Something I noticed the "big boys" do that us small guys don't

36 replies
One thing I've noticed that many of the major news or gossip websites tend to do is split up content into multi-page chunks of material, instead of putting all the content onto a single page which would actually make it easier to view for the reader.

One example of this that I was just randomly reading were these pages on AskMen:
Top 10: Ways Men Have Brainwashed Women - AskMen
Top 10: Ways Women Have Brainwashed Men - AskMen

(Not trying to start a man vs woman debate here, btw :rolleyes

I believe they create content like this on purpose in order to maximize advertisement pageviews. This could be very important if they sell ads based on pay per view instead of pay per click.

Anyways, I've never really noticed small websites run by solo entrepreneurs to split up content like this... even though doing so makes a lot of sense from a financial perspective.

Maybe us website creators should start producing content that fits this method? After all, if all the big boys do it (I've noticed it on dozens of big websites), then surely it must work well?
#big boys #guys #noticed #small
  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Websites like that piss me off. Poor user experience. I hate clicking multiple times to read the full article.
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    • Profile picture of the author James Gould
      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      Websites like that piss me off. Poor user experience. I hate clicking multiple times to read the full article.
      Something to take from this is that you do carry on reading. Regardless of the user experience, you'll still voluntarily click through several (usually 3/4) pages to read the full article and giving them 4 times the amount of pageviews and 4 times to chance of you clicking on an ad than a single post.

      If the content is something that the reader really wants to read, they won't mind clicking through 4 pages to read the full article.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sirr
        Originally Posted by Jamie Gould View Post

        Something to take from this is that you do carry on reading. Regardless of the user experience, you'll still voluntarily click through several (usually 3/4) pages to read the full article and giving them 4 times the amount of pageviews and 4 times to chance of you clicking on an ad than a single post.

        If the content is something that the reader really wants to read, they won't mind clicking through 4 pages to read the full article.
        I don't though. I will just leave and find the article elsewhere. Usually I arrive at these sites from Google during a keyword search so I just press back.

        You'd be surprised at how many people scan to the bottom of the page before reading an article to make sure it's a complete article. I do this all the time. Incomplete articles, or articles that look like their 400 words long, or articles that span pages, I just ignore the entire site and find another.
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        • Profile picture of the author TCurtis
          Originally Posted by Sirr View Post

          I don't though. I will just leave and find the article elsewhere. Usually I arrive at these sites from Google during a keyword search so I just press back.

          You'd be surprised at how many people scan to the bottom of the page before reading an article to make sure it's a complete article. I do this all the time. Incomplete articles, or articles that look like their 400 words long, or articles that span pages, I just ignore the entire site and find another.
          I do the same. Nothing like having to leave the page for more info only to find out they are selling something else.
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        • Profile picture of the author tonylogan
          This strategy is not for every site. Some websites will benefit on this, like gossip websites where people like to see more pics and less content.

          This will need a good UX study to make sure it works.
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          • Profile picture of the author Sirr
            Originally Posted by tonylogan View Post

            This strategy is not for every site. Some websites will benefit on this, like gossip websites where people like to see more pics and less content.

            This will need a good UX study to make sure it works.
            Benefit? How can it possibly be a benefit for the user or their experience? Nobody enjoys having to click to another page to read the rest of their article. It can never be good for user experience no matter how much studying you do.
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            • Profile picture of the author dmister
              This is one of my pet hates. I really dislike having to click through multiple pages with little content on each - I have started just skipping to the last page using the URL and sometimes just exit quickly.

              It will increase page views though but I could not bring myself to disrespect and annoy my readers like this!
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              • Profile picture of the author infoway
                Originally Posted by dmister View Post

                This is one of my pet hates. I really dislike having to click through multiple pages with little content on each - I have started just skipping to the last page using the URL and sometimes just exit quickly.

                It will increase page views though but I could not bring myself to disrespect and annoy my readers like this!
                Absolutely correct! I too agree with your points. Big websites with high credibility and carrying higher weightage often maintains this kind of strategies for maintenance of their sponsored ad page.
                I really get bored and annoyed after clicking multiple pages for reading same article.
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            • Profile picture of the author tonylogan
              Originally Posted by Sirr View Post

              Benefit? How can it possibly be a benefit for the user or their experience? Nobody enjoys having to click to another page to read the rest of their article. It can never be good for user experience no matter how much studying you do.
              Sorry, but you are saying this based on your experience. I feel the same way you. I hate it. But I'm usually reading articles on different kinf of websites.

