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How Much Are Ad Servers Slowing the Web? 363

Posted by kdawson
from the but-not-for-firefox dept.
vipermac writes "Most of the times I have a problem with a Web page loading slow or freezing temporarily, I look down at the status bar and see that it's waiting on an ad server, Google Analytics, or the like. It seems to me that on popular Web sites the bottleneck is overwhelmingly on the ad servers now and not on the servers of the site itself. In my opinion we need a better model for serving ads — or else these services need to add more servers/bandwidth. Are there any studies on the delay that 3rd-party ad servers are introducing, or any new models that are being introduced to serve ads?"
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How Much Are Ad Servers Slowing the Web?

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  • by fred fleenblat (463628) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:58PM (#20263495) Homepage
    problem solved.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spyder913 (448266)
      There are still ads on the internet? I sometimes forget, until I have to open up IE.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Variorum (971955)
        But if you use AdBlock your a thief! At least according to this /. article http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/17/135920 6 [slashdot.org]
        • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:37PM (#20264269) Homepage Journal
          Well then, feel free to call me a rampant kleptomaniac.
        • by v1 (525388) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @12:26PM (#20276865) Homepage Journal
          But isn't that like saying if you don't look at the bilboard as you drive down the highway, or at the ad poster on the subway, or walk into the kitchen for a snack during the commercial break, that you're a theif? The television example is probably the best and easiest to associate with.

          Advertisements are an opportunity to make an impression on a customer. While there will always be technologies that make it difficult to ignore the ad, in most cases you are not obligated to be impressioned. Just because the advertisers get upset that you are stealing the cheese from their trap, it's your prerogative.

          I'm a little surprised that we don't see more "banner" ads on TV. Imagine all these people with the widescreen sets that are viewing content with black sides because it's 4x3 formatted instead of widescreen. Imagine banners on both of those dead zones on the sides, that change every 20-30 seconds and adjust their product to something related to the main feature. Y know I think I would prefer that to the "four miniutes of commercials every 10 minutes" we get now. Also, even though a lot of shows are timed for like 49 minutes for the hour to accomodate commercials, a lot of stations trim out scenes or cut them short to insert more ads, so we would be getting more content. I wouldn't mind them doing this so long as they were not animated. Sort of like how I can't stand the animated shockwave banners here and at other sites. I don't understand why no one is doing this already. Though I have seen a few isolated examples of banner ads being shot across the bottom of the screen briefly during some shows - those are overlays though and degrade the content so maybe that's why those have been unsuccessful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Maniac-X (825402)
      Or if you like ads (sometimes the google ones are amusing, or you want to support the website you're visiting), turn on HTTP Pipelining. It'll handle all of your requests simultaneously instead of one after the other.
      • by X0563511 (793323)
        I thought pipelining was when you took one connection and used it for downloading multiple resources, saving bandwith and time on connection re-establishments.

        I see what you are getting at though. There is no reason that you should load a websites resources in serial if they span multiple hosts. Not sure why web browsers do that. (making sure that there is only one transfer to/fro a single host makes it easier for the servers to manage their load - lower load over more time rather than spikes of large load)
      • by skoaldipper (752281) <skoalstr8@nosPAM.gmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:42PM (#20264369)
        Pipelining? So Ted Stevens was right!

        By the way, I set pipelining.tube.maxrequests to 128. The googles, they do nothing...
      • Can you use HTTP pipelining and Adblock? It doesn't seem like there's any reason why the two would be incompatible. Or is that not what you were implying?

        After all, it's your computer that sends out the requests for the ads, and it can only do that once it receives the actual page ... so it seems like there's no reason why you can't install an ad-block and just prevent the requests for the ads entirely, but allow all the requests for the other page elements to be pipelined. Right?
      • by Ctrl-Z (28806)
        Doesn't that only work if the requests are all made to the same server?
      • by claykarmel (78187)
        This was greek to me. Here's how.

        Turn it on this way:
        http://www.mozilla.org/support/firefox/tips [mozilla.org]

        And information about how to access the secret tools (Why didn't I know this until now? I must be lame.)
        http://www.mozilla.org/support/firefox/edit#aboutc onfig [mozilla.org]
  • Sheesh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Verteiron (224042) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:58PM (#20263499) Homepage
    "Nothing for you to see here. Move along."

