Pop-up Ad

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Definition of Pop-up Ad

A display ad that opens in a new window or tab without a user prompt or initiation.

Pop-up Ad in Depth

Pop-up ads generally appear unexpectedly, opening up in a new tab or browser window on certain websites. The result typically includes both a highly visible and effective ad unit as well as a diminished user experience. Pop-up ads are both extremely effective at attracting attention and generating clicks and extremely annoying to most visitors. As such, there is often a trade-off between the revenue generated and the user experience.

Below is an example of a pop-up ad in action:

Example of a Pop Up Ad

Many of the most popular ad networks, including Google’s AdSense, prohibit partner publishers from serving their ads in pop-ups. However, there are a number of networks that allow or even specialize in pop-up ads. These include:

High Impact Ads

As pop-up blockers have become increasingly common components of browsers, the frequency of pop-up ads has diminished significantly. Moreover, as visitors have become less willing to deal with pop-ups, many publishers have found the trade-off between between revenue and user satisfaction to be no longer worthwhile. Still, many sites still use pop-up ads as a way to focus attention on display ads and boost overall revenue.

There are several other types of high impact ad units that function in generally the same way as pop-ups, though are distinguished by the details of the appearance:

  • Interstitial: Appears in same window, often overlaid against grayed out content.
  • Welcome Ad: A separate screen containing an ad that is displayed before the first pageview on a site.
  • Pop Under: Opens in the background of a screen, either in a new tab or new window.

See Also

Related terms include: Interstitial.