HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
now, but that's just what the early Web was like. This is why the HTML spec was pretty simple to start with. It needed
adoption first; then it could iterate and become more progressive.
Advertising with HTML
Everyone now recognizes that web pages are developed and designed with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As the
Internet became more mainstream, it was only a matter of time before advertisers got into the market. It reminds me
of the question, “Where can't you see advertising?” with the answer being, “In your sleep.” As almost everyone had
an opportunity to be online at some point throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, advertisers needed to get onto
publisher pages so that casual web surfers—a vast potential viewership—would see their ads.
Naturally, in the beginning ads were very basic; just static images at first. Think of the early AOL startup page on
a 56k dial-up modem; you know, the one that you had to unplug your phone to use (if you were tech savvy, you had a
phone line splitter). Depending how far back you think, the ad inventory was scarce if present at all.
the internet Wayback Machine allows you to enter a url into its database—for example, —and
review previous versions of the site throughout the years. the ad slots do not render, as these campaigns are long over,
but you can get an idea as to where and how ads were used then. visit it here (note that all sites aren't supported): .
Pop-up Ads and Subsequent Evolution
We all know how deeply pop-up advertising messages were hated and how much they plagued the Internet early on,
so I'll spare you more words of hate and offer something of an educational lesson instead. In short, an annoying pop-up
ad is only a snippet of JavaScript code executing. In JavaScript, the following code opens a new browser window and
takes the following parameters, or arguments or URL, name, specs and replace.,name,specs,replace);
With the preceding code, a new window is spawned when a user views a page where this code is present. Since it
was notoriously annoying to have many new windows open as a user casually browsed the Web, browser developers
implemented what are known as pop-up blockers to keep any . .); code from executing without
the user actually clicking on something first. This was a great improvement in the overall user experience online; it
forced advertising to be maintained within the specific real estate of the page it was intended for. Given that effect,
advertisers were very limited as far as different forms of advertising online. They knew that, due to the popularity of
the “new” screen, they wanted to be in the digital space, but they didn't quite know how to measure their return on
investment. Typically, they ran simple ad campaigns; nothing extraordinary, because of the creative limitations and
the fact that they could never measure campaign performance. For media buying, this was a much different approach
and a new type of media inventory to secure for advertisers. For the longest time, they had only needed to worry about
TV as their main screen, and they had Nielsen ( ) and other companies to analyze the success of their
television campaigns.
Pioneers in the space, seeing the advertisers' frustration as a huge opportunity to capitalize on, began to add
metrics and creative enhancements to their relatively simple campaigns. In the beginning, the creative of the ads
and metrics was extremely meek and primitive, being either static or having only slight, if any, movement, utilizing
animated GIFs, and measuring only on impressions and clicks. Also, since browsers were fragmented in the
adoption of the users, ad designers had to leverage browser-specific code to maintain how an ad would look in various
environments. This additional effort, just to get a simple campaign out the door, proved to be a time-consuming process.
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