How many times have you turned away from a website because of the number of ads it displays? If you visit pretty much any website online today, you will be swamped by the numerous amounts of “crap” that people display on their websites. As an owner of several websites (including this one), I know that you have to do what you can to generate revenue from those websites in order to keep them running. Whether it’s to simply pay to keep the site running, compensating you for the time you invest, or because your website is your full time job & business, placing advertisements on your website can sometimes be necessary. However, the majority of websites out there today take things way too far. I don’t mind the occasional advertisement here and there, but some website owners use tactics that I can’t get on board with.
For example, many internet marketers will tell you to help increase revenue, you should slap your visitors in the face with a fullscreen ad immediately when they visit your site. Then, the only way to get to your page would be to click something to close that ad or to continue to the next page where your actual content is. Even though people claim that this is effective, my research has shown that this is not entirely true. Some people might click on these ads, but the majority of people simply get annoyed with them and never return to your site. Getting repeat visitors to your site should be way more important than making a few pennies for some ad placement. But, website owners still use this technique anyways, even the big sites like Forbes.com which I’m going to use as an example in this article.
Aside from the full page ad you see when you first visit Forbes.com, that site is chalked full of crap that makes the site pretty much worthless to me as a consumer. For example, once you get past the full page ad, you will immediately be slapped with more and more ads. When you drill down onto an article, you have ads & popups coming out of your ass! If you scroll beyond a certain point on the screen, you’ll have a popup in the lower-right corner that distracts you from the “real” content on the page. Scrolling down to that point, you’ll pass by a mountain of other ads. Of all the ads that Forbes likes to put on their website, one ad type in particular pisses me off when I see it and some pages on the Forbes website includes several of these on the same page. I’m talking about video ads. Even though they are muted by default, the ads are still extremely distracting and take away from the reason I came to the site to start with. In fact, the “real” content of the page only makes up about 10% of the overall page. The rest of the page is nothing but crap I am not interested in. Not only am I not interested in all of the ads, I’m also not interested in how many friends you have on Facebook or how many people of tweeted about the page I’m on. I understand that you want your visitors to help generate traffic for your website, but having huge social buttons floating down one side of the page is also too much. You can still have these buttons on your page, but they shouldn’t be larger than the actual content for which I came to the page to start with.
Because of all the crap on Forbes.com, I find it completely useless and refuse to click on any link that takes me to that site. If you do the math, return visitors are worth way more than a single visitor that refuses to return to your website because of all the junk you have on it. There are plenty of websites out there that I vow to never revisit because they have gone too far with ads, popups, and other things that take away from the overall user experience. With that said, there are a few websites that I repeatedly visit but also have things that take away from the overall user experience. Luckily for me, there are ways to get around it. So, today I am going to show you an easy way to remove unwanted junk from websites you visit. Although this technique can also be done using other browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox (with the Firebug add-on), I am going to show you how to hide things like ads and social links using Chrome and its built-in tools.
To get started, you will first need to have Chrome installed and a web page loaded that has stuff you don’t want to see. Even though I said I will never return to Forbes.com, I am going to visit it this one last time so that I can have a real world example of a site I want to hide stuff on. In this example, I want to remove the header that includes the Capital One ad as well as the CapitalOneSpark Voice videos links as shown here:
To get rid of this in Chrome, you will begin by pressing the F12 button. This will launch the Chrome Developer Tools window. In the lower-left corner of the Developer Tools window, you will see an icon that looks like a magnifying glass. This icon is also sometimes used to indicate search which is what we will be using it for. Go ahead and click this icon to select it. Next, move your mouse over the part of the page you want to remove. The section should have a blue overlay indicating it is ready for selection. Once you have your mouse over the section you want to remove, click on it once to select it. It should still be highlighted blue as shown here:
In the screenshot above, I have drawn a red box around the selection tool to help show where you can find it.
With the section you want to remove selected, all you have to do now is press the delete button and voila, the unwanted crap is gone! In some cases, there will be hidden elements in the page that you’ll also want to get rid of as well such as blank spaces. In situations like that, you can click on the elements in the Developer Tools window and press the delete button to get rid of those too. In the screenshot above, you will see that I had the “iframe” element selected, depending on where I clicked on the screen with the selection tool, I might have only selected something within the iframe. If I had done that and pressed the delete button, I would have been left with a big blank area where the item I deleted used to be. At that point, I would have clicked on the “iframe” element as shown in the screenshot above and pressed the delete button to also remove the unwanted blank area.
That’s it! To remove more unwanted junk from a web page, all you have to do is click the selection tool again as mentioned earlier and repeat the same steps. If you are doing this on Forbes.com, you will have a lot of crap to remove before you can get to the “meat” of the page. When you are done, press the F12 button again to hide the Developer Tools window. Here is what the same Forbes page looks like for me after I have removed all of the junk I’m not interested in.
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