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Controversial - From Around The Web Ads


Have you ever clicked on those stories at the bottom of a webpage?  They are usually located directly underneath content and appear to be legitimate.  Similar to the example below, these ads typically have intriguing headlines designed to attract readers and get them to click on the link.  Website publishers are becoming skeptical about the presence of these "around the web" ads and how they might be affecting their brand image.

Example of Controversial advertising

What are the Risks?

These advertisements have always provided publishers with an additional source of revenue as well as allow marketers to reach a larger audience.  However, the tide is beginning to turn against them for a number of reasons.  For one thing, these links usually lead to advertisements disguised as stories that are often completely fake.  Additionally, clicking on such stories could direct you to questionable sources, potentially making you vulnerable to cyber threats.

Another reason publishers are having doubts regarding the ads is because they can often convey distasteful or inappropriate messages that may be offensive to viewers.  This is important to note because a website that includes this sort of content sends a negative message to visitors, making them more likely to click away.  If you want your company's website to have a premium look and feel, consider removing these pesky ads.

According to an article from The New York Times, there are many news sites that are full of these ads including CNN, The Guardian, Time, and Forbes.  Companies such as Taboola and Outbrain are leaders in this industry, and while not all content is inherently detrimental to a website, they have little control over what happens after a link is clicked on.  An analysis conducted by revealed that 26 percent of these "stories" led users to websites full of more ads, some of which contained sexually explicit images.  It's shocking that these websites are directly linked to top news companies, especially with cyber attacks on the rise.

What You Should do About it

If these ads are present on your website, we recommend that content is constantly monitored, possibly restricting ads to certain pages.  However, if you want a pristine, top of the line website, these ads should not be included at all.  A viable alternative would be to pay for content created by advertising companies to appear on your website.  This ensures that the ad content of your website is legitimate and under your control.