack? Thanks.


@zeljkok - if you're seeing these viglinks when you are logged in, let us know (link the pages they appear on).


Thanks,
Nate

zeljkok 09-22-2017 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VSadmin (Post 813914)

@zeljkok - if you're seeing these viglinks when you are logged in, let us know (link the pages they appear on).


Thanks,
Nate

Nate -- will do, but I doubt I'll see them. I didn't even know they existed before this thread;

Candy Sack 09-22-2017 08:57 PM

No Nate, I no longer see the prompt to vote. Thanks.

TheShadow 09-26-2017 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Candy Sack (Post 813817)
A bunch of words in my TR are hyperlinked and take me to ridiculous ads for random products.

If that's the case, one shouldn't mention the beavers they saw while walking along the dyke....

Eryne 11-06-2017 04:04 PM

I was looking at some trail information on the trail wiki, while logged into the forum and saw the links. Made me think I had a virus. Really peeved me, actually. Kind of makes me want to delete my additions to the trail wiki because I don't personally stand by those links. They seem below board and sneaky. It's fine to make advertising money, as long as it's upfront and honest. Put a disclaimer on the trail wiki telling people you're making money from VigLinks, and it should be fine. Also, to stop people thinking they have some virus.

VSadmin 11-07-2017 10:42 AM

Hey,

We don't use viglinks as an advertising tool on our sites. Can you send me a link to the thread in question?

Niall

Eryne 11-07-2017 04:18 PM

https://www.clubtread.com/Routes/Rout...tml?Route=1129

This is one of the pages on the trail wiki. The link in question is near the bottom where I recommend you bring water shoes.
I didn't check on other computers, but I checked on a couple of browsers and they all have the link.
I didn't click on the link so I don't know where it takes you.

Eryne 11-07-2017 04:24 PM

Oooh, look what I found:

https://www.viglink.com/opt-out/

zeljkok 11-07-2017 05:33 PM

I'd like to say few words in general re adds

I normally use CT from laptop with Add Block so I never see any of it. But recently I started using more Android smartphone without any sort of add blocker and boy does it over show up. I am not talking viglinks, but adds in general.

Adds are reality nowdays, everywhere but I think people that like them are far and few in between. Considering user base drop-off after VS takeover (fair amount have left just because of adds!) - I'd seriously consider taking adds out entirely. I understand adds are source of revenue for the company, but I'd be really really surprised if this amounts to anything significant. I am speaking from personal experience where I get 1 click per each 200-300 hits on my own web presence, and this click is < 1 dollar most of the time. There must be some other ways to monetize CT content.

Just a food for thought
(Oh yes, and I'd consider making native smartphone CT app too, but this is separate topic).

VSadmin 11-08-2017 10:49 AM

Thanks, I've sent a ticket to our tech to get this looked into. (#2798570)

@zeljkok What way are you viewing the site on your mobile? Was it in the enhanced mobile view or the full desktop view? Can you take a screenshot of the ads so I can see them?

Niall

zeljkok 11-08-2017 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VSadmin (Post 818473)
Thanks, I've sent a ticket to our tech to get this looked into. (#2798570)

@zeljkok What way are you viewing the site on your mobile? Was it in the enhanced mobile view or the full desktop view? Can you take a screenshot of the ads so I can see them?

Niall

Niall -- it is enhanced mobile view. Right now I have Forums Index list, and then there are 2 add bars at the bottom; upper is static while lower constantly changes (rotates). They spread across horizontally and consume 10-15% of the screen height. It is distracting. But I guess key point is -- I was so used of seeing everything without any adds on desktop because of add blocker. I imagine this is how lots of people would feel too.

VSadmin 11-09-2017 11:28 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hey,

If your talking about these ads:

Attachment 240578

These are a part of the EMV, and are meant to be there.

Niall

zeljkok 11-09-2017 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VSadmin (Post 818538)
Hey,

If your talking about these ads:

Attachment 240578

These are a part of the EMV, and are meant to be there.

Niall

Maybe so, but I was commenting on overall "adds concept" as I am certain this caused significant user drain + likely low monetization anyways.

btw in my sample there were TWO bars, not one at the bottom. One was static but other dynamic i.e. adds changing. They were on top of each other.

On other pages I see sometime rectangular add that consumes at least top 40% of my mobile screen. This is very intrusive.

siral 11-09-2017 02:59 PM

@zeljkok:

> recently I started using more Android smartphone without any sort of add blocker

In case it helps, Firefox for Android supports ad blockers: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...ublock-origin/.

But I agree with you on the general point, CT is unusable without ad blockers.

zeljkok 11-09-2017 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by siral (Post 818554)
@zeljkok:

> recently I started using more Android smartphone without any sort of add blocker

In case it helps, Firefox for Android supports ad blockers: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...ublock-origin/.

But I agree with you on the general point, CT is unusable without ad blockers.


oh yes, I know but curious for a bit.

Presumably companies make $$$ from google adds in their web presence. I am in a loss how is that possible in any significant amount. They are hugely unpopular & most everyone I know runs some sort of add blocker & would never click on Internet add, even if google tailors them based on Internet browsing history from your cache. In some cases, as with Club Tread, they are actually counter effective and cause more damage than benefit.

Dru 11-09-2017 05:25 PM

I've always assumed it was bots clicking, not humans. Pay-per-click metric is exactly wrong if adverts are supposed to target humans.

zeljkok 11-09-2017 08:45 PM

I am no expert, but bot clicks are illegal; it is form of theft where business that pays for add publishing is victim. Google, as publishing clearinghouse, has invested into infrastructure to validate human generated clicks. They also ensure you don't click on your own adds. If you are adsense client (add publisher), they have list of your devices (not just by IP address); if you click on your own add, you see click added into your account for about an hour, then it disappears. They also remove your own views from CTR index.

Each 1st in the month is 'accounting day' -- Google software runs against the clicks generated in previous month that passed initial filter (i.e self clicks). I believe this is where bot clicks are removed. I had 'valid' clicks --from somewhere in South America most frequently-- only to be removed on 'accounting' day -- I assume because they were 'bot' clicks. How do they do that I don't know but I imagine they maintain various lists of IP addresses. Valid web page (re)indexing, which happens all the time, does not generate add clicks.

Fraud is still of course frequent. You can ask friends to click on your adds, or go to public places like Apple Store and keep clicking on your adds as long as someone doesn't kick you out of the store.

Dru 11-09-2017 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeljkok (Post 818586)
I am no expert, but bot clicks are illegal; it is form of theft where business that pays for add publishing is victim.

Spam is illegal too. Look how well that works.


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