    Must be 'cause I'm using Firefox...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:59PM (#20263515)
    I probably would have had first post if slashdot did not serve up so many ads!!

    Jokes aside, I do notice waiting for ads on slashdot quite often but it is one of the few sites that I allow more to get through.
  • Browser's fault? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:59PM (#20263519)
    Is it possible for browsers to render everything *else* on a page while awaiting the ads to be served?

    I realize this means performing some speculative page layout that may need to be re-done when the dimensions of the ads are served. But it sure would beat waiting tens of seconds to see the page's real content.
    • by ePhil_One (634771)
      Is it possible for browsers to render everything *else* on a page while awaiting the ads to be served?

      I've always assumed this was intentional, to buy the add more "eyeballs", or awareness, or whatever. Server teh add, wait 3 seconds, load the rest of the page. Make sure they get a good look at that ad...

    • by Shados (741919)
      Its actually stupidly easy. I have a lot of business data driven web apps that do some heavy data mining and display them as charts, and obviously, that can be pretty slow if the customer wants their data real time (so no heavy caching allowed), so I simply render everything -else- first, then display the graphs and charts as they are rendered. I don't remember exactly how many lines of code it takes to do that, but it fits in one screen, thats for sure.
      • Re:Browser's fault? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dpu (525864) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:26PM (#20264055) Homepage Journal
        Another option is to use the "DEFER" option in the script tag. Any script within the tags will wait until the page loads before executing. I wish ad companies would start using that *sigh*
        • by Shados (741919) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:37PM (#20264281)
          They don't want to, obviously, because you may end up going away from the page (cuz you realised it wasnt the right one) before the ad loads, unfortunately.
        • by brunascle (994197)
          that sounds like it would be a problem for ad scripts, which generally use document.write(). if the scripts executed after the page loaded, i imagine the ad would either be at the bottom of the page or would overwrite the whole page.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I just want to briefly say that "screenful of code" and "Stupidly easy" are antonyms, not synonyms, in this day and age. Since many sites are run by people for whom HTML is a challenge and Javascript latin (people who install Wordpress/Movable Type/whatever), these sorts of problems go unsolved.

        I'm not flaming bloggers by saying (or at least not intentionally). What I mean is that the bar for web publication has been lowered (and by and large it's a good thing, too) so that anyone with more than basic co
        • Re:Browser's fault? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Shados (741919) on Friday August 17, 2007 @02:39PM (#20265467)
          Good point. When I posted that, I had in mind the typical mainstream sites, like news web sites, this very one, etc. Web sites made by professionals. Even blog web sites tend to have a few software engineers behind em, the bloggers don't make the engine.

          Don't see THAT many ad driven web site made in MS Word these days...
    • Re:Browser's fault? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:15PM (#20263873)

      Is it possible for browsers to render everything *else* on a page while awaiting the ads to be served?

      It depends how the ad is served. If it's served as an external piece of JavaScript (using a script element), then most browsers will reach the script tag and won't render anything else until the script has been downloaded [blogspot.com]. This can cause a delay if the ad server is slow or down.

      If the ad is served using an img, iframe or object element, you generally don't have this problem, as the browser can leave a space for the advert and carry on rendering the rest of the page.

      I work for an ad serving company and most of the ads we serve are in iframe elements. The growing popularity of script elements (they seem to be used for most third-party ads now) confounds me. Generally, I'm continually surprised at how much control over the user experience most websites are willing to give to ad serving companies.

    • by brunascle (994197)
      this is especially bad in IE because, IIRC, IE doesnt display a table unless it can display the whole table. and many sites put all of the content inside one giant table for layout purposes.
    • I'm sure it would be, but that would defeat the purpose of about 90% of todays web, which seems to be about using whatever lame content they can dream up to get you to see the adds, or better yet, click on those adds. It goes without saying that if the adds load first you have nothing better to do than look at them.
    • Re:Browser's fault? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot@nexusuk.oGAUSSrg minus math_god> on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:56PM (#20264657) Homepage
      Is it possible for browsers to render everything *else* on a page while awaiting the ads to be served?

