The allure of the intriguing headline, one that captivates, provokes, and sparks your imagination. The promise of an entertaining article, a mere click away.
And just like that, you’re transported into a web of lies; flashy banners, unrelated advertisements, lewd images, irrelevant headlines, all a complex maze of questionable links. The sensory overload rivals the visual complexity of downtown Hong Kong.
Suddenly you realize. That article, the one you desired, will be portioned out –a paragraph at a time. A dozen more page clicks, twelve exasperating page loads before its culmination. The dreaded, click to continue button rears its deplorable head. It’s akin to having to stop at a toll booth on the Interstate –every mile.
Page clicks equal profits. Otherwise put: greed rules.
Websites entice readers with the promise of eyebrow lifting material, only to set a trap known as the (contemptuous) slide-show, or gallery. With each apprehensive click to continue, another webpage loads, another unwanted detour, another page strife with mind numbing, browser-slowing tripe. And heaven forbid if you have anything less than an Intel Core i7 processor with NASA level memory, otherwise your page load time alone will age you faster than Mel Gibson after his infamous rant.
The evilest webmasters, those maniacal manipulators, often camouflage the actual ‘next page’ link, strategically burying it way down the page, at the same time displaying a prominent ‘right-pointing arrow’, dead center, bold as brass, unmissable. And of course the arrow is a ruse, misleading, the equivalent of a virtual placebo, transporting the reader to yet another unrelated realm of advertised-laced, irrelevant fodder.
More clicks, more cash.
Lately, some landing pages mislead completely, the article of interest nowhere to be found –the classic bait & switch.
Websites prey on the vulnerable.
It comes down to clicks and cash. With Advertisers being fed misleadingly high site stats, the days of enjoying an entire article on a single click, are gone. The multiple click slide-show/gallery format is now the norm, no longer confined to lascivious Facebook and Twitter links. So-called ‘reputable’ online publications are now embracing the tactic.
Shame on them.
But I’ve learned my lesson.
No matter how alluring a topic may be, no matter how peaked my curiosity becomes, if the slightest chance exists an article can be segmented, or, even worse, if there’s a number in the title (i.e. Top 20 Vacation Destinations in Uzbekistan), I’m not biting. Sorry Advertisers, but my life is too short and my patience too thin to navigate multiple epilepsy-inducing pages, just to reach a disappointing climax.
Uzbekistan can wait.
While techniques are available to circumvent multi-page traps, I choose to ignore them. Upon realization that my spider senses failed me, I’m hitting the ‘back’ button faster than the Flash during an indiscrete moment.
Experts predict video will completely dominate web-based advertising within the next five years. We’re already seeing the trend with online news publications and magazines imbedding auto-play video on their landing pages.
No thank you.
I’ll make my own choices.
You’ll get no superfluous clicks from me.
Until next time,