May 3, 2013

Nasty Pop-ups


It wasn't AdSense causing the problem. It was one of the widgets in my sidebar, "Share With Sociable." A helpful Blogger forum-dweller named Chuck pointed out my problem and the popup crisis is over.

Unfortunately, I blew away my custom blog template in an effort to purge any bad code, so now my blog looks like crap. Oh well, it needed a redesign anyway.

Original Post:

I've been using Google's AdSense on my blogs for years, but today I turned it off for this blog. One of the ads was generating nasty, deceptive pop-ups.

I discovered the problem when I went to view this blog using our old MacBook, which only has an outdated version of Safari that I guess doesn't have the pop-up blocker turned on. A big window opened up with a modal dialog box inside it, offering to fix the spyware on my Windows machine. I force-quit Safari and went into Serious Webmaster Panic Mode.

I know this site seriously needs a design overhaul, but it's still in relatively decent shape. As a web designer, this site is my face to the world, and it looks really, really bad if something unprofessional and spammy shows up on it.

I thought at first that the embedded SoundCloud player on my previous post was the culprit, so I removed it. Then I thought that my WordPress site, which is hosted on the same server, had been hacked. Then I worried that had gotten some kind of malware on it. But when those both turned up clean, I realized that the pop-ups might be coming from the AdSense ads on this blog.

I turned off the ads, and the pop-ups went away. I apologize to anyone who visited Free Ideas and got spammed.

You know, I never really earned very much from those ads. I think I'm going to leave them turned off. But how bad does it look for Google if I have to turn off their ad service in order to make my site look professional?

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