FANDOM


  • Wave_emoticon.gif

    After once again, quite a bit listening to, interacting with and observing our community, it is quite obviously clear we need to deal with our current advertising standards and providers within the Wikia.

    Now we very much are aware of the impact advertising has within the economics of keeping up server fees and other outgoing costs which cannot be relied on via donations, it is in no way feasible to simply ask if we can run an advertisement nil Wikia, that much is clear, however it is not entirely out of place for us to ask for respectable advertisement practises and policies.

    We have thankfully arranged for the Wikia staff member, Bert H! to join us for another discussion regarding our current qualms with our current state of advertising, many of you may remember them from our previous interaction with "Wikia Discussions" and assisting us with implementing features, usage and concerns for the future.

    I've forwarded this to Admins, Moderators, Discussion Moderators, some Admins of our external, different language orientated WARFRAME Wikia's and of course Bert H themselves to make sure we are entirely satisfied with any pressing or minor issues that may be of concern below!

    Please note, whilst the primary subject of this is to highlight concerns within Wikia Advertising and Wikia Discussions (/d/), additional concerns mentioned outside of this may not be able to be answered at this point in time.

      Loading editor
    • Going to add some of our combined concerns to my queries below, taken from the multiple outlets of our communities and those currently weighing upon us as an issue we ourselves are not responsible for:

      Advertisements are causing pages to crash: There are countless instances of Advertisements frequently crashing pages for users due to the sheer amount of dynamic adverts per page, this is a first held concern that is directly preventing access to and from our community pages.

      It is completely horrific to imagine the extent of grief this can cause to users that are using lesser known browsers or those that do not possess a cap to unresponsive pages, rolling multitudes of video advertisements in one page load.

      Advertisements are disrupting page content beyond Wikia ToS: Often referred to as "Google pageblock", Surveys are allowed to take up an infobox-sized space at the beginning of an article and block all page content until the user interacts with it, this is needless to say an appalling standard of advertisement to adhere to if things like this are actively allowed on the Wikia from a reputable source.

      Rarely, adverts do however get spacing within or under article headings, whilst annoying, these do however load after page content has been loaded stylised.

      Logged in and anonymous rank advertisements suffer disparity in displayed advertisements: Not all readers will have a Wikia account, for multiple reasons as can be imagined, however they should not be treated as a secondary, by-product of having a Wikia.

      Users should not be forced to decide between readability or access without a Wikia account, whilst there is a degree of lesser adverts which is mostly acceptable (As an equation, not as the level of adverts they currently are given), it is not one we can fully agree with, even more so with most of these being some, if not all of the key offenders of page crashing.

      Adverts can include involuntary redirects: Whilst this is the basic principle for how advertisements work, it however a direct approach at Malicious advertising in which the user is also unable to report the following advertisements to your own reporting scheme due to their page no longer possessing the base article itself.

      Advert authorising: Currently, it does not appear that advertisements are being authorised in any means, either due to not possessing any regulatory bodies or just not having any standards to adhere to to begin with

      We are frequently seeing adverts that have audio playback on by default, video playing by default or the above mentioned.

      Static advertisement preference: We are beginning to see less and less usage of browser friendly, still and audio-less images within the Wikia, even more so most of the ones we are currently using are wrapped inside an external HTML embedding.

      We understand dynamic advertisements are a brilliant use of limitless possibilities, but only when used in moderation, it becomes obscene when we are getting flooded with dynamic advertisements and there are very little still images to accompany them.

      Self authorised adverts As it seems that we cannot entirely rely on Wikia to moderate our flow of adverts, administrator approval for Adverts on a per-wikia basis would be a far more effective means for us to regulate and provide a consistent advertising experience within our pages.

      Alongside this, we would be able to provide an acceptable preference to what would be more suitable to our community, third person action games may be more relevant than the "Whitepaper" business and enterprise financial software.