              I'm not an UX or Usability expert but I work close to this guys and I already saw things that I couldn't believe they were doing based on research and tools they were using it.

              By the way is nice to see this guys working, their ideas and the tools they have it. A nice one is: Online Usability Testing and User Experience Research
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              • Profile picture of the author Sirr
                Originally Posted by tonylogan View Post

                Sorry, but you are saying this based on your experience. I feel the same way you. I hate it. But I'm usually reading articles on different kinf of websites.

                I'm not an UX or Usability expert but I work close to this guys and I already saw things that I couldn't believe they were doing based on research and tools they were using it.

                By the way is nice to see this guys working, their ideas and the tools they have it. A nice one is: Online Usability Testing and User Experience Research
                Hi Tony,

                I work in web design and development. We have to do UX testing and analysis for every project we work on so I am very familiar with UX research. I've yet to come across research that shows spanning content over multiple pages for the sake of advertising and revenue is beneficial and is a positive attribute to the users experience.
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                • Profile picture of the author tonylogan
                  This strategy is not for every site. Some websites will benefit on this, like gossip websites where people like to see more pics and less content.

                  This will need a good UX study to make sure it works.
                  Hey Sirr,

                  Sorry but I think I was not clear on what I said.

                  If you read my answer again you will see I never said is beneficial or a positive attribute to the users experience.

                  I also said "Some websites will benefit on this".

                  Again I'm not saying the user will benefit.

                  I only mentioned UX, because this guys need to make sure the website does not break the line to focus only on renevue...

                  Correct if I'm wrong.



                  Originally Posted by Sirr View Post

                  Hi Tony,

                  I work in web design and development. We have to do UX testing and analysis for every project we work on so I am very familiar with UX research. I've yet to come across research that shows spanning content over multiple pages for the sake of advertising and revenue is beneficial and is a positive attribute to the users experience.
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      • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
        Originally Posted by Jamie Gould View Post

        Something to take from this is that you do carry on reading. Regardless of the user experience, you'll still voluntarily click through several (usually 3/4) pages to read the full article and giving them 4 times the amount of pageviews and 4 times to chance of you clicking on an ad than a single post.

        If the content is something that the reader really wants to read, they won't mind clicking through 4 pages to read the full article.
        A lot of time I won't continue reading and give up after a page or 2 at most as it pisses me off waiting for the next page to load and the amount of adverts usually contained on them annoys me.
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      • Profile picture of the author Plugin Profits
        It's so they could put interstitial ads in between the next content on the list.

        Interstitials / Interstitial Advertising | Gourmet Ads

        All the magazine websites do this! They make a lot more money selling these interstitial ad spots than what they charge for banner ads cause of they're visibility and the viewer not being able to ignore them! They have to click on the next page or close tab to get rid of them.

        As a reader I find them highly annoying, both having to click and wait for these mega heavy mega slow websites to reload a new page, then having to get past the ads. Every time they say some number "14 tips on applying eyeliner" or something like that, the very last one is always only an ad not a tip! Very deceptive, getting people looking for the last one!

        Though obviously they work for them and enough people accept it to get the content. It's like video and everything else, if people want the free content they'll put up with having to see ads and it being more of a hassle.

        I also really can't stand the short video clips that are only like 1 minute long and yet still have a 30 second or longer ad! So half the amount of time is viewing an ad only to get 60 seconds of content! The ad length should be proportional to the length of the content. Though again they get away with it and have all these people watching tons of ads to view all the short broken up clips!

        If you care a lot about user experience then don't do those things. Though if you only care about what would give you the most profit and people would put up with for the content in exchange, then do those kinds of things!

