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Ad Networks the Laggards In Jackson Traffic Spike

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the what-else-is-new dept.

The Internet 176

miller60 writes "Advertising networks are being cited as the major bottlenecks in performance woes experienced by major news sites during the crush of Internet traffic Thursday as news broke about the death of pop star Michael Jackson. An analysis by Keynote found that many news sites delivered their own content promptly, only to find their page delivery delayed by slow-loading ads. The inclusion of third-party content on high-traffic pages is a growing challenge for site operators. It's not just ads, as social media widgets are also seeing wider usage on commercial sites. How best to balance the content vs. performance tradeoffs?"

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Frist Opst? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514235)

hmmmm

Didn't notice... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514261)

Can't say that I noticed any of slowdown on Friday. All of the content continued to stream from my custom ad server (127.0.0.1) at exactly the same speed as usual...

Re:Didn't notice... (0)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514331)

Exactly. What ads?

Re:Didn't notice... (1)

shamabaghodia (1150261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514635)

I laughed.

Re:Didn't notice... (4, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515049)

Hope you don't mind, but I'm using your ad server too.

Dang you must have one hell of a pipe to the internets.

It's....FAST

Re:Didn't notice... (4, Insightful)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515705)

Yeah this is news? Man the main reason why I originally started blocking ads was not because I necessarily objected to them, it was because the ad servers always seem to hang up the page loads. Web 2.0 as it is called simply made this problem even worse with sites cross loading content. Web 2.0 sucks!

No surprise (5, Insightful)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514263)

Even at times of average load you can see delays as the browser goes off to find some unresponsive ad server. Google analytics and other stat-gatherers can be a problem too. It's annoying when it prevents the appearance of a page. Seems easily solvable within the browser though, set content from other domains to be on a shorter timeout. If the site fails because some off-server content isn't available, that's a badly-designed site. Ordinarily I'd just miss out on a few ads. Boo hoo!

Re:No surprise (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514351)

Can someone explain to me why this phenomenon occurs? Is content loaded serially, one item at a time?

Reflows (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514409)

Can someone explain to me why this phenomenon occurs? Is content loaded serially, one item at a time?

Reflow is my best guess. The browser has all the data for the rest of the page, but it doesn't know what width and height to give to an ad object until it has loaded.

Re:Reflows (2, Interesting)

lecanucker (945957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514841)

Its probably the adserving software that the sites uses to cycle ads through their sites / networks that would have bottlenecked. They would pass on the instructions that set the size of the object to the browser and point it to the actual ad image. Ads shouldn't slow down a page - even if the third party adservers' servers went down, you should still get the page loading quickly with an empty ad-hole. Bigger sites ensure that ads served into their sites won't cause this kind of slowdown.

Re:Reflows (2, Insightful)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515777)

"Bigger sites ensure that ads served into their sites won't cause this kind of slowdown."

Obviously not, as some major sites were hit by this issue. What it comes down to is that the owners of these new organizations picked the advertising service they thought would give them the most money - not the ones that would ensure the highest reliability or the best user experience. This shows the state that news organizations have reached, making money is more important than reporting the news.

Re:Reflows (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515735)

Well, that and the actual loading of the image itself. A lot of these sites will delay the rendering until all the images are pre-loaded, and with the ad sites getting hammered, that could take a good while.

One more reason to hate ad servers. I'm not an adblock fanatic, but I block doubleclick and all the other big ad houses by default. Some site wants to serve it's own ads, and I'll never block that.

Re:No surprise (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514425)

Can someone explain to me why this phenomenon occurs? Is content loaded serially, one item at a time?

Because you're not blocking ads?

Re:No surprise (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514467)

Generally, a browser will open up to 4-5 connections per site. (This is configurable in firefox). If there are more requests needed, they'll reuse one of the existing connections (which don't close -- keep-alive).

The problem isn't loading, it's rendering. Many ad networks are heavy on the javascript and use stupid shit like document.write, and innerHTML. If the ad javascript is slow to load, the page rendering will stall.