      Mobile: Page loading times: Mobile devices are perhaps one of the worst offenders within issues with our current advertising, mobile optimisation is being entirely lost upon the addition to adverts that do not allow page progression to pass before they are loaded and/or stickied to the bottom of the browser.

      It seems counter productive to be focusing on our mobile portion if adverts are limiting the gateway to how responsive a page can be, even more so when mobile devices lack the hardware to simultaneously load both in an effective manner.

      Mobile: Advertising weight: Advertisements are still too heavy upon low-processing mobile browsers, even within Android Lollipop capable devices and above crawling to a halt or needing to kill the process, this is rectified with the WARFRAME App but that also is the same as the degradation of user groups as mentioned above. (That is unless the mobile website interface has now been discontinued)

      Thats pretty much it from me, unless you'd need any of those formed into queries specifically!

        Loading editor
    • I saw an article somewhere about how waiting for a webpage to load was comparable to the stress gained by watching a horror movie. (Google is your friend!, turns out it was more about how video/streaming delays cause this level of stress, but waiting for a page to load could be easily comparable, especially with page interruptions while attempting to read it). I'd hate for wikia to be the primary driver in this association, or to have a tangible effect on its users health, lol

      Engie has brought up a very extensive list of issues, many of which I was even unaware with even though I have been talking with her and several other admins/mod's about the issue on a regular basis. She's done a great job taking ownership of projects such as discussion and this current issue with advert's even though they're issues that are really out of her control. Good job Engie!


      P.S.: sorry if this is a double post, I pushed publish on my last draft and nothing showed up, even after page purge >:(

        Loading editor
    • So far it seems that wikia staff person's ad blocking extensions are not allowing them to come.

      K, I'll try to be serious. I kind of second Briz here, additional things loading on page are noticeable even on broadband connection, jumpy appearance because of ad frames (dis-)appearing is not making it any better, and on top of that, existence of things like almost whole 1050p screen worth of clickbait crap or header ads taking more than 1/3 of screen height (sorry didn't screencap this one) that user has to scroll through, even in between of content and comments sections, where it doesn't break something in half, is far beyond acceptable to me. Enjoy your ads being blocked as long as they don't meet any remotely acceptable standards.

        Loading editor
    • There are plenty of sites that have this issue that I've come across both in the distant past (~10 years ago) to now. The overzealous placement of ads, and is why I started using an ad blocker to begin with. I wouldn't mind some ads, as long as they followed something outlined as per AB+'s acceptable ads guidelines found here. And will often let ads load on pages that are non-intrusive unlike the intrusive audio/video ads or dynamic ads. There doesn't seem to be one thing here that I would have to disagree with as being acceptable rather than unacceptable. With this said, as much as I would prefer to keep ad block software disabled for sites I frequently visit, Wikia has gone too far with the ads. Ads should never interrupt the page I'm trying to read in any regard. And as a side regard: Even the side rail (recent activity, chat info, "trending fandom articles" etc) is too far and too much of a space clutter, especially when the page content doesn't auto-wrap (think: fit text around picture in word, or something) to the full length once that bar has gone by.

        Loading editor
    • Hi Warframe Wiki,

      Thanks for the clear list of questions and concerns. I will do my best to respond just as clearly!

      Regarding advertising in general, I encourage you all to read the blog series that is running this week on Community Central, it’s all about the ad experience on Fandom. Part one and part two are up, and part three (the last one) will be posted on Friday.

      In these blogs we acknowledge that the ad experience on Fandom is not great and has lots of room for improvement, and they talk about what we’re doing to make things better. There is also some definition of terms (mainly in part one) that some of you may find helpful. I will use some of these terms here in my replies. I will break my response into some sections that match ArcticEngie from the main post.

      Advertisements are causing pages to crash

      We agree is certainly one of the biggest concerns — browser slowness or failure. Often the cause is related to the number of ads rather than one particular one. We’re taking steps to reduce the number of ads per page, and also to remove ads from providers that overwhelm the browser/computer with connection requests and use of the CPU (or “CPU hogging”). We are also taking steps so that our systems can better detect the device type and connection speed of a user and make appropriate ad serving choices, so that slower connections and older machines won’t get overwhelmed.

