Cheap tricks



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1 April 2005 | 0

At the top of its list of top ten tactics were the spawning of unsolicited technology tactics such as ‘pop-up’ ads and ‘mouse-trapping’ — where users can’t use the ‘go back’ button on their browsers or close a browser window.

The study reveals that 20 per cent of the top European sites and 30 per cent of top sites in the US employ spawning techniques. Leading sites are heavier users of this tactic; however, 12 per cent of the sites on the Internet overall also employ spawning. Additionally, mouse-trapping tactics were found on 5.2 per cent of the sites on the Internet. 

Both spawning and mouse-trapping are highly disruptive to the customer and expose them to content they would otherwise not have elected to view. 




Other technology tactics used to entangle shoppers on the Web included: ‘invisible seeding’, which is the hiding of content to optimise search service rankings; unauthorised software downloads that invade a consumer’s privacy by leaving behind software that can contain embedded advertising or tracking capabilities; spoof (or magnet) pages that are placed in a site specifically for the purpose of attracting search engine traffic for higher ranking on search results, and framing, which is a way of holding on to a customer — the shopper thinks they have left a Website, but haven’t: users are kept on the original site while viewing the content of another, through the original site’s window.

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