People are very good at avoiding ads, especially those who know that they are ads. Usually, I see pop ads on less popular websites. And I also think people who are not very much internet literate visit those sites, increasing chances of clicking those ads. But it is very annoying for the users. Why don't the website owners opt for other strategies for advertising. Eventually, new users would click at most once or twice and they will start ignoring. In fact those sites are risking of not having the users visit their sites again.

So, why do websites still use it ? If you could briefly explain why were they actually started, that would be great.

  • I apologize as this question got inclined towards marketing strategies, rather than UX. But, I believe the research required in regards with user behavior still has something to with UX.
    – azam
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:00

5 Answers 5


Already DasBeasto has put a good answer. I am just adding a couple of cents for the motive. The motive is clear, Money. But it not always that the sites are less popular or less used.

There are certain sites which are sure of their audience. They are sure that the content they are offering has carved a niche place for them to take user for a ride. The examples can range from Torrents to Porn.

Ethan Zuckerman worked for the webpage hosting site Tripod.com from 1994 to 1999, when it was struggling to develop a revenue model. "Along the way," he writes in The Atlantic this week, "we ended up creating one of the most hated tools in the advertiser's toolkit: the pop-up ad." - An Article in CNN Money

No one advocates such intrusive add placement. However, even while coming up with a design strategy, there are user goals and there are business goals. The more confident business is about their audience the more obtrusive the ads can get. This naturally does not apply to matured brands which can get affected by bad PR.


One thing to note about ads is, in general, they are worth more the bigger they are. A website can have a 200px x 200px in the sidebar and be less annoying or they can put a giant 600px x 600px ad popover on the screen and it will generate more money for the website.

The second thing to consider is many ads generate revenue just on impressions, meaning the ad simply appeared on someones screen. This means even though the user gets annoyed and ignores it or clicks out of it the money has already been earned.

Finally, screen real estate is valuable and designing around an ad is hard. It is simply easier for a website to popup an ad in the middle of the screen and leave that extra spot in the sidebar for a link to another one of their articles.

In the end it is really a case of the website not caring about the user experience and wanting to generate as much money as possible, that's why you typically see it on less popular websites.


You have said it in your question itself. Internet literate people use such kind of websites less. The primary motive of such websites will be money alone.


They don't expect much comeback rates for the particular app. Many of those sites are not designed by experts or not as a service. The primary motive is to make some quick money and the audience who use such apps use it once or twice and don't really care about the UI/UX. You can find plenty of small android apps which does this.

The click bait

The designer expects the fact that user will not use the particular site on everyday basis. A popup ad can bring you more money , and is easily clicked unintentionally. Popup can happen in the most unexpected screens forcing a click by mistake and create some revenue.


Money. Publishers just want money.

People who own websites and people who put ads on it are different people (and people who actually pay for ads are third). Advertising networks became very huge and pay a lot of money to "publishers". It is very tempting.

  • So, the question is directed towards the people who put ads on the websites. Why are they still doing it ?
    – azam
    Jan 18, 2016 at 11:32

From Mobile App perspective, it seems like, Ads are used concisely to create two income streams. i.e two versions of the app are created, the free one is filled with ads and the paid one which ad free.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.