      Advertisements are disrupting page content beyond Wikia ToS

      These Google surveys are something we present to some users who have ad blockers running. They are only shown to ad blocking users. While we certainly understand why people use ad blockers on Fandom and others sites, it’s also important to understand that ads are Fandom’s sole source of revenue. The surveys can be dismissed/skipped at any time and are generally short (1-2 questions). They are meant to block content until you the some kind of action (answer the survey or skip). If anyone’s ever been unable to skip the survey or seen the survey appear in a broken state that can’t be dismissed, that is a bug and should be reported with a screen shot.

      I am interested to hear more about what aspects of these seem “appalling”, aside from perhaps their very presence. If it’s the fact that you need to click once to see the page content, I understand the perspective, but that is of course the point of them — to make you interact (hopefully answering the question) in order to proceed. They are from a very reputable provider (Google) and when these were first being tested out, we even received a few emails from users that said they enjoyed the experience and would be willing to keep doing the surveys if those were the only ads they had to see. And while I’m not saying that this small number of emails means everyone should be expected to like these surveys, there is a “type” of person who enjoys surveys (I am one of these weird people, actually).

      Logged in and anonymous rank advertisements suffer disparity in displayed advertisements

      I agree 100% here. There are numerous benefits to having an account — the reduced number of ads being just one — but a user should not be forced to create an account just to escape the overwhelming ads. More likely they will install an ad blocker or simply not come back. This is why we are working to improve the ad experience.

      Adverts can include involuntary redirects

      I can’t be more clear that these violate our ad policy (wherever you see them, desktop or mobile) and should be reported. Indeed they are challenging to report and send the information about the ad, since you’ve been redirected. But any information is helpful. You can always tell us what wikia.com page you were on and where you are geographically, and tell/show us the URL you were redirected to. In many cases that is enough for us to track down the offending ad or ad network.

      Advert authorising

      While it’s true that programmatic ads (or “network” ads) come from third parties, the ad networks have standards and policies, and Fandom in turn has standards and policies for the networks. Read more about this in the 2nd post of the blog series. This is why reporting bad ads to us is helpful, so we can track down where the bad ones. So please know that there are indeed levels of quality control, and we are working to make this better as well.

      Static advertisement preference

      Large ads with more than just text and images are becoming more standard, as advertisers seek to stand out from the crowd. We don’t expect this to change anytime soon, but we are working to reduce the number of ads on a page and so relieve the overall burden on eyes and computers.

      Mobile - page loading and weight

      Our current improvement efforts apply to mobile as well. I have experience this myself, where sometimes it becomes impossible to scroll a page on the mobile skin. Ads may or may not be responsible for every issue that you see on mobile, we are working to address some other problems too. Recently we did update some aspects of the mobile skin to help with performance and loading, and this work continues.

      As I mentioned, we are also making some updates that will allow out systems to better adapt to the connection speed and device capabilities of a specific mobile user. So older devices or slower connections will get ads that do not require as much RAM or data transfer. This is especially important as our user base in the developing world grows, and users are more likely to be on older devices and slower wireless networks.

      Again, I encourage you to check out the blog series on Community Central, post comments if you wish, and continue to ask these questions and report bad ads. Please also encourage your readers to report bad ads too — it is not pointless, we evaluate each and every report!

      It sounds like you do a great job connecting with your readers as well. That is great to see, and I may have some questions for you guys about that in the near future. We want to encourage more communities to do that, and perhaps you can offer some suggestions. (But we can save that for another forum thread).

      I understand that your community has discussed moving elsewhere, and I hope that some of what I have said (and what you see on Community Central) can help you feel better about sticking with us while we do this important work. Let me know if you have any questions for me right now. Thanks again!

