[ads removed]Whats with fastclick distorting the links?

Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2003 05:44 pm
I didnt actually know whether to put this in "computers" or in this category, because I dont know whether the bug's got to do with A2K or with sthing on my computer.

Every so often - not always, but often enough to be really annoying - I click a link in someone's post (sometimes even in my own post) - and the page that pops open says (in translation), "Cant find server - this page can not be shown". No wonder, because the URL seems to have grown a prefix. For example, I just clicked a link given by PDiddie as http://www.indian-express.com/full_story.php?content_id=30721, but the page that opened had media.fastclick.net/w/get.media?sid=11529&m=5&url=http%3A//www.indian-express.com/full_story.php%3Fcontent_id%3D30721 in its address bar. And of course thats gonna give a 404, cause no such page exists, right?

The bewildering thing is that not just does this only happen with some links - it'll even happen or not happen with the same link on two consecutive tries!

Its always the same bit that gets pre-fixed: http://media.fastclick.net/ etc. Is it to do with A2K? Or do I have some adware on my computer ('s been a while that I last ran ad-aware). Or something else still?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2003 06:06 pm
Fastclick is an Able2Know advertiser. The page with the appended link does not exist. But neither does the page:


That is the URL for this thread. The only page that really exists as a file is "viewtopic.php".

So basically that is an example of variable being passed to a dynamic code through the URL.

In the case of all the threads here the information about which topic, post, page or even what words to highlight are passed through the browser.

In the case of Fastclick it is an intersital. That URL displays an advertisement for 10 seconds (it gives the option to click a link and skip it) before redirecting to the target link and the target link is the variable being passed to the fastclick link.

So it's nothing on your computer. It's simply a variable (the external URL) being passed to a redirection url. It's done through Javascript and is not on your end.

In what you describe something must have gone wrong and there was a point of failure (probably in the redirect).

This whole intersital thing makes about 40 cents a day and sounds like a pain in the butt. It doubles the possible points of failure for a webpage because in addition to the original page being offline if the redirection URL fails the page fails to load as well,

So I'll remove it in a few minutes. It certainly isn't worth 40 cents a day and was more fun to play with on a technical level than it was valuable as a advertising medium. In the future I will be using a similar technique to allow members to rank the offsite links and possibly comment on them as well.

I'll be reducing the prevalence of the other image based advertisements as well from the forums.

I gave them a trial and I think the Google ads are much more discreet and worthwhile.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2003 06:15 pm
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Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2003 06:22 pm
thanks for removing that thing.

i had guessed it was something to do with ads - but a something that didnt work, in any case. i must confess i'd been coming up against this for eons, but was too lazy to start a thread about it (also b/c i half suspected it'd probably b/c of something on this end).

those google ads actually pay? i always assumed it was more of like a service feature. they're cool.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2003 06:47 pm
I edited your post and changed the link from a live link to simple text as it is an ad tracking URL and letting people click on it would be cheating on my part (unfair to the advertiser to pay for fake clicks).
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Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2003 07:37 am
nimh wrote:
...those google ads actually pay?...

Heck, yeah.
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