      Most ad systems seem to work by placing a <script> tag where you want the ad to appear which loads a script from the ad server that does a document.write() to insert the actual code. This is very bad practice (and explicitly disallowed for XHTML) but even Google do it (which sucks since I have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get AdSense to work on my XHTML site).

      document.write() works by actually writing out HTML and feeding it into the parser and thus parsing the page must be suspended at that point until it's finished executing, so you can't render the page until the advert has loaded.

      The _correct_ way to do this is for the ad-serving Javascript to actually modify the DOM tree. But that requires the ad server developers to not be lazy and have clue, which seems to be asking too much. (or alternatively, don't use Javascript at all).
  • 0 slowdown for me (Score:5, Informative)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:00PM (#20263547) Homepage Journal
    For the reasons mentioned in the op I have several notorious slow adservers in my /etc/hosts. I don't know if they're still a problem, but doubleclick used to be horrible about taking 10 or 15 seconds to get their ad bits back to you. I'm not even particularly zealous about killing ads, but if you're stalling out my webpage then it's in /etc/hosts for you.
    • The people who make ads are a self-destructive bunch. Numerous times I've waited for a Slashdot page to load while some ad server took its time. Abusing me with abusive, dishonest ads wasn't enough, they wanted to abuse me by wasting my time, too. Mentioning the problem to Slashdot editors brought only temporary fixes, or no change.

      So now I don't see the ads at all, thanks to Firefox's AdBlock Plus [mozilla.org] and NoScript [mozilla.org] add-ons. (I recommend NoScript only for people who don't mind fiddling with permissions for each new web site.)

      I guess abusers aren't satisfied with only one kind of abuse. I can dimly remember some of the Slashdot ads. When they weren't misleading, they were generally stupidly written. People with no technical knowledge shouldn't work for technical companies.
    • by i.r.id10t (595143)
      Out of curiosity, do you point to 0.0.0.0 on the hosts you add, or to localhost, or something else?

      • by jandrese (485)
        I have a webserver running locally on my box so they come back real quick with 404 pages. :) I'm not sure if that is really the best solution, but it seems to work for me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Carnildo (712617)
        I use localhost, which means my private webserver returns a 404 right quick.
    • Re:0 slowdown for me (Score:5, Informative)

      by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:43PM (#20264387) Journal
      If you're interested in populating your hosts file, check out http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org]. There's a downloadable hosts file that's 406k, and was updated on July 31st, 2007. If you're running 2000/XP/Vista, be sure to read the Editor's Note about steps you must take to use a large hosts file.
    • by thomas.galvin (551471) <slashdot@EINSTEI ... minus physicist> on Friday August 17, 2007 @03:35PM (#20266457) Homepage

      I'm not even particularly zealous about killing ads, but if you're stalling out my webpage then it's in /etc/hosts for you.


      Agreed. For the most part, I'm happy to let ads load, but there are four things that will get you added to my killfile real quick:

      * Boobies (or anything else that might get me fired)
      * Shaking, flashing, screen grabbing, "look at me!" type stuff
      * Fake dialogs and error messages
      * Slowdown

      I just started filtering for the last one recently. For about a week straight I kept seeing "waiting for ads.doubleclick.so.goram.slow" in my status bar, and eventually I just adblocked their entire domain.

      Also, slashcode is apparently unable to figure out what to do with ul and li tags.
  • by Endymion (12816) <slashdot...org@@@thoughtnoise...net> on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:00PM (#20263555) Homepage Journal
    ...for me at least. Blocking Google Analytics, Doubleclick, etc, with noscript has made my browsing experience much smoother. Not only is it nice to not have the random pauses while it hits the ad-server, not running the javascript has helped the render time on some pages as well (even if you still run the javascript for the page itself!)
  • I have not been bothered by ads since I installed AdBlock Plus (in Firefox) or Privoxy (using Opera). In fact it is really interesting (and cumbersome) to see the "real" internet whenever I have to browse the web in a computer that does not have such applications.