        In many ways, you're providing valuable free content, so expecting something in return from your visitors is not actually unfair. You're not totally doing it for free for them! You're doing it in exchange for them to view ads and hopefully click on them etc. So it's an exchange system. Though make sure your content is good!
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        • Profile picture of the author DeanSoto
          Nobody likes this at all, in the reason the big boys do this is because they have no clue. In real Internet marketing you definitely want to keep things simple and have one goal for all of your pages. Maybe you want people to read your blog post, subscribe to your e-mail newsletter, or whatever, but you never want to do this stupid pagination thing. Yes, they can get away with it because they're bigger than most others, but if they were smart about it they would find a better way to get views on their advertising.
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        • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
          Originally Posted by Plugin Profits View Post

          In many ways, you're providing valuable free content, so expecting something in return from your visitors is not actually unfair. You're not totally doing it for free for them! You're doing it in exchange for them to view ads and hopefully click on them etc. So it's an exchange system. Though make sure your content is good!
          This definitely sums up my opinion on the matter.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sirr
          Originally Posted by Plugin Profits View Post

          In many ways, you're providing valuable free content, so expecting something in return from your visitors is not actually unfair. You're not totally doing it for free for them! You're doing it in exchange for them to view ads and hopefully click on them etc. So it's an exchange system. Though make sure your content is good!
          This statement is only true in situations where the user is expecting to give something in return for content; such as opt-ins, site registration etc. When a user goes to a site for news, or gossip, their not expecting to give something in return for information they can get elsewhere without the hassle.
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          • Profile picture of the author Plugin Profits
            Originally Posted by Sirr View Post

            This statement is only true in situations where the user is expecting to give something in return for content; such as opt-ins, site registration etc. When a user goes to a site for news, or gossip, their not expecting to give something in return for information they can get elsewhere without the hassle.
            Now days viewers expect to see or hear ads in exchange for content!

            I highly doubt you'd find anyone who would expect to be able to go to any free content site, read any magazine (even all paid ones), listen to any free radio, watch any free TV station, any Free Mobile App, etc etc etc without having to put up with the hassle of ads! Can't even search Google without ads.

            Of course if people actually have the choice they would block all ads everywhere! Though then there wouldn't be any incentive or ability for content providers to provide free content and the viewers would have to pay a premium for the content instead.

            So yes, viewers EXPECT to put up with advertising everywhere in exchange for the free content or free things they want. They know that's the price of 'free'.

            I remember when banner ads used to constantly get bashed for being so bad for viewers experience and how much they couldn't stand banners! Now they are as accepted and expected as other ads and just as ignored.

            Of course viewers never like ads! As a viewer we would choose to ban them all, no tv ads, no radio, no banners, no pop ups, no video ads etc. And they are always the most opposed when something used to be ad free and then you have to start putting up with ads later or more ads. Like when YouTube starting adding ads, Facebook with their annoying sponsored posts!

            It's always going to have to be a Balance between:

            User Experience
            Advertiser and Content Providers Bottom Lines
            Competition

            Of course competition is going to play a part in what viewers will give and put up with in exchange for what they want. IF they could get the SAME information elsewhere without a hassle then of course they will.

            I could never stand watching tv and 40% of the minutes watched would be ads. So I'd wait for it to come out on Hulu and watch it with my Ad block extension in place! Ad blockers are great, pop up blockers are great! (for viewers, not for advertisers).

            Though then when people can't avoid ads cause everyone with the info they want starts doing the same things, that becomes a non issue. If a website that was as popular as AskMen with the same type of content and so was a true competitor of theirs, offered very similair content with a better user experience and less ads, they'd probably steal a lot of traffic away from AskMen. Though it has to be true competition.

            That's why in your own space you have to look around at your own competitors that are offering similair content as you that your viewers could go to instead. These huge magazine sites we are not competitors of even if our user experience is 1000x better with no ads at all! They'll still draw the huge audience even with their ads and hassles cause of them being known, their reputation, size and value of content, credibility, etc etc etc.

            So since this method is only the norm in the huge content sites only ATM, little sites and blogs probably would lose viewers who could find similair blogs without such an annoying feature! Something to think about!
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            • Profile picture of the author Sirr
              Originally Posted by Plugin Profits View Post

              Now days viewers expect to see or hear ads in exchange for content!

              I highly doubt you'd find anyone who would expect to be able to go to any free content site, read any magazine (even all paid ones), listen to any free radio, watch any free TV station, any Free Mobile App, etc etc etc without having to put up with the hassle of ads! Can't even search Google without ads.

              Of course if people actually have the choice they would block all ads everywhere! Though then there wouldn't be any incentive or ability for content providers to provide free content and the viewers would have to pay a premium for the content instead.

              So yes, viewers EXPECT to put up with advertising everywhere in exchange for the free content or free things they want. They know that's the price of 'free'.

