No, I Don't Want To Click For More Pages

from the keep-it-simple dept

Over at The Inquirer, they've picked up on a pet peeve found on many news websites that is becoming way too common: splitting a news story up into multiple pages with just a tiny bit of content on each page (but, tons of ads). There's absolutely no reason to do this other than to try to artificially boost your ad inventory. It's a nuisance to users, and guarantees that plenty won't actually finish reading the story they started. A very few sites (the NY Times comes to mind) does offer a "single page view," but most don't. On many sites you can fake it with the "print story" link, but not all have that, and some make it very difficult to link to the print story site. Obviously, trying to increase ad impressions makes sense, but the way to do it is with good content, not by pissing off your readers. Pissing off your readers can lead to the opposite result. In fact, there are times when we'll go searching for other versions of a story that don't make us jump through hoops -- so, splitting up stories to get more impressions can sometimes mean that sites like ours will drive less traffic to your stories.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    z0idberg, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 3:50am

    another reason?

    I noticed this when the online paper I usually read (smh.com.au) started doing it.

    I figured they might be doing it to see which articles are being read in full and which are just being started to be read and then not read in full. i.e. which articles readers find interesting enough to read in full.

    This could be valuable information to the papers editors.

    Or maybe it is just for more ad revenue. perhaps both?

     

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  2.  
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    Larry, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 4:15am

    I totally agree

    I have noticed this trend lately, and I am sick of it already!

    I block almost all ads, but having to (find and then) click the "next" button 7 times to read an article about a hard drive is ludicrous!

     

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  3.  
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    Galley, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 4:22am

    old news

    Sites have been doing this for as long as I can remember, but I agree, it's annoying as crap. Opera's "fast forward" feature makes is slightly less annoying.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 5:23am

    No Subject Given

    There's a Firefox extension called Anti-Pagination that will expand artificially shortened pages. A simple right-click is all it takes. It works great. I'm too lazy to find the link for it. Just google for it.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Adam, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 5:54am

    No Subject Given

    What I hate most are the sites such as news.com, which not only break up an article into multiple pages, but do it in the MIDDLE OF A SENTENCE. I think I've even seen them put the split in the middle of a hyphenated word before. It's not like there's some paper-size limit that forces them to do that, and the pages are so overloaded with ads and applets that by the time the next one actually generates I've forgotten the first half of the story.

     

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  6.  
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    Mousky, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 6:21am

    No Subject Given

    Well, most newspapers already do this with their paper versions. I guess they figure that readers will put up with it online.

     

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  7.  
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    Dam, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 8:13am

    Dinosaurs In The City Room

    When it comes to newspaper sites, they are some of the worst, although the TV news sites are a close second.
    Newspapers are insuring their own demise, and I won't get into the politics of it. But, it seems that many of the people working in print these days are not the top of the class. Misspelled words, factual errors - name it and they've done it. Web pages are just too technical for that mindset to grasp.

     

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  8.  
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    Robert, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 9:09am

    No Subject Given

    IGN does this crap and they are owned by News Corp, no suprize. They may be the bigest gaming website... f that. Why deal with a clunky site with in your face ads when you can go to a newsblog with rss like techdirt?

     

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  9.  
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    Bob, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 9:13am

    Who cares

    I don't mind, my firewall has an option to strip the ads out anyway.

    Thousands of news sites report the same story. Users will simply flock to the sites that are the least cumbersome to deal with, those sites with the most ads eventually dying off.

    Pick a site you like and stick with it. If it starts to irritate you, then move on to another, there's plenty out there to choose from.

     

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  10.  
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    dan mayer, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 9:25am

    Re: I totally agree

    if your reading the content on the news papers, shouldnt you be seeing the ads at least... I mean that is kinda a shitty deal i will suck down a bunch of bandwidth, but if their are ads to support it screw that. i never really cared about using even a pop up blocker because i dont visit sites with pop ups... if i do, it was pretty much a mistake.

    Some places ads are wrong and annoying, but just in a regular news story should be fine... as for the splitting up the ads on 5 pages, the advertisers should be the angry ones because they are devaluing the ads and making them more annoying to users. I would rather place my ads on one good page instead of 5 crappy tiny ones.

     

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  11.  
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    kingmanor, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 9:27am

    Re: another reason?

    Drudge purposely links to the Print Only version of any article when he can, and it pisses me off to no end. its really a pain to read on a wide monitor.

    I really dont mind splitting articles if they are long, but splitting short articles is stupid. The Weblogs, Inc., crew (Engadget, Joystiq, et al...) does this all the time. The entire blog entry will be 2 paragraphs, the second para hidden behind the permalink, and its 2 sentences long. ABCNews.com and WeeklyStandard.com split articles, but at a certain length, not in the middle. This results in 90% of the article on page 1 and 3 sentences on page 2.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Patriot, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 2:35pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Well, most newspapers already do this with their paper versions. I guess they figure that readers will put up with it online.
    Most newspapers are noticing dwindling circulation in their paper versions, I guess they figure it would be good for on-line too.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Greg Andrew, Jan 3rd, 2006 @ 6:47pm

    No Subject Given



    Sites that require registration should "reward" those who sign up with the ability to default to a single-page view of articles.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    rxc squirrel, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 11:45am

    Robert Cringley has a good analysis of why this sh

    I don't like the idea that there would be more advertising delivered in any form anywhere. Robert Cringley analyzed this quite well in his 12/29 blog entry on pbs.org. The fact is that if you do the math, the business model that most advertising media rely on will not work on the internet precisely because it does not deliver as much product to eyeballs.

    After reading his column, I dont think I mind the idea as long as there are things such as adblock and I control the access to the data (in other words I use my browser with my plugins, not some downloaded abomination). It is certainly something that has to be there for the business model to work, and the alternative is not people doing things on the web for free, but rather nothing at all.

    Just as long as a way to manage the ad stream or block it exists that I control, i do not mind it. The real problem one should complain about is the now universal practice of smearing the bottom 10 to 20 % of the tv on cable with ads for stupid upcoming programs, and products, and the blatant and stupid product placements in movies. That is really much worse than a page full of paper ads in a newspaper you can read around, or a web site with ads you can use adblock on.

     

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