    Other than that, this is a non story.

    Nothing for you to see here, move along
    • What is even more interesting is that when you block adverts you can see the real page.

      For example Fox News website something like 2-3 paragraphs is the story and the rest of the page is basically adverts or links away.
  • by mh101 (620659) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:03PM (#20263625)
    Yes, I had noticed it recently too, where the page isn't displaying because of waiting for a response from an ad server.

    So why don't all web browsers start displaying the data they do have, rather than waiting for the ad server to submit it's data first? If there's a delay in downloading an image on the site or a style sheet it still starts displaying and when the image/stylesheet is downloaded the page is re-rendered to reflect that. So what is it about the page design that forces web browsers to not display anything if the delay is due to an ad server?

  • I usually find that the ad's load and then the content comes along. Of course this could be by design and not because the content servers are slower.
  • While the site may not fully load (See: Done) the sites contents loading should not dependent on the ad servers. Ad servers, as described in the summary, are not part of the site server, thus making it impossible for it to be the bottleneck of the site. Everything server side will load at its usual rate, and the calls to outside servers will be handled at the usual rate of the other server. One should not have an impact on the other unless something is designed that way, in which case it is the programmers
    • by Skye16 (685048)
      Wrong. Ads *are* the bottle neck, especially on vanilla FF. How? Because these calls, made to google analytics from *my* computer, don't get responses. So the whole browser sits and waits, while I stare at a completely blank screen, watching the little bar at the bottom tell me what it's waiting on and where it's trying to get it from.

      So, no. JavaScript enhanced advertisement services -do- slow the page rendering down, sometimes bringing it to a screeching halt. The only option is a: AdBlock + filter
      • Ads *are* the bottle neck, especially on vanilla FF. How? Because these calls, made to google analytics from *my* computer, don't get responses.

        Minor point, but since when was Google Analytics an advertising service?
  • High-CPU Flash Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kenshin (43036) <kenshin AT lunarworks DOT ca> on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:04PM (#20263643) Homepage
    What pisses me off are badly designed Flash ads. They use plenty of CPU power just to animate something completely useless. Last year Dell was running this ad on my local newspaper's site that took 80% of my CPU just to animate FALLING SNOWFLAKES. I complained to the website, and they took it down.

    Some Flash ads barely take any CPU at all, and those are honestly fine by me, but some just hog my resources. The problem is that the people who DESIGN these ads typically have cutting-edge machines, so they don't know what it's like to run them on a shitty office machine. So, please, TEST your ads on a shitbox average computer before you force them on us!
    • I would say that most sites' implementation of Flash is horrendous. Witness a site like Myspace, where if a person has a busy webpage, it's enough to cause my quad-core Mac Pro to seize up and require a restart (both Firefox and Safari put the machine into a state of deadlock). And lest one chalk it down to hardware or OS problems, I know other people with Core2 Duo-based machines (both OSX and Windows) who suffer the same problems. Probably what's happening is that people who have no business developing we
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by StarfishOne (756076)
        I know all too well what you're describing. Quite a bit of relief is found in the following Firefox extension:

        http://flashblock.mozdev.org/ [mozdev.org]

        This extension replaces flash movies/objects with a button you can click to view them. You can also whitelist certain websites (e.g. YouTube) to always show the flash movie directly.

        I do have to note though that when trying to whitelist a website I am viewing at that very moment, the extension does crash my browser every now and then. It might be something on my machine
    • If the developers only test their sites against one browser, IE 7, what do you estimate the odds of them test against slow machines are?
    • by Nezer (92629)

      So, please, TEST your ads on a shitbox average computer before you force them on us!

      And, whatever you might think is an average machine, divide it by at least two. Every large corporation I have worked for have been incredibly stingy with the hardware they issue. My last gig at IBM gave me a 7-year old laptop that I had to upgrade with my own RAM and hard disk to make it remotely usable (4 GB hard disk and 128 MB of RAM barly ran when it was new let alone last year). I fought tooth and nail to get that thin

      • by jandrese (485)
        Stop working for such crappy companies then. Mine has a policy where every 18 months they replace your laptop with a brand new one that while not top of the line, is no slouch (usually something like a Dell Latitude D620 I think with the C2D and 2GB of memory).
    • That reminds me of the time I had dialup with my home page set to Yahoo!. They ran this Flash Ad for SBC/Yahoo! high speed internet (with the little rocket ship) that took foreeevvvvveeerrr to download. Guess what? It worked.
    • What pisses me off are badly designed Flash ads.