              I remember when banner ads used to constantly get bashed for being so bad for viewers experience and how much they couldn't stand banners! Now they are as accepted and expected as other ads and just as ignored.

              Of course viewers never like ads! As a viewer we would choose to ban them all, no tv ads, no radio, no banners, no pop ups, no video ads etc. And they are always the most opposed when something used to be ad free and then you have to start putting up with ads later or more ads. Like when YouTube starting adding ads, Facebook with their annoying sponsored posts!

              It's always going to have to be a Balance between:

              User Experience
              Advertiser and Content Providers Bottom Lines
              Competition

              Of course competition is going to play a part in what viewers will give and put up with in exchange for what they want. IF they could get the SAME information elsewhere without a hassle then of course they will.

              I could never stand watching tv and 40% of the minutes watched would be ads. So I'd wait for it to come out on Hulu and watch it with my Ad block extension in place! Ad blockers are great, pop up blockers are great! (for viewers, not for advertisers).

              Though then when people can't avoid ads cause everyone with the info they want starts doing the same things, that becomes a non issue. If a website that was as popular as AskMen with the same type of content and so was a true competitor of theirs, offered very similair content with a better user experience and less ads, they'd probably steal a lot of traffic away from AskMen. Though it has to be true competition.

              That's why in your own space you have to look around at your own competitors that are offering similair content as you that your viewers could go to instead. These huge magazine sites we are not competitors of even if our user experience is 1000x better with no ads at all! They'll still draw the huge audience even with their ads and hassles cause of them being known, their reputation, size and value of content, credibility, etc etc etc.

              So since this method is only the norm in the huge content sites only ATM, little sites and blogs probably would lose viewers who could find similair blogs without such an annoying feature! Something to think about!
              In that respect I can see your viewpoint, and it makes sense.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sirr
      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      Websites like that piss me off. Poor user experience. I hate clicking multiple times to read the full article.
      This!

      It's one of the only things on the Internet that actually winds me up. It's even worse when you click the next page and you have to go through a sponsored ad page first!

      Do not do it. As much as it may give you additional revenue ... people hate clicking multiple times just to read one article.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrgoe
      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      Websites like that piss me off. Poor user experience. I hate clicking multiple times to read the full article.
      Poor user experience, but it works very well for webmd too. They do this kind of crap. I was thinking of doing something similar, on a test site just to see if it has any boosts in rankings.

      EDT: Also, I do believe it has something to do with lowering the bounce rate. Imagine that you read 2 phrases, then you must click on the next webpage. So you already have seen 2 pages of content from that website. That means that you didn`t just leave after seeing the first one.
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      • Profile picture of the author Niche Marketer
        IMO this method is only useful if its a high traffic site. I wouldnt do it unless i had a 1k word article from a known professional. Otherwise you bounce rate will bounce up.
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    • Profile picture of the author talfighel
      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      Websites like that piss me off. Poor user experience. I hate clicking multiple times to read the full article.
      I am in the same boat.

      I like to read everything on one page and to be honest, if I have to go to a new page to read the rest of the content, I will guarantee you that I will leave that website very fast.

      That is just annoying for me. Others may like it but I don't.

      This happened to me in the past few days and I did hit the X button very fast.
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  • Profile picture of the author LarryC
    I wouldn't recommend it. Most people find this annoying. The bigger sites may be able to get away with it, because they carry some weight and credibility (whether rightfully so or not). Even so, I often click away when I encounter this. I don't see a smaller site being able to pull this off at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author TCurtis
    I think Google is looking for long content pages that are answering the main point of the blog or post. You can try anything, but I like to read without going to a million pages to get to the point.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sirr
      Originally Posted by TCurtis View Post

      I think Google is looking for long content pages that are answering the main point of the blog or post. You can try anything, but I like to read without going to a million pages to get to the point.
      Google is smart enough to figure out that the next page belongs to the same article. That's why you have next, and previous rel attributes on the link tag in HTML

      Welcome btw. I noticed it's your 4th post TCurtis
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Hugall
    Not really sure why people have a tough time with what others are doing. Things like OTO's part of any marketing model. The whole point of this business is to provide value and drive up profits. If the content is of value who really cares about clicking one more time?