Re:No surprise (5, Informative)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514503)

The ads are usually javascript scripts which in turn are requesting external pages by document.write()ing out iframes to the content page which in turn may have their own resources (js/css/jpg/gif/etc) to request. A lot of browsers don't like showing you the entire page until the javascript bits have been requested, hence the delay.

Of course the technical details are er... more detailed, but you get the idea.

Re:No surprise (1)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514691)

It depends on the site. Alot of sites make an external javascript call - the ad is returned as a javascript file and that is written on the page through document.write. Because it is javascript the browser has to wait for the file to come back before continuing to load the page. Other sites use Iframes to display the ad and so the content of that iframe is loaded up independantly and will not slow down the page, but this also means that ads loaded on to the page aren't as flexible. I believe the majority of sites/adservers use javascript calls

Re:No surprise (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514781)

set content from other domains to be on a shorter timeout.

Or the site designers could, you know, write the page so that it'll still display the content correctly while the off-site content is loading. Actually, that should be the case for even the on-site content. Isn't that that whole point of "height" and "width" attributes?

Re:No surprise (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514805)

Google anal-ytics has been a real real pain in the... well you can guess... lately - I had a couple sites running slow and couldn't figure it out. I removed analytics and voila! all better.

Re:No surprise (3, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514865)

Good point.

Yes, a browser should schedule the download of additional content, and it should give priority to same domain, next to different subdomains of same domain (e.g. "images.mysite.com") and last to other domains.

Of course, if that were the standard, the ad people would come up with something to defeat it. See, these are the people who are actively working on giving you content that you don't want, and they consider it important to bypass all your filters, to make sure you've seen their ads. Because you don't count, only our pageview or clickthrough does.

Re:No surprise (1)

LuvlyOvipositor (1578009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514941)

There is also the problem of sites hotlinking images instead of storing them on their servers. Your solution would have a detrimental impact on it, but really, the responsibility would fall on the website author and not the user (to store the images on the server).

Re:No surprise (2, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515495)

There is also the problem of sites hotlinking images instead of storing them on their servers.

Advertisers don't trust sites to host their images (how would they know how many were really served), they want to serve them themselves, so they can rotate them when they want, so they can set web bugs and/or cookies.

The good news is that makes it a lot easier to block ads, if they were just images in the same locations as normal illustrative images, you'd have no way to discriminate. So once you block the advertisers' domains you have a nice fast page.

Tune max RTT down (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514869)

You can tune your max RTT down globally, but I don't know how to do that on a application by application basis. The default is usually 120 sec, which is in general, very generous by today's internet performance standards.

Ad Caching? (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514269)

Many news web sites use advertising networks rather than serving ads from their own servers.

Luckily I don't deal with ads. But if I did, I would try to work something out where I'd have a temporary directory with the cached ads ... especially if they were some hit-the-monkey-resource-intensive-flash-ad. Then I'd have a cron job or maybe just a servlet running on a timer that queries my ad provider's site for new ads, replace the ads in the directory with their names being generic so that they can be randomly selected based on size and ... you're a whole lot nicer for the internet. Sure, now it's your traffic that's being taxed but at least you're not taking part in a massive attack on your ad server.

I understand the beauty of not knowing anything about the ads and just getting whatever AdSense or AdWords or whoever serves you up your ads ... but when they're hogs like the article's flash ads are, you would expect some better design or fallback.

Re:Ad Caching? (4, Insightful)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514389)

The best way to deal with this sort of thing is to do regular checks as to how long hitting the address that's going to be loaded takes, in a cron job or whatever, and if it goes over a certain threshold, turn off that provider.

Sure, you'll lose a bit of ad revenue, but you won't have pissed off users who think your site is broken.

Re:Ad Caching? (2, Interesting)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514801)

actually the most important thing is not showing the ads, but counting the ads shown. I did work at a company that had a fallback where if there was a bottleneck it would switch to serving a default ad - but that makes no money. Clients pay on the number of views/clicks an ad gets and you have to have the request go through to the server to get this. Also the adserver needs to decide what ads to show. It might be acceptable for click only ads - but it's the view based ads that make the most money, and you would get rid of any possibility of optimizing delivery of those ads - i.e. less money.