      They don't piss me off at all; I removed Flash from Firefox. If there's a site (porn) with flash-only (porn) content (porn) that I'm interested in (porn), I send the URL (porn) to a different web (porn) browser that still (porn) has Flash (porn) installed. Of course, it helps (porn) that there are a few (porn) stand-alone (porn) FLV video (porn) software viewers (porn) out there. As far as I can tell, Flash is only for ( Porn, porn, porn ) major time waste

    • What pisses me off are badly designed Flash ads.

      Flash ads have lots of problems
      - They use CPU time that I want to use for something else
      - Just leaving a browser open with a flash ad uses more battery power, shortening the battery life of my notebook
      - They cause the annoying "this site needs a plugin" bar to appear in FireFox on my 64 bit machines (which don't have Flash installed)
      - They use lots of bandwidth
      - Often they have sound that automatically starts playing when the site loads
      - Often they are designe
  • After all, the publishers probably want some revenue for their work. What I do mind are websites that stop loading when there's a problem retrieving ads.
  • Agreed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by garett_spencley (193892) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:05PM (#20263661) Journal
    I run a few web sites and on some I have a geo-IP targeted ad that loads in an iframe. This particular ad is often a bottleneck so I wanted to solve it. My first idea was to run a wget on the server and cache the output to the hard disk so I can load the ad from the server instead of a 3rd party. This would also require one less DNS look-up.

    Then I realized that it would completely fail because the ad is geo-IP. So the cache will always display the location of my server, and not the user.

    The obvious solution is for ad companies to offer scripts to their affiliates that could be run on the servers hosting the sites. Of course that opens up new problems, like security issues. But if the code were open we could spot such issues.

    In fact, that seems to me like such a simple and obvious solution. The only reason that ad companies don't do that (that I can think of) is that they want to appeal to people running on free hosts where they can't run server-side scripts. But there's no reason not to offer both IMO. I also thought that they wanted to keep things as absolutely simple as possible, and there's nothing simpler than saying "just copy/paste this into your html document". But any web master who rents hosting (shared or dedicated) knows how to upload a php script.
    • by db32 (862117)
      The fact is it is not a problem for the ad company. Why would they hire developers and support staff to handle an additional layer of complexity that would provide no significant increase in income. And like you said now there would be security issues on top of it. It would be a horrible business decision

      That said, trust me when I say "any web master who ... knows how to upload a php script" is completely, utterly, and totally false. Back in my freelance days I can't even begin to tell you how many pe
  • Or as few times as it takes me to notice them. Anytime a new ad server is hanging me up, it winds up in my local named.conf. I've found that running an instance of named is a very efficient method of blackholing ad servers. It's also less hassle than trying to keep up with a hosts file or browser plugins on multiple machines. Plus, instead of playing whack-a-mole with the continuing onslaught of new subdomains (2o7.net is bad about this), you can just "disappear" an entire domain forever.

    Google Analytics/Ur
    • I just installed the Google Load Time Analyzer from mozilla addons and now www.google-analytics.com just flies go figure. Try it and see if your mileage varies, it's like they know your watching or something!
  • like it, love it, live it
  • Block the ads and no more slowness.
  • I know this problem exists, but through my browsing habits, I've found a work-around. What I do is open up three or four sites in tabs, and then open more in the background while I'm reading those. Because I spend upwards of a minute reading the first site, the others have loaded in the background before I finish reading the second or third page. So even if one or two pages have a long-load time, I barely notice.