    It's not like you are waiting for the bus. Someone is working to make more money!!! As long as they are not spamming my inbox or breaking rules. Good on them for making the system work for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
    Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post

    Anyways, I've never really noticed small websites run by solo entrepreneurs to split up content like this... even though doing so makes a lot of sense from a financial perspective.

    Maybe us website creators should start producing content that fits this method? After all, if all the big boys do it (I've noticed it on dozens of big websites), then surely it must work well?
    Yea, if only ihad thought of the idea when creating pages like How to design a banner

    Fwiw, I don't think it's an advantage to the user in many cases, especially not extreme cases. But it can be an advantage sometimes - it can help make more readable pages than load quickly, if done well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
      Originally Posted by SunilTanna View Post

      But it can be an advantage sometimes - it can help make more readable pages than load quickly, if done well.
      I agree. Breaking up content definitely makes sense when it helps the pages load faster.

      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      Corporate marketing departments aren't always filled with original thinkers.
      Lol. This is very true.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I would rather read all of the material if it was placed on 1 page... like some blog posts are. But if i wanted the info bad enough... i would click on to the end... sort of how medical websites are.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post

    Maybe us website creators should start producing content that fits this method? After all, if all the big boys do it (I've noticed it on dozens of big websites), then surely it must work well?
    Don't assume that everything a so-called "big site" does is either currently successful or easily translatable to your own business. In many cases, they're just experimenting with various techniques, compiling enough data to evaluate the response. Or they've found a tactic that's working for them in the short term.

    Occasionally, they're simply following what other sites are doing. Corporate marketing departments aren't always filled with original thinkers.

    When I see a site that consistently offers a poor user experience, I just think there's a Google slap waiting to happen, regardless of how popular it might seem to be.

    The best route for a content-oriented site these days is to focus on providing a quality user experience. I disagree with the comment that visitors have to accept all kinds of inconvenience if they want free content. That's an arrogant stance in an age when attention is at a premium.

    No site has a right to expect (or keep) visitors unless it earns it.

    Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinchua91
    Yahoo! news seem to do that too when it comes to photos. Personally, I prefer scrolling up and down rather than clicking. Not my cup of tea...
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyTorrents
    I also hate articles that are split up like this. When I am conducting research I want to find the answers to my questions as quickly as possible. I usually close websites like this and go back to my Google search and look for a website that has the information I need on one page.

    But, I can see how this trick is great for keeping people on your website for longer.
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  • Profile picture of the author stefanvanray
    I see no issue with modeling your website after the big guys. As "Plugin Profits" put it, visitors today expect to see ads in exchange for content. Visitor viewing experience aside, it's a simple equation, traffic + well placed targeted ads = money. So logically, the more traffic and exposure the higher chance there is of conversion. You also end up keeping your visitors longer, as they end up perusing through more of your site looking for content and what not. Good observation my friend. Keep thinking this way and you are gonna end up one of the big boys yourself! Save me a seat of power in your new world order. lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    This is very annoying to me. I hate clicking multiple times for something which can be on a single click available,
    the big boys may be doing this because they have reputation, but for small boys its not likely to be implemented
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by alvinchua91 View Post

      Yahoo! news seem to do that too when it comes to photos. Personally, I prefer scrolling up and down rather than clicking. Not my cup of tea...
      Back in the early days, it was exactly the opposite. Connections were slow, and most pages were designed using tables. If you had a long page, especially one with lots of images, the user had to look at a blank page until the last image finished loading.

      In those days, many web designers lived by the mantra of no more than two screens per page. People much preferred clicking to new pages rather than waiting for long pages to finish. There were even scripting tricks you could use to preload the images for the next page while the user read the current one.

      Nowadays, with fast connections, more powerful image optimization methods, CSS for page layout and styling, etc., more people do want complete pages. Due to a combination of old-school design and CPM advertising, big sites can't or won't change.

      Go to a newspaper site like www.twincities.com, and watch the staus bar. Count how many networks have space on their pages. They, and many like them, operate on the principle of "you no make-a da money, you no paya da bills"...
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  • Profile picture of the author James.N
    I feel like they can do that because they are a major website. They already have loads of traffic coming to their site so for them it's all about maximizing ad clicks. 1 Extra click from every 1000 visitors makes a lot bigger difference for them than it does for us.

    They also probably don't worry about readability since they are going to get traffic regardless. We need to focus more on the user experience and getting as many people to share our content/site.
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