Why Do Some Websites Suddenly Redirect to Advertisement Pages?

Have you ever been browsing a shopping site, reading a blog or watching videos and had the web page you are on suddenly redirect to a completely different webpage, often selling something that you would never buy? This annoying tactic has become fairly common in both web and mobile browsing, and having the usual advertisement blocking extension doesn’t seem to stop it. Let’s look at why this might be happening, how it could happen in the first place, and whether a user can stop a website redirecting to a different site.

Why Does It Happen?

Redirects are common in most websites. Webmasters who want their users to visit another website usually have a clickable link embedded in the content. However, with this traditional method, the user is given the choice to click or not to click on the link. The sudden redirects we are concerned about are automatic and unprompted. A user could be doing anything, such as reading a blog post, when the site suddenly decides to redirect the page to a completely different domain without any user input whatsoever. Sometimes, automatic redirects can happen if a viewer clicks on a video, for example.

These random redirects are mostly an annoying advertising tactic on par with the pop-up windows of the yore. Because an ad-blocker can easily stop pop-up windows, random redirects seem to have taken their place. Some users may feel like their browsers have been hijacked. However, it’s important to note that all redirects are not simply a form of annoying advertising. Some are much more sinister.

What is it? A Scam or Malware?

If your browser randomly redirects, there’s something either wrong with your computer, or there’s something wrong with the site. Some websites get hacked and the regular content can get replaced with something else. For example, if you go to myblog.com and see unusually irrelevant content on the site, it’s a good indication that the site has been hacked. You can report the hacked site to Google or Firefox, and stop visiting the site to protect your computer.

Some other random redirects, however, are caused by viruses and other malware that infect computers. For example, if you go to the Google website as usual but gets redirected, your computer is definitely infected with a redirect virus. Malware can hijack your browser or the DNS to cause redirects. If you go to your email and see a spam site, but the address is unchanged, then that’s a DNS hijacking. If the web pages load as usual but when you click on links you land on completely different sites, then it’s a browser hijacking.

How to Stop It

If the redirects are caused by the sites you are visiting, there’s nothing you can do about it. However, if they are being caused by malware infecting your computer, then you must promptly take steps to remove the malware.

You can purchase a reputable anti-virus program to remove malware from your computer easily. Additionally, uninstall all third-party unverified extensions on your browsers, including all toolbars. If you are on a PC, install all the latest Microsoft security updates. Also, consider upgrading or removing extensions like Flash. Security vulnerabilities in your browser extensions can open gateways for malware to enter your computer, therefore keep everything up to date.

As a long-term strategy to avoid such problems, use ad-blocking extensions when browsing. Do not click on suspicious links. Above all, don’t download anything unless the publisher is verified and the file has been scanned for viruses.

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7 Comments on "Why Do Some Websites Suddenly Redirect to Advertisement Pages?"

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Daveddt2
Member
Daveddt2
2 years 4 months ago

The reason websites redirect to advertisements is because the company who is advertising tells the other if you advertise i will give you this much amount of money.

nytegeek
Member
2 years 4 months ago

The short answer is because they were coded to. The site you were trying to use was in all actuality nothing but click bait and designed to redirect you.
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pwarbi
Member
2 years 4 months ago
Money is probably the short answer, and you’ll find that the page that you are redirected to will have paid the original page to do that as they want the opportunity to market to you a product, whether or not your actually interested in that product or not. Advertising these days on the internet is just something that we have to get used to, and I’m sure that we will. At one time the commercials on the TV and radio used to be annoying but now most of us are able to just switch off from them, and tat will… Read more »
nytegeek
Member
2 years 4 months ago

The paid to redirect thing that [USER=10]@pwarbi[/USER] mentions does happen, but often the advertiser owns misleading urls setup with a redirect. The advertiser will purchase a whole slew of sites that seem legitimate with just enough content to catch your eye or they will buy alternate or misspelled versions of a real popular site. The site you think you want will start to load, and then bam, you get redirected to their miracle penis cream instead.
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pwarbi
Member
2 years 4 months ago
Have you tried the miracle penis cream by the way, is it any good? haha…Seriously though, you are right and often a lot of the sites are originally set up as just click bait and they will lure you in and then pull you into a web of advertising but recently I’ve found that a lot of so called reputable sites are also doing the same and that pi***s me right off to be honest. If I click on a link that don’t know much about and am just drawn into it because of a lame headline that’s my own… Read more »
nytegeek
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Oh Yeah. You are reading an article at a legitimate news site or blog, you get to the end of it and there are what appear to be links for similar stories. They aren’t. You don’t notice the tiny print indicating that they are adds. Suddenly you are reading a full screen wall to wall penis cream extravaganza and your great grandmother walks in to see how that new fangled computer works. Legitimate sites sell add space at the bottom of pages and make it look like further reading. It’s awful.
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rz3300
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Well I cannot say that I really too sure, but I always just assume that it is planned for us to go there and see the advertisement, so someone is paying for it.  These advertising companies can be so sneaky in the methods that they employ to get their message out there, or to get their name out there.  Things like planning people's internet activity so they see a particular advertisement is probably one of thousands of these little tricks

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