tl;dr – mobile web should show ads between text, not as weird popups.
The Internet has superseded the rest of the mediums – newspapers, magazines, books in most ways. But there’s one thing that all of those older technologies did better than the Internet – show ads. The ads in a newspaper are perfectly placed, extremely clear in their presentation and positioning and incredibly non-invasive. Of course, it’s an apples to oranges comparison ever since the advent of video ads and GIF eyeball grabbers on the Internet.
And to an extent, desktop Internet has done well in terms of their placement of ads, but the absolute loser in that respect is the mobile Internet. So much so that this is the best description of the mobile web experience –
Close modal popup (if you can)
What the mobile web needs to learn from all it’s predecessors (and even desktop Internet) is that the right way to show ads is still to use the white space. Don’t bog us down with crappy popups that are difficult to close and app offers we don’t care about. We care about the content. Give it to us.
In between the blocks of text, throw in any kind of ads, GIFs, crappy video and app offers that you want. But the first and foremost thing we expect to see on our mobile phones is the content. Do not hide that from us. If you do (and you do), we’ll remember never to visit your site again (and we do).