This is why you are seeing increased ads/traffic on Wowhead

It's fairly well known at this