What is a Pop-Under?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2019
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The pop-under ad is a variation of the pop-up advertisement on the Internet. While many people are increasingly annoyed by ads that pop-up in front of the window they’re browsing, they’re less likely to notice a pop-under ad since it appears behind the main browser window, and a number of these can accumulate or go unnoticed until the window is closed. Then, a variety of advertisements remain that can’t necessarily be identified from a particular site, especially if a person has been viewing a lot of different sites. Some people believe this is a less intrusive type of advertising than the pop-up because people are no longer focused on looking at a particular site; this is a debatable point.

While advertisers may view the pop-under ad favorably, the average person searching the Internet doesn’t necessarily share this opinion. It can be annoying or disturbing to find numerous pop-unders remaining when a browser window is closed, particularly since the ads may be for things unrelated to recent searches. It’s hard to trust their origin or their claims, and short of closing all windows or quitting a browser, it can take some work to close them all. A critical minority appreciates this extra advertisement, but it’s really not clear that most do or will even take time to view the ads. This doesn’t mean companies view this form of advertisement as unviable; many companies choose to employ it regardless of the high number of people who may ignore them.


When the pop-up ad first became popular, big browser manufacturers immediately went to work on ways to eliminate these ads, due to the negative impact they often have on loading time of desired web content. A number of the larger browser companies do have both pop-up and pop-under blockers. For those who don’t mind the pop-under, it may be possible to block the pop-ups without blocking pop-unders. Some browsers won’t block either if people would prefer to view advertisements from the sites or the affiliates of the sites they visit.

One reason companies may choose to advertise in this fashion is because it is a much less intrusive way to approach a customer. The pop-under usually doesn’t interfere with browsing, though a complex one may still slow down loading time. To avoid this, ads should be simple and absent of things like sound or moving visuals, or shouldn’t load until other windows are closed. The person hosting a page doesn’t want visitors to have to close the page and go looking for sources of page loading problems. The main focus of the page should not be intruded upon by a flashy ad directing people elsewhere, unless the principal focus of the page is to make money through advertisement.

Still, it’s not clear how many people will actually read ads or visit pop-under affiliate sites. Many people do simply close all the windows and shut down their browser when they’re finished on the web. Nevertheless, advertisers still feel these ads make good sense.



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