Easy solution. (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514273)

Whenever the ad servers get to a critical overusage point, replace them with a set of text ads. Or better yet, replace them with a text ad for AdBlock Plus [adblockplus.org] . Hey, a guy can dream, right?

Ryan Fenton

Easier solution. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514307)

Just use the RSS or Atom feed instead of the web page.

Re:Easy solution. (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514543)

Whenever the ad servers get to a critical overusage point, replace them with a set of text ads.

Except you want to get paid for banners especially when you got the most visitors.

Re:Easy solution. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515041)

From personal experience: Ad networks don't respond well to traffic spikes. The advertisers need time to adjust their campaign limits and until that happens (if they adjust them at all), your site falls through to lower paying ads, all but negating the increase in volume. You could just as well throttle the ads to normal impression counts and use the space for something else on the additional page impressions (self promotion, affiliate links, etc.).

Re:Easy solution. (2, Informative)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514655)

I've shown some non-geek friends of mine that there is nothing wrong with their web browser, or their laptop, or their internet connection. Web browsing is really very fast, provided you turn off advertising.

I set them up with a combo of Ad Block Plus on Firefox, and a customised hosts file. They can't believe the difference.

Re:Easy solution. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515199)

This jackfuck should be moderated "Redundant" for signing his dumb post. Yeah, RYAN, we figured out your name based on the username that is ALREADY ABOVE YOUR POST.

Go eat Richard "Bathroom Stall Fellater" Stallman's fecal matter.

No Ads.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514275)

...no slow down.

MJ Clogged the toobs? (3, Funny)

toygeek (473120) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514279)

I'll bet THAT isn't in the autopsy report.

Re:MJ Clogged the toobs? (2, Funny)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514521)

My god. The parallels between him and Elvis just keep cropping up.

block the ads ! (1)

Spaham (634471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514287)

another great reason to use ad blockers.
I often noticed loading slowdowns because of web bugs and ads...
And once you get used to it, if you ever come back to ad filled pages,
it feels like watching a formula 1 car covered by stickers:(

Where's the Billy Mays traffic spike?! (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514293)


RIP, Billy Mays.
Billy Mays ordering at McDonalds [youtube.com]

.

Re:Where's the Billy Mays traffic spike?! (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514511)

I'M GEVIL (BETA) AND I'M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT I'M SADDENED BY THE LOSS OF BILLY MAYS!







Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Re:Where's the Billy Mays traffic spike?! (3, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514517)

OxiClean works on the internet tubes so there were no clogs.

Billy Mays RIP (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515387)

Last week we had 3 celebrity deaths in rapid succession, but thanks to Billy Mays, he throws in a 4th one for ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!!

Re:Where's the Billy Mays traffic spike?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515779)

I know you're joking, but FWIW I'd say the lack of Billy Mays traffic spike is because absolutely no fucker outside the USA has ever heard of him.

Aww come on! (2, Funny)

Starturtle (1148659) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514301)

I would have been first to post but the bloody advertising bottlenecked me. I'm going to head over to Rotten Tomatoes, I'm sure that won't happen there.

Not only during the MJ-news breaking... (4, Informative)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514305)

I can see how the ads would be the bottleneck in serving a site... if not only because it's the same case for users with most sites on normal days too.
Very often I'm stuck waiting for the ads to load, before the actual site shows up on computers where I don't have the luxury of an adblocker; And even with an adblocker I sometimes see my computer still using some resources to get the ads down.

Without those ads, it would be worse (4, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514315)

Without those ads, there would not be the high number of news sites available for viewing breaking news stories that can drive this Jacko level of interest.

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514393)

To claim that the internet is as "good" as it is today because of advertising is by far the worst kind of bullshit known. You base this claim on what exactly?

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514629)

What do you think pays for those servers that keep Google, cnn.com, and others up and running?

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514647)

on the basis of a sense of humour.

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514397)

That's not a reasonable excuse for ad servers to often be slow as hell (note that I am on 768 kb/s), sometimes even right-out timing out.
Maybe some particularly popular sites should add a service-level clause for the ad providers (if they need more than 20 ms to prepare+transmit the ads, they must switch them off)?

