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Our Apologies For the Very Annoying Ads You’ve Seen on our Site

Posted by admin on September 17, 2012

First, let me say the buck stops here and we apologize for the very annoying ads that have been running on some parts of the site over the last 4-5 days. The pages load and then a minute or two later you are blasted with audio that can't be muted. Very annoying. We've taken all of the steps we can to get them taken down short of foregoing all ad revenue. If you want to understand why this happens, please continue reading.

About 75% of our revenue comes from display (i.e. graphical banner) ads. We don't sell any ads ourselves and contract with USAT Sports Media who sells ads that we run and also handles the relationships with remnant ad sellers.

When you come to a page we ping an ad server that first looks for an ad sold by USAT Sports Media and if none has been sold, then moves through progressive layers of potential remnant ads looking for the highest grossing ad for us. This might involve 5 or more different ad providers all of whom are serving ads in an automated way.

What happened last week is that one of the vendors either through incompetence or malice did not properly have the sound settings set properly for some of their flash ads, so it would have a video running for a bit and then after a minute or two the badly designed ad would come up blaring out of your speakers.

USAT has assured me they are removing this remnant from the rotation until the issue is fixed, so I'm hoping the problem is fixed.

A note about economics, we make about one-twentieth of a penny when a user is served one of those ads, so we would never on purpose do something that caused $20 of annoyance to a user. We do, as best we are able, to keep our ads quiet and non-intrusive.

At some point, we may sell ad-free access. We've got to get some infrastructure built to handle that, but it may get done at some point. If you don't like ads I hope you'll consider supporting the site in this way.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012 at 2:37 pm and is filed under Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire10d, expire7d, Hockey-Reference.com, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

19 Responses to “Our Apologies For the Very Annoying Ads You’ve Seen on our Site”

  1. I would certainly pay for premium, ad-free access to the site. I've done that for other sites I use frequently and I certainly would for this content as well.

  2. You may hate me for saying this, but I use Firefox with the adblock add-on, and I was not even aware there are banner ads. All I see are the sponsored pages.

    And yes, I would pay for ad-free content on this site. Have you considered a package that includes the play index in the same transaction?

  3. Do you get additional revenue if a reader clicks on an ad?

  4. For those of us who are not wealthy, advertisements are only a minor bother in exchange for the wealth of free knowledge available on the web!

  5. I didn't notice the annoying ad and I go on your site a lot. If it's just noise, I guess you can always turn off the sound on your computer.

  6. I always keep the sound on my computer turned off unless there's something specific I want to listen to. That way, noisy ads, which I hate, do not bother me.

  7. People still use browsers that don't allow them to block ads?

  8. FRANKLY ANYBODY THAT USES THESE AD BLOCKERS HURTS THE WEBSITE EVEN MORE.....IF YOU USE THIS WEBSITE MORE THAN TWICE PER DAY AT THE VERY LEAST YOU SHOULD CLICK ON ONE AD EVEN IF YOU CHOOSE TO CLOSE IT RIGHT AWAY AS THE SITE GETS MORE MONEY WHEN USERS CLICK ON ADS EVEN IF THEY DON'T PURCHASE ANYTHING ON THE EXTERNAL WEBSITE.....SO DROP THE AD BLOCKERS.....YOU AREN'T IMPATIENT ENOUGH TO CLICK ON ONE DAMN AD TO HELP OUT THIS WEBSITE.

  9. Thanks for the post guys, I wish that more sites were as transparent and user-friendly as the SR sites are

  10. INGY, THANKS FOR THE GREAT ADVICE....BEFORE I READ YOUR COMMENT I USED TO USE A MIXTURE OF CAPITAL LETTERS AND LOWER CASE BUT NOW I ONLY USE CAPITALS BECAUSE YOU ARE THE MAN....THANKS BUNCHES, PAL

  11. Thanks for addressing it publicly, Sean.

    I'm looking forward to when I can pay for ad-free access. :)

  12. Gordon, that was friggin' hilarious, I'm still laughing out loud.

  13. INGY, A LOT OF THESE CLICK ADS LEAD TO SITES WITH MALWARE. WHY WOULD WE WANT TO DO THAT? I'M NOT YELLING

  14. You guys have created and work an outstanding site here. We also all appreciate the fact that you are not greedy. This is a rare gift, in these times. Some of us are not wealthy or are living off pensions and I would like to know if you get more revenue if we click on the ads? If so, I will start lookig at thes ads.

    Thanks for feeding all of our addictions for baseball stats!
    Peter, Copenhagen Denmark.

  15. Sean, et. al.:

    Thanks for the update and the honesty. My tablet slows down a lot when ads with video and/or audio get loaded, even if the sound is turned off. I appreciate the fact that you, in conjunction with USAT are aware of and working to correct this annoying issue.

    As to ad-free 'premium' access, I am intrigued -- I am conceptually willing to pay for quality, ad-free content (and b-r certainly qualifies as quality), and I do so with some sites that I frequent for work, etc. But I don't have nearly as much time as I'd like to "play" with b-r and baseball stats in general; real life keeps intruding on my "me-time". Would you consider a tiered-access approach, where heavy users pay a higher fee for unlimited access and occasional users (like myself) could pay a smaller fee for access with a quota? After the quota is reached, the user would have the option of upgrading his/her plan, or just living with the ads until the next cycle (month, quarter, season, or whatever). I would certainly go for that...

    KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! (And yes, INGY, I'm shouting!)

    p.s. As a trainer of I.T. professionals, many of whom rely on employment from ad-supported websites, I do not condone the use of ad-blocking software or browsers and therefore do not enable those features on machines that I use. Still, it's not illegal (unlikedownloading those copyrighted mp3's and movies that many of you have sitting on your hard drives...)

  16. Having been without a computer for some months (my old one went blooey), I was out of touch with Baseball Reference and thus was unaware that my sponsorships had expired and that one of them---Allie Reynolds---had been snatched up. However, I want to renew my sponsorship of the pages of Eddie Lopat and Vic Raschi, and I want to know how to proceed. Now that I have another computer, one that works...Could you e-mail me at the address I have given? I would certainly appreciate it.

  17. It would take a LOT more than an occasional blaring ad to keep me from coming to this site. Absolutely the best basketball research website on the web.

    Heck if I stopped going to sites with annoying blaring ads, I'd have to cancel my internet service.

  18. Walt Siglock Says:

    I have been a frequent visitor now for years and I remember you had a game site that you could i.e. pit the 22 Browns against the 39 Yankees. Is it still avaiable? Very enjoyable.

    Walt Siglock

  19. If your site needs ads all the best to you. I'm looking for NFL stats on games won by 1 pt to 6pts, 7 to 12pts, in the years 2010 and 2011 is this possible if not where could i find this info? thanks.

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