        Loading editor
    • ArcticEngie
      ArcticEngie removed this reply because:
      01:22, January 20, 2017
      This reply has been removed
    • Many thanks for your reply to this topic as always, I have indeed read the recent blog posts and the second I had found particularly useful compared to the first post in terms of what active solutions Wikia are planning, I'll edit the post accordingly to include the links as they may be an interesting read!

      Advertisements are causing pages to crash This is certainly a relief to hear that it is indeed not an unknown phenomenon to Wikia, we have commonly been receiving community posts regarding how frequently this occurs to anon users (once again with the previously mentioned anon to logged in user privilege regarding adverts), I think many will be happy to hear this!

      Recall briefly mentioning the Steam and lightweight browsers seizing up entirely due to the sheer volume of dynamic adverts being pumped out, hopefully this will be a well received fix! (Additionally, slower connections and older machines, might I enquire the sort of guidelines for slower connections and how they would be processed? I worry transparent proxies may make this inaccurate is all!)

      Advertisements are disrupting page content beyond Wikia ToS Firstly, after browsing Wikia on a fresh version of Google Chrome (55.0) within an incognito page with no anti-advertising software installed without being logged in, I had encountered this several times, this may require some investigation on your end.

      Additionally, there should not be a double standard of rules that Advertisers can willingly break where as our custom stylesheets, JS and more need to adhere to, if any user were to accidentally or purposely block page content out of a script extension or template usage it would be extremely unlikely that it would live to see the light of day after staff had become aware of it, Even more so if it was not intentional. Personally speaking at least, if I were to log into a page to find its content is locked behind an advert, those would raise alarm bells to the sites authenticity and possibly discourage use from the website in question. (I understand from a staff point of view it may be a bit clouded with experience in dealing with these, so for example, often download sites have advertisements that attempt to mimic the pages own download button in order to get users to click on that under the guise of it being the real link.)

      Going back to your earlier point of browser speeds, what is there to alert the user that the advertisement has finished loaded and is at the top of the page, from the point of view from a new user this would be atrocious to witness if they had scrolled past this and have had nil experience with dealing with these standards of advertising to view content that had already loaded, formatted and even take the user on to click image links and/or embedded content.

      You also note that it takes only a click to skip and/or 1/2 questions, whilst this may be the case, anything that is blocking page content is a very simple case of Malvertising, I urge you, are you able to explain this a bit further (your reply)?

      Additionally, I do not remember if I had seperated this, but adverts have been known to dislodge infoboxes in rare instances which is obviously a no-go, mobile seems to be more afflicted with adverts loading part-way through a sentence or formatting which makes browsing inconvenient and often clunky http://imgur.com/a/KmqIW

      EDIT: as you can see within the top left, that mobile advert is taking up more space than the entire condensed article, autoplaying & has audio, this is exactly what I am trying to refer to.

      Logged in and anonymous rank advertisements suffer disparity in displayed advertisements Ditto to first, multiple happy little anons are sure to come our way! Perhaps even those willing to create an account for the right reasons and not to make the website able to be viewed to begin with

      Adverts can include involuntary redirects I am sure that when I say "If a page has a redirect that was involuntary, they are less so likely to want to revisit that experience" I have little doubt that it would be wrong.

      The issue I was primarily raising is that how are these adverts able to display upon pages to begin with, we are having doubts about the exact authentication procedures and/or channels these are going through to become live on-site

      Static advertisement preference Sad to hear universally friendly image advertisements will not be making a comeback, even popular websites such as "Youtube" (owned by Google themselves), "Imgur" and even Yahoo! Mail, a service that has recently revitalised its entire website to keep up to date with the new website standards of 2017 still use static images within its pages.

      Still welcome for the lesser number of dynamic adverts as you can probably imagine!

