How VPAID Ads Are Hurting Your Internet Experience

Business / Tech

Advertising is everywhere: on TV, radio, magazines, billboards and of course the internet. Offering up ad space has been a long standing way of generating revenue for TV studios, radio stations, printed press, and internet content creators. Let’s face it, nothing is free and for some silly reason people want to be paid for the jobs that they’re performing and the content they’re creating. Over the past few years the use of ad blockers has become more popular on the internet. More people are blocking ads than ever before and one of the reasons they’re using ad blockers is because of VPAID ads.

Fellow publisher and website owner Artem Russakovskii took to Google+ and The Hacker News to share some of his findings concerning VPAID ads. He shows how VPAID ads can degrade a user’s browser performance and slow the load times of the content creators website.

These ads destroy performance, leech bandwidth by 10s of megabytes, and are served by major ad networks, including Google’s own AdX and AdSense.

Today, these VPAID ads are as popular as ever – and that is just disgusting. They’re the real cancer of the advertising industry.

To showcase just how evil they still are, I took a single AdX ad tag and put it on an otherwise empty page. A static image ad loads, but it’s secretly a VPAID one. It then randomly switches to a video, then back to a static image, then back again – it’s like a never-ending self-reloading cascade of garbage.

Right now after several minutes of just leaving this one single ad open, I’m at 53MB downloaded and 5559 requests. By the time I finished typing this, I was at 6140 requests. A single ad did this. Without reloading the page, just leaving it open.

A single VPAID ad absolutely demolishes site performance on mobile and desktop, and we, the publishers, get the full blame from our readers. And when multiple VPAID ads end up getting served on the same page… you get the idea.

Google and other ad networks, why are you allowing this kind of garbage to continue flowing through your pipes? Don’t you see how much damage it’s doing to the whole advertising business as people are practically forced to install ad blockers?

If you don’t like to be taken advantage of, tell Google. Tweet at them, send them emails, let them know via any means you can that it is not OK to allow our browsers to be hijacked in this manner.

Russakovskii posted earlier in January about VPAID ads when he first discovered the impact they were having on browser and website performance. We run ads here on Techaeris, we use Google’s AdSense network (as do millions of other sites) as well as two other ad services. The world of ad serving is a complex one and often times it is the publishers who bear the brunt of complaints due to these obtrusive ads showing on our sites. While there are some controls publishers have, we don’t have full control and VPAID ads can show up at any time even when we’ve asked ad servers to omit such ads.

Right now there’s not much that can be done other than to bring light to the matter and make your voices heard. As Artem notes in his post, ping Google on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, let them know that VPAID ads are unwanted and that you want a better internet experience. We as content creators and website owners know that serving ads is essential to generating revenue to pay our own bills but we also want a better user experience for our readers.

What do you think of VPAID ads? Are you willing to help publishers let Google and other ad services know that you’re tried of a sub-standard internet experience? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Be sure to tag Google in your social media shares.

  H/T Artem Russakovskii
To Top