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514695)

I agree. If I am a news site and you are an ad server company, you must serve my ads in 20ms or you refund my advertisers.

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (1)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514833)

most ad providers do have load tests and backup systems - just not all

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514855)

That is true, but successful advertising tends to enhance the experience of the media they support. How many of us would listen to the radio of watch TV if the ads were just 30 seconds of monotonous droning, or if the ads interrupted the expected flow of content. For instance, if the ads were placed mid sentence instead of act breaks? How many of us would read magazines if there was a paragraph of text on each page, and the rest were ads. In sophisticated media, there is some experience in what works and what does not. The web is a free for all, unlike radio there was never even a hint of over arching philosophy or ethics for advertising, so we end up many pages that are just adverts.

I think much of the issues of ads is that they do tend to ill integrated on the page and do not enhance the viewing experience. One issue is that a page may have to link with many domains, each involving multiple requests, and often the page will not render until all ads are loaded. This is fair, but, again, does mature media expect to be successful if they serve lame ads? Ads support content in a number of ways, but must not conflict with the content.

Re:Without those ads, it would be worse (1)

LuvlyOvipositor (1578009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515129)

How many of us would read magazines if there was a paragraph of text on each page, and the rest were ads.

Have you been the one stealing my Popular Mechanics? (or any computer mag)

That explains it! (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514321)

I had not noticed any issues on Friday at all so I was rather surprised by the news reports about net slowdowns. Adblock FTW!

Re:That explains it! (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514563)

AdBlock... *Grovels before it.* You have saved my weekend from the nasty, nasty, nauty ad services.
To the masses that do not use AdBlock; get it, use it, pay the poor programmer for his diligent work.

Light the dark cables! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514347)

That is the solution - just like more energy, not less, is what will benefit the environment and the economy. Archimedes, don't you know.

Google and Slashdot handle it well (3, Insightful)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514385)

Google has always appealed to me because of it's VERY basic homepage. No extra crap unless you want it there (iGoogle). I understand that it would be hard for a website to thrive without a method of revenue, either through a store or ads, but I tend to stick with sites that keep ads to a minimum. I've even stopped going to sites because of the overbearing amounts of ads. Slashdot has a nice system too. Giving you the option to turn off ads if you contribute.

Re:Google and Slashdot handle it well (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514513)

or just block them with adblock and keep your money.

Re:Google and Slashdot handle it well (1)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514587)

But that requires extra clicking. I can't be bothered to do that.

It does? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514827)

Try subscribing to one of the ad lists. Then they just disappear.

Re:Google and Slashdot handle it well (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515083)

Some us us do the right thing and do both.

Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514411)

News sites are often too greedy to remove ads. They have to decide whether to take a lesser paycut from less ads or to get a reputation for loading slowly because of ads.

I suppose the opposite motivation exists but ... (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514419)

it would seem easy enough with correct site coding / browser tabs [I admit to NOT being an html / css expert] to force the ads to load last so that at least the content loads regardless of the ads being slow / non-responsive. Of course the advertisers would rather be first so they get your eyeballs before all that uber-distracting content :-\

Re:I suppose the opposite motivation exists but .. (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514861)

correct, a simple javascript body.onLoad event would suffice to load all the advertisements after a page has loaded... however, this runs into the problem that people may be running with javascript turned off, in which case they won't see their adverts, which means javascript onload wouldn't work for everyone, and that's bad for advertisers businesses.

what actually happens is the web designer/programmer adds a script reference to another site (in the form of <script> tags) that link to another website (ie, Google Ad Words) and because this script is called within the HTML, it is required to be downloaded and executed before the page can be displayed (as the external scripts may hook onLoad events, change existing tags or add new ones etc)

User Connects to www.myNewsNetwork.com
myNewsNetwork sends the page to the User
Browser parses the HTML
Browser sees that in the HEAD tag is a SCRIPT tag that wants Google AdWords.
Browser connects to Google Ad Words website
Browser downloads script file from Google Ad Words
Browser parses and executes the Google Adwords Script
Browser displays page to User

this can happen loads of times during a page load depending on the number of ads (and if the advertisement panel uses unique identifiers in the URL, the browser can't even speed up processing using caching as the URLs are different)

Re:I suppose the opposite motivation exists but .. (1)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514877)

Sorry, but it's not possible with some of the ad formats being used. I actually have looked in to this and have set up some sites so the ads do load last, this unfortunately is a fair bit of work for the publisher not only initially but also going forward and most online advertising companies do not have the technical expertise - they are primarily sales focused institutions. It also means that they lose flexibility in what they can serve and as such may lose out on money to other websites that can do what a client wants.

