Evangelists, Focus on Standard Ad Code
Post from January 7, 2007 (↻ June 12, 2021), filed under Web Development.
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Here’s ad code of a kind I see way too often:
It’s the code, uncensored except for “SNIP,” we used to receive from ad partners. To ensure quality, we had (and my former colleagues probably still have) to rework every ad that came to us. It made all our attempts harder to output valid code.
This ad code mess needs to stop. While at GMX we tried to talk to ad companies to use standards-compliant code, nobody seems to talk about this important aspect in public. Monetized websites take it easy and use the code they receive from advertising partners, like DoubleClick or Falk. That code sucks. It’s one of the brakes in the process of getting larger sites to use higher quality code, and join the web standards cause.
I don’t want to mention Google here. Although sophisticated in certain applications, their frontend code is bad much of the time. Hopefully, Ian and Co. bring change; my suggestions to get Google’s AdSense code fixed didn’t go anywhere.
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering manager and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to the W3C and the WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. Other than that, I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
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It will be a tall order to say the least getting any of those companies to even consider creating something remotely clean. There are very few advertisement inclusion companies that seem to have anything even remotely resembling non-proprietary HTML.
It doesn’t score well on the accessibility side either anyway good luck with trying to “convert” them.
We have a problem in Opera, where flash ads served by doubleclick are sometimes displayed twice when plug-ins are not available (such as devices and phones) or switched off. I’m in the process of getting a DoubleClick contact, so I’ll bring this issue up with them as well. I can’t promise anything, but well try to get them to use more valid code.
Chief Web Opener, Opera Software
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