    Alternatively, use AdBlock.
  • c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

    127.0.0.2 analytics.google.com
  • Maybe creating an ad model that locally caches the heavy part of an ad would be a good thing, ads could be updated with pushes or according to some schedule, but the main part of the add content could be served from whatever site is showing the ad.
    In practice I don't really see slow ads as being a problem though.
  • This is the main reason I block ads. Not because the graphics annoy me. Just because I hate waiting for the 8 ads on the page to load even though the main content has been served. I figure by blocking the ads I am doing a service to the ad company by reducing their bandwidth costs so they can be better utilized for people that enjoy clicking on ads.

    Maybe if we all turned our ad blockers off for a day we could crash the ad servers due to the new high load? :)
  • what ads? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ianare (1132971) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:17PM (#20263899)
    What ads are you guys talking about, I see barely any at all. *turns off ad block plus, refreshes* Holy crap! How do you even go online like this? You might as well just watch TV.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tachyonflow (539926) *
      Ha! This is funny *and* insightful. A co-worker and I are frequently researching web sites, checking out the potential competition to our business ideas, and such. More often than not, I look at a web site and say, "I totally don't understand their business model. How can they fund this sort of a web site without any ads at all? Oh... wait..." Many times it's: "XYZ web site has ads now, you say? No way! When did they start putting ads up?" Heh...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tuxedobob (582913)
      I'm at the point where I just don't see images on a page. I don't block them, or use any add-on software. I just don't look at them. When I'm going to a web site, I'm looking for text, and the text is all I look at.

      As soon as there's an ad that covers the text I want to look at, just close the window. I don't care who gets paid, but no one's getting any of my money, and the web site obviously wasn't that important if it was trying to cover up the content.
  • On the other hand I do use noscript. That way the sites that go out of their way to bombard me with obnoxious animated (or even worse: audio) flash ads never get any of my screen space, whereas the ones with a bit more respect for the user still show up.
  • I have problems with certain ads containing content that is so processing intensive it kills my computer's overall performance. I run a dual-headed configuration, and I tend to keep a browser running on my secondary screen for reference while playing WoW. Most of the time this isn't a problem, but certain ads on Wowhead cause a very significant drop in frame-rate. I know its the ads because if I refresh the page (same content, different ads) the situation goes away. If I keep refreshing until I get the offe
  • Making sure your page renders well while it loads can help solve this type of issue.

    Putting scripts at the bottom of the page, explictly specifying image heights/widths, and having a single stylesheet at the top of a page can all help.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SpankTheUser (1144053)
      I work for a Very Large Online Publisher, and yeah, this is pretty much the key. There are few reasons for an ad or traffic counter to slow a properly designed page. In fact, displaying pages that render regardless of ads can turn out to be mission critical. A year ago, a story on one of our sites got Drudged, Slashdotted, Boing-Boinged, Dugg, etc. all at once. This is not totally unusual for us, and should not have been a problem for us to handle. However, the servers really started to slow down, and while
  • I can say (being one of the admins behind CG), Comic Genesis is getting slowed down by ad service providers. While part of it is our end (how we serve the ads is a bit of a hack job), and we now wrap them in iframes just to get some speed back, they're still slowing things down.

    And to those above: Firefox with Adblock plus does NOTHING because it has to load in some Javascript first to determine which ad provider to load in, and even then some ad providers chain to another one. Adblock has to wait until
  • Ads? or Webmasters? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Evets (629327) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:30PM (#20264143) Homepage Journal
    The big problem is that most webmasters design their sites in such a way that they are dependent on a third party product being available prior to their pages being rendered.

    Google isn't always up. Plenty of times, I see issues because my comcast connection can't see the google servers even though everyone else can get to them just fine.

    It's entirely feasible to write your page in such a way that it can display data before any other files are loaded. Serve up ads in an iframe, include tracking images in an iframe or as the last element of a page, etc.

    But ads aren't the only thing causing page load problems. Third party widgets, crazy fat CSS and JS files, and pages with way too many images are still a problem.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:31PM (#20264167) Journal

    Back in ages long gone, when firefox did not exist you had (still have perhaps) a company called doubleclick whose adservers would sometimes choke freezing the loading of the rest of the page. Why and how this happens? Do I look like someone who gives a shit?

    I wanted it gone, and finally I bit the bullet and read up on squid and available plugins and setup my linux router to just filter all http traffic. Haven't looked back since.