      Mobile I have contacted a mobile website user to explain about their current lacking experiences within the mobile side of advertising (For example, the earlier mentioned screenshots) I however cannot give that much more of a first hand glance of the mobile website as ironically advertisements deter me from doing so from the additional time after a page has loaded to spend additional time reformatting it to fit advertisements within, or the incredibly sluggish and almost archaic videos that insist on playing

      Extra Regarding the surveys, I do like doing them too! I even use the Google play rewards (from, as you can expect, the same provider :P) which gives little chips of Google play credit, the extreme difference here is however that the surveys which can be found within that do not tease the user with credit only to then hide it after they have seen, possibly used or have navigated away from the app itself.

      Communicating with our community is important! It is also very much so important to make sure the means you are providing to the community are kept in reasonable shape too (We even have User:ChickenBar which is/was a Wikia star whom directly attended a Wikia meeting, communicated with directly and more!) and when we cannot provide either one of the two, we do our best to rectify that, this is a vision kept within all of the Warframe fansites and one that Wikia is not exempt from! :) I'm sure, if you think we would be a good representation, that the Admins and moderators would be happy to do so!

        Loading editor
    • Hiya, Mobile user here, though I typically browse the Wiki as an anonymous. Nevertheless, there are a number of things that need to be addressed.

      Ads right off the bat Every time I start a new browsing session on the Mobile Wiki, I'll be greeted with this. Note that there isn't an advertisement, and that's because it didn't even load, so you're stuck looking at a blank screen for no reason! Whether or not the ad loads isn't the main problem. Instead it's the forced wait until you can close it. The timer in the corner is supposed to be a 3-second countdown, but depending on your data speed, that 3-second wait can usually be extended to 5+ seconds instead, since it's struggling to load the ad, the page behind it, and remember to countdown simultaneously.

      Most, if not all, pages on mobile are plastered with an advertisement at the beginning of the page. Usually if it isn't there, it's going to be right after the Infobox or the first paragraph. More on that in the next point:

      Video Ads; Now with Sound! As mentioned before, ads will sometimes present themselves at the beginning before all other content, and this one happened to be a video. However, on other pages, I encountered something worse; AN AUTOPLAYER. Note the speaker in the top-left corner, indicating not only is this ad an autoplaying ad, but was accompanied by audio. There is no warning of this ad preparing to play unless you happen to scroll upon it first. If you don't, it'll play anyway, slowing the page and giving you some noise. To make things worse, this ad was located underneath ANOTHER ad that, too, happened to be animated, but thankfully without sound.

      Fullscreen Ads: Part Deux As ArcticEngie mentioned before, there is a rare advertisement that is arguably the most disruptive of them all, placing itself in the middle of formatting and taking a huge amount of space. And when I mean huge, I mean you're forced to scroll through the whole thing just so you can get back to viewing the page. The length of this ad takes up an entire screen's worth of space, and if that wasn't bad enough, it autoplays. Again, with sound.

        Loading editor
    • Great replies and follow-up questions/comments, thank you! I will provide a more in-depth response next week. For now, I will direct you to part 3 (of 3) of the blog series on Community Central, talking more about plans for the near future. This is a project for the first part of this year and we'll be eager to hear your opinions on whether things are improving.

      http://community.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Tedgill/Making_Ads_Better:_How_We%27re_Going_to_Do_It

        Loading editor
    • Thank you ArcticEngie and Gat235 for the additional examples and notes.

      I have had some conversations with the teams who managed ads and who are working on the ad experience improvement projects detailed in the Community Central blog posts. We're going to be using Warframe wiki to test out some of the changes as they become available. In the near term, this means you may see some differences on some of the "programmatic" ads. Fewer placements per page and possibly some different types of ads. This will be tied to tests of newer types of "direct" ads. I will bring more tangible updates over time as things change, but your logged-out users may see some changes right away.

      Since some of the tests are done with segments of users (this is called "A/B testing), different readers may see different things. So it's not possible to give a precise description of what everyone will see. This is always the case, really, since the ad experience also varies depending on what country someone is in.

      I look forward to continued conversations about ads with your community!