We have the tools (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515191)

I disagree. With Javascript, AJAX, Silverlight, or likely even Flash, we can make changes to the DOM after the page has loaded. Loading adds after the page render completes is not the issue. Lazy web designers and poorly designed CMS coupled with the financial model tied to ad revenue is the issue.

-Rick

Mashups in general (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514429)

I've seen this as a big issue with mashups of all sorts for a while.

When google was down a few months ago many sites I visited...including this one...had issues. Turns out that google was only down for my ISP due to a routing problem, but it didn't matter. The google analytics used by the site failed to load causing some weird issues. Just think how many sites are depenedent on services from third party's like google.

This to me is more of a general browser web 2.0 issue that needs to get addressed. If the ads where inserted using some sort of ajax control the news sites could easily load their content and then stream the ads in after the main content was up.

Using the html "script" tag doesn't have a lot of controls for when it loads a script that doesn't compile right or when it takes forever to load. A timeout attribute....wrap in try/catch...ignore on compile error...and some other attributes might be useful. The same would go from image tags and all other tags that have some sort of src attribute.

Re:Mashups in general (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515537)

from third party's like google

How can you mess up that badly? Do you ever READ? You know, BOOKS and stuff? Jesus.

Load the ads last (1)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514457)

If the ads are holding up the delivery of the site, load them last. It's not too hard to structure a site so that the primary content renders and gets delivered while other stuff loads next.

Re:Load the ads last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514571)

oh, c'mon! you are assuming that the people they hire to update web pages actually understand what they are working on. That costs too much!

Re:Load the ads last (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514675)

They *are* loading the "primary content" first. They just differ with you as to what constitutes "primary".

Re:Load the ads last (1)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514753)

actually it is difficult. The ads that get served to a page are usually more complex than the content on the page - they can call in javascripts that call in more javascripts that put iframes within iframes to expand on domains etc etc etc. If the ads wree all the same format then it would be a cinch to load up the ads at the end, but unfortunately due to ads being served through other providers that use a richer set of javascript it can't be done.

Stupid question but why... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514483)

Ok, I get the idea that you need ads on your site. And I fully understand that those ads are probably going to be served from an outside source who you don't have control over.

That being said, WHY, WHY, did you design your layout in such a way that a slow ad could slow down the page load? Aren't their about a hundred and one ways to slip ads into a page that ensure that the actual page loads and the ad just gets there when it gets there?

Solution: Turn Off Javascript! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514487)

... or use noscript with firefox.

Your pages will load much, much faster. Even better, since many ad networks only serve ads with javascript, you get less ads.

There are some websites that don't work with javascript, but you can whitelist them.

Cache? (1)

Xerolooper (1247258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514497)

If the news sites aren't having any problems serving their pages could they cache the ads as well so their users get a consistent experience? Just curious.

Re:Cache? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514623)

Ad companies want to serve the ads themselves so that they can be sure how many ads are showing and to whom. Caching kind of breaks this - they will never trust the ad view/click data from the news site.

Re:Cache? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514703)

If the news sites aren't having any problems serving their pages could they cache the ads as well so their users get a consistent experience? Just curious.

The better question is: since the ad networks are in the business of serving ads, and without serving ads they get no money, why don't the ad networks have faster, burstable, more reliable bandwidth?

AJAX Ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28514515)

We have this problem at work with a lot of our client sites. The general solution (if possible) is to load ads after the document is ready.

