Don’t know about the rest of you, but recently I’ve noticed that more and more of the screen real estate of the Yahoo landing page that I use on my computers and laptops is commercially sponsored posts that are designed to look like “real” news.  And some of it is even “targeted” material that is selected just for me.

I guess that I am tiring of the fine print that says “Ad Choices” or even more the lighter gray fine print that says “sponsored”.  Most of this stuff is located in the middle of the page among other newsworthy posts.  I’d rather that it lived on the right column with the rest of the advertising text boxes, but no such luck these days.

And then there’s the Google landing page that has nothing but Google’s cool graphic and a box for your search.  So, just for giggles, I checked out a number of popular landing pages:

Bing – cute graphic with a number of news article thumbnails but no sponsored ads immediately visible.

MSNBC – news articles and no obvious sponsored ads, but a pop-up that woke up Mozilla’s pop-up dailogue.

Aol – “Ad Choices” in the top right column box right where I would expect it to be.  And an abundance of real news and well designed selection boxes that name the news sources – Huggington Post, Sports Illustrated, People, etc.

abcnews.com – A mix of news articles, sponsored content and right column “Ad Choices” text boxes.

nbcnews.com – Pictures and videos with a responsive design and an upper lift-hand cornehr ad with “advertisement” fine print

cbsnews.com – no visible embedded ads or sponsored “fake” articles.  Just news, news, news, which is what we would expect from CBS, right?

Seems like this problem is a Yahoo problem rather than and industry practice.  Guess its time to change.

Colin MacKinnon – Transition IT