What are you advertising today?

Think there are no ads on your blog? Absolutely sure?

This is amazingly sneaky. But quite clever.

Did you take the Blog Readability Test and paste the HTML code into your blog? It displays a cute image using an img tag. I’ve seen it on quite a few blogs recently. But…

But what happens if the image can’t be served? Ah, then of course the image defaults to its ALT. And what would that be?

“alt=”cash advance” Get a Cash Advance.”

And the linked URL for “cash advance”: cashadvance1500.com – owned, it seems, by .. someone who doesn’t want you to know who they are (it’s all obscured by proxies. Which all the best financial companies do, of course.) …

Now, what happens if the Blog Readability site goes offline, or stops serving its pictures? Loads of people suddenly have adverts for cashadvance1500 on their site.

And I reckon the Blog Readability test is completely random nonsense anyway. I tried it a couple of weeks ago and got ‘postgrad’. Today it’s ‘high school student’. I’ve posted a handful of times in that period. I don’t think the reading level has changed that much in that time, do you?

But if you particularly like the little picture and want to keep it, I suggest you delete that alt text and link. Unless you really want to advertise dodgy money lenders for nothing. And you’d better start being careful with those HTML snippets you get from Internet quizzes and the like, because I doubt it’ll be the last time we see stuff like this.

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2 Responses to What are you advertising today?

  1. Ancarett says:

    Good catch on this with the Guardian article. I never posted it on my blog, but I’ve seen this meme all over the place. Now I’m very glad I didn’t post those results!

  2. zhoen says:

    I’ve never posted the results as they wanted me to. Now I won’t at all. Good catch.

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