There is no way I am going to wait for a server in god knows where to respond back via a tag.

content vs. performance tradeoffs (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514527)

"many news sites delivered their own content promptly, only to find their page delivery delayed by slow-loading ads .. How best to balance the content vs. performance tradeoffs?"

Slashdot also suffers from this. The solution is to feed the adverts directly to the site and then serve up dynamically created static pages.

so annoying (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514537)

When running on a browser without ad block, pages will take forever to load. The basic shell will come up but it will lag when feeding content from the advertiser servers. You cannot move on with your life until the ad loads and the page content will not load until the ad. Very annoying.

Also surprising is how much of the lag comes from the computer, not the bandwidth. I upgraded the home machine recently and am amazed at how quickly sites load now. I'd assumed previously that delays in loading were just waiting for data from the site but it appears that there's a lot of overhead with the bloat that is the modern browswer. I'm guessing there's a lot of web 2.0 bullshit going on in the background. You can't escape it by disabling Javascript because that'll break most of the sites out there.

Local caches. (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514551)

I think adds shouldn't be delivered through a query while you're loading a page but rather cached on the content provider directly for faster delivery.

this is precisely why (1, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514557)

i keep slashdot bookmarked and in my RSS feed list. critical and up to the minute information on content load times and ping response times related to michael jackson content on the web is crucial for system administrators tuning and building the next dimension of web 2.0 applications and cloud services. these services, which have also in the past been dutifully covered by slashdot as well as service oriented architectures and grid computing, will continue to have a profound impact on the ways users and netizens alike gather important michael jackson death information in the times to come.

the content workaround to employ adblock is a brilliant first step to ensuring those in the meat-world are updated constantly through twitter, boingboing, facebook, and myspace via their iphone and android phone as to the ever changing and dynamic status of Michael Jacksons inanimate plastic corpse.

Re:this is precisely why (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515007)

Offtopic? Try insightful, I get enough of this drivel from all the other news outlets.

Ads? What ads? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514627)

> How best to balance the content vs. performance tradeoffs?

Privoxy does the job for me.

How best to balance the content vs. performance .. (1)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514705)

from summary:

How best to balance the content vs. performance tradeoffs"

I don't know, kill the 3rd party adds and social networking widgets?

What are these 'ads' you speak of? (1)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514733)

This post blocked by category advertisement. .

That explains it! (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514815)

That explains why I didn't notice any slow downs because I use AdBlock Plus and many filters. ;)

AdMuncher (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Showered (1443719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514885)

For a one-time fee of 25$ USD, you will get the best Win32 ad blocking software out there. I haven't seen an ad, popup or any other type of advertisement since AdMuncher [admuncher.com] first came out. If only they made it for OSX...

WEDJE to the rescue (1)

gravyface (592485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514923)

Looks promising; found this in a link from TFA:

WEDJE is similar to the innerHTML method above except it creates what is effectively a cross-platform, cross-browser defer, enabling your script to load and execute asynchronously across all environments. We write out a div with javascript, then we create a script element with javascript, and then we append the script element to the div, again with javascript.

By linking elements together in this way, browsers appear to completely decouple the loading and execution of our attached javascript from the loading and execution of the original document, which is exactly what weâ(TM)re looking for.

Their example/demo worked in Chrome 2.x, and FF3.5 for me:

http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2007/06/widget-deployment-with-wedje [mikeindustries.com]

score parent up .. (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515163)

"Looks promising; found this in a link from TFA:"

Looks like a solution ..

Well, duh. (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28514925)

only to find their page delivery delayed by slow-loading ads.

Well, duh. I've been complaining about this for the past year. Too much ad code is using "document.write()", often for no really good reason. Browsers can load content from multiple sites in parallel, and not wait for ad content, unless Javascript is used to prevent that. All too often, Javascript is used in just that way. (As on, well, Slashdot. Earth to Slashdot: your Javascript is embarrassingly slow. Get someone with a clue.)

One of the more painful things I have to do for AdRater [sitetruth.com] is to recognize dynamically loaded ad content. Google ads are loaded using at least five completely different code styles. So I actually have to look at other people's ad-serving code in some detail. It's not fun. Fortunately, one generic mechanism handles most of the cases; I don't have to track their code changes in detail.