      On to a few specific questions:

      ArcticEngie wrote:

      Recall briefly mentioning the Steam and lightweight browsers seizing up entirely due to the sheer volume of dynamic adverts being pumped out, hopefully this will be a well received fix! (Additionally, slower connections and older machines, might I enquire the sort of guidelines for slower connections and how they would be processed? I worry transparent proxies may make this inaccurate is all!)

      I will do my best to get details about how the determination is made.

      We don't technically support the Steam browser but there may be something we can do to help with this. We do hear about the issues on Steam from other users too.

      Going back to your earlier point of browser speeds, what is there to alert the user that the advertisement has finished loaded and is at the top of the page, from the point of view from a new user this would be atrocious to witness if they had scrolled past this and have had nil experience with dealing with these standards of advertising to view content that had already loaded, formatted and even take the user on to click image links and/or embedded content.

      Loading sequence and the general speed of loading is something else that we continue to experiment with and improve upon. This is all part of creating a better ad experience and overall user experience.

      Additionally, there should not be a double standard of rules that Advertisers can willingly break where as our custom stylesheets, JS and more need to adhere to, if any user were to accidentally or purposely block page content out of a script extension or template usage it would be extremely unlikely that it would live to see the light of day after staff had become aware of it, Even more so if it was not intentional. Personally speaking at least, if I were to log into a page to find its content is locked behind an advert, those would raise alarm bells to the sites authenticity and possibly discourage use from the website in question. (I understand from a staff point of view it may be a bit clouded with experience in dealing with these, so for example, often download sites have advertisements that attempt to mimic the pages own download button in order to get users to click on that under the guise of it being the real link.)

      You also note that it takes only a click to skip and/or 1/2 questions, whilst this may be the case, anything that is blocking page content is a very simple case of Malvertising, I urge you, are you able to explain this a bit further (your reply)?

      I understand the point of view expressed here, but have to respectfully disagree. While I would not call it a "double standard", the simple truth is that there are indeed different rules for things Fandom puts on the site, which includes ads and notices. The scope of allowed user customizations is not the same. However, this should not stop anyone from sending feedback about ad experiences that they find problematic. We do review that feedback.

      Additionally, I do not remember if I had seperated this, but adverts have been known to dislodge infoboxes in rare instances which is obviously a no-go, mobile seems to be more afflicted with adverts loading part-way through a sentence or formatting which makes browsing inconvenient and often clunky http://imgur.com/a/KmqIW

      EDIT: as you can see within the top left, that mobile advert is taking up more space than the entire condensed article, autoplaying & has audio, this is exactly what I am trying to refer to.

      If you have example pages where you have seen ads conflict with infoboxes, please send in a report with both a screen shot and the link to the specific page. This is something we can analyze and resolve, it's definitely not intended. Possibly it's the result of some unusual code in the infobox or perhaps a new type of ad tag that we're testing.

      Space on mobile screens is limited and we do try to at least clearly mark when something is an ad, as opposed to content, which you can see in the screen shot. Auto-playing audio is something we seek to prevent, whether on mobile or desktop, and as we reduce the number of ad networks that we use, that should become less over time. Please advise anyone who see this to let us know as much detail as possible even if it's just a screen shot and a description of what was seen/heard.

      Adverts can include involuntary redirects

      The issue I was primarily raising is that how are these adverts able to display upon pages to begin with, we are having doubts about the exact authentication procedures and/or channels these are going through to become live on-site

      Similar to auto-play audio, we want to know as much as possible so we can track down the source. My understanding is that these come from networks that sell their ad space to other networks. Here again, as we prune these "bad" networks we can feel more confident that quality standards are being maintained. This work has been a focus and this continues in 2017.

      I'm sure, if you think we would be a good representation, that the Admins and moderators would be happy to do so!

      Be assured this will continue and we'll be looking for more opportunities to interact. Don't be shy about reaching out!

      Let me know if you have more questions.

        Loading editor
    • Hello! I have posted a new thread here which relates to advertisting.

        Loading editor
    • A Lone Tenno
        Loading editor
Give Kudos to this message
You've given this message Kudos!
See who gave Kudos to this message
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.