Mouseover Pop Up Ads: Neutral or Evil?

By Deane Barker on December 15, 2005

What do you all think of ads like in the image above?

On the one hand they’re less intrusive than standard ads, since they don’t show up unless you mouseover. On the other than, they’re right in the text you’re trying to read, so you can’t not run your eye over them.

Just asking. I have a company courting me on these things. The revenue potential looks pretty good, but I’m gun shy about the format.



  1. They’re all evil (grin) – but in practical terms, it gets it off the screen and only shows up if you mouse over the link text. Unless you’re one of those gimps that reads by following the words in the text with your pointer, they’re as good as not there at all, and an invisible ad is better than a visible ad to me.

  2. Most of these that I’ve seen distinguish the links with different stylings (like double underlines), which makes them tolerable (for me, at least). You just learn to not mouseover those links unless you’re really interested in what might be there (although I’ll admit to mousing over some of them just because I was curious as to what they were linked to).

    IMO: Not evil, because this technique gets them out of the main flow of the page and requires you to be interested to even see them.

  3. Being a grimp that has the habit of moving my mouse down the page as I read (not for each word, thanks) I can’t stand the pop ups. The web already contributes to my ADD while reading, I don’t need any more distractions :P

  4. I habitually want to click links if they are in the text of what I’m reading and also frequently highlight text as I read it (a weird habit I know.) As such, I lothe these ad types. Things off to the side I can ignore, or even a large graphic add between content (like most newspapers do) can get phased out pretty easy.

    But when you mess with the text I’m reading, you’re entering a world of pain.

  5. The “mouse over” ads indicate to me that the site is very commercialized. The more commercialized a site is (or presents itself to be), the less likely I am to spend any time on it or go back to it.

    I WOULD LIKE the mouse-over effect if it offered me something useful (such as a non-commercial definition of the term that’s moused over)

    I do appreciate that the words are underlined (usually double-underlined), to tell me that it’s a mouse-over term.

    Unfortunately, advertising is a necessary evil of almost any media. I find the least intrusive form of web-advertising, and that which I’m most likely to read, is in my RSS reader (the snippets between entries) and Google’s method.

    My two cents . . .

  6. Anything is better than pop ups. I actually don’t mind them. And to be honest,I’m more likely to click on one of these ads because the ads seem relevant.

  7. I use these guys on my network , great money and my users did not find this intrusive at all did not get complaints….. .

  8. The People who hate everything that show advertisements will always be there , they just don’t understand that maintaining a web site costs money and is our income, If they don’t like it they can ignore it or go to free sites which don’t need money to maintain themselves if there are any that haven’t gone banckrupt…

  9. I find them mildly annoying if I drag my cursor across the screen and accidently hit them, but we’ve all got to make a living, I guess.

    They do make a site look heavily commercialised, don’t know if that’s a particularly big thing, tho’.

    Also, important to make sure it is clearly distinct from a link, so people don’t click on them hoping to go somewhere useful.

  10. Well, here’s the thing —

    I told the advertising company about this post, and invited them to watch the comments. They have correctly pointed out that the comments aren’t that bad. Some people complained, some didn’t mind, but the input I have from everyone is decidedly neutral.

    I’m willing to give it a shot on a couple of posts to start with. When they go live, I’ll point the posts out to everyone, and you can tell me what you think.

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