Most of this doesn't seem to be intended to get around ad-blocking software, and isn't successful at that. It's usually either tracking-related, concerned with displaying the ad in a different CSS context than that of the surrounding content, or just the result of ineptly cutting and pasting JavaScript from multiple sources.

The how and why (3, Informative)

NudeAvenger (1391803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515033)

first of all let me pretext all this with the fact I have been working in online advertising for about 5 years for a caouple of major publishers and now an agency side adserving company. The industry as a whole has a glut of technical knowledge and is mostly sales driven. Calls to adservers usually use a call to an external javascript file which is dynamically generated by the adserver. When this call is made it passes along some variables to let the adserver know how that position is targeted. At this time some tracking also happens, so the system will count an impression against a certain ad. For this reason caching can't be done - the system has to record and decide which ad to return on the fly to make sure delivery is correct and possibly even do some optimizations around which ad to show. Think of it as a giant decision engine which also collects data and uses that to decide what to serve next. There is another way to call in an ad, and that is to use Iframes, unfortunately these will point at a different domain so it isn't possible to resize or do anything outside the box, unless the ad being served is a rich media provider who are allowed to have another little html page on the site's domain they can call up and then use to write back to the main page. Because of all the different types of javascript that can be served back depending on the company providing the ad, the ad has to be put in place if using javascript as it will often look at where in the DOM the script is called. There are too many providers doing different things, and the only way to make things work is to call it straight in.

Misconception (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515111)

... many news sites delivered their own content promptly, only to find their page delivery delayed by slow-loading ads... How best to balance the content vs. performance tradeoffs?"

Ads are not content (at least not for most viewers) - they are an annoyance. How to balance it? Get rid of the ads.

very simple solution... (1)

kiick (102190) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515169)

Web sites should display the CONTENT first, THEN load the ads. People can read the articles while all that other stuff gets it's act together. If the ad servers are too slow, then the reader will have moved on before the ads finish loading, thus freeing up resources on the ad server.

Define 'content' (1)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515217)

Quote: How best to balance the content vs. performance tradeoffs? Please define "content". I don't think ads is "content".

content vs. performance (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515237)

Since when is an advertisement considered content ( to us regular folk, not the media giants that care more about the ad then the story, and often the story IS an ad )

Simple Text inserts (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515421)

without any javascript or whatsoever. just some plain formatted html coming from the 3rd party. thats the deal.

Not shocking at all... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515503)

Almost any time I visit a website and the website is slow to load, I can be sure to look in the status bar of my browser and see that it's trying to get data from one of the advertising websites. Ad networks are almost ALWAYS the bottleneck. Sure, once in a while it's a massive site or poorly designed... but mostly, it's just stupid ads taking the time.

My favorite annoyance (1)

British (51765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515579)

..is when you go to a site, and visually, everything appears to be fine. Everything looks loaded up wonderfully, and you can use it as you please. However, firefox on its tab still perpetually says "Loading.....". I know it's ad-related. I just hit Stop and go along my way. Myspace is one of the worst offenders. guess they need more bandwidth to http://ads-featuring-gangsta-rappers.myspace.com./ [ads-featur...yspace.com]

How to load 3rd party content and still load fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28515599)

At my previous employer I devised a pretty simple hack for this. A 3rd party was slowing down our page loads so I moved their content to the bottom of the page. Where the original banners were placed I put a few empty placeholder DIVs. The content was being loaded by a SCRIPT tag so after each script tag I copied the innerHTML up into the placeholder DIV. Simple as that and it worked like a charm. The ads would show up whenever the 3rd party got them back to us and our page loaded nice and quickly.

I suggest using iframes (1)

martin_dk (1368035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28515715)

When writing your HTML, just put your ads in iframes. Each iframe loads an ad, and your site always loads fast regardsless of lazy adservers. On top you get the ads seperated from your content from a domaine or DOM point of view.

  • Your site: www.mydomain.com
  • Your serverside ad script is the source of the iframe: www.ads.mydomain.com?adId=123
  • The adscript serves whatever kind of ad-technology ie. .swf/.js/.jpg/...
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