    Browsing without a blocker is like... well it just sucks. At times I am offcourse forced to browse the web without such blocking software and my god, the internet has become as bad as tv. Do they really think that if you saturate people with advertising to the point the original content becomes unusable people are really going to be more inclined to buy?

    Apparently so. However not to me. This story offcourse neatly links to the story below about a site block firefox because of adblocker.

    Well, who gives a shit. You went to far, now you gotta pay the price. If you don't get revenue from me, blame doubleclick and all those others who just pushed me over the edge.

    At the moment I recommend bfilter to people who are fed up as well, it is browser neutral, works out of the box and does a lot more then just ad-blocking. Granted some flash bits require you to click them before they actually load but that is okay, because 99% of flash stuff I don't want to load.

    So yes, ad-servers are slowing the net, by adding stuff to webpages I do not want. Can this be solved? It has been solved, not to the liking of those who depend on those ads being seen, but hey, fuck them. Do they care when I have to reload a page over and over again because some server borked?

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:33PM (#20264213)
    My internet connection ain't free. If the ad folks want to use MY bandwidth they should pay me for the privilege.
    • by dballanc (100332) on Friday August 17, 2007 @02:48PM (#20265647)
      "My internet connection ain't free. If the folks want to use MY bandwidth they should pay me for the privilege."

      It's funny that both the user and the website owner share the same argument. As usual in life, it's the few who make it rough for the many. Most people don't mind reasonable ads, and they don't mind contributing financially to a site they enjoy. Unfortunately all it takes is a few greedy jackass types taking the ads to extremes and ruin the concept entirely.

      It's too bad there isn't a advertising standard that sites can be certified with and filters can be aware of. An ad whitelisting service, that legitimate companies would value as much as a BBB or google page ranking.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2007 @03:34PM (#20266443)
      If the ad folks want to use MY bandwidth they should pay me for the privilege.

      How about they give you free content instead of paying in cash?
  • I.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Billosaur (927319) *

    haven't... noticed.... slowdown.... personally.....

  • by Mr. Fahrenheit (962814) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:40PM (#20264333)
    In my opinion we need a better model for serving ads -- or else these services need to add more servers/bandwidth.

    I know that this doesn't speak specifically to the rest of your question, but IMHO, we need a better model than having ads. Just because we can have 'em doesn't mean we should all the time. It seems to me that the click-throughs, browser-tracking, etc., benefit the ad companies themselves far more than the individual content providers.

    I realize I'm tilting at windmills here, but the current web ad-model has even city and local community web pages (like libraries) littering their pages with 'ads' for other parts of the same site, etc. It is really quite annoying.

    /...and stay off my lawn!

  • A better model for serving ads? My foot. How about stopping the ads in the first place? Problem solved.
  • it is good when people are used to using free services from countless sites on the web, content on the web sites being free (as opposed to purchasing them or subscribing to them like in the printed press case), but when it comes to waiting for a few seconds more for an ad, they do not hesitate from blocking the entire mechanism that made the internet what it is today - ads.

    please do so, morons. also preach others to do that too - so that majority of users can start doing the same.

    so that way websites
    • Well in all fairness, most websites couldn't afford to run based solely on ads anyways. So that's hardly a big deal. If they're really worth it, they should be pay/subscribe to start with. Otherwise, it's "yet another run of the mill website" and is a waste anyways.

  • Has anyone considered using something like Squid as a web proxy with special properties for ad-serving domains? I am thinking something like using the normal timeout for normal sites but limiting the timeout to like 3 seconds on an ad-serving site. If it doesn't load in 3 seconds, just have the proxy return its standard timeout page.

    That would allow most ads to pass, which I feel is a good thing because I don't want to penalize those who are doing the right thing. But for ad servers that can't keep up,

  • To shift focus to another window I'll usually click somewhere in the non-linky whitespace. With the new whitespace ads these wankstains are including on the pages these days, I'll end up clicking on an ad link instead. Spin, little page-loading icon, spin. Then click a back to get to where I wanted to be and someone paid for an impression that never sunk in. May they choke in a pool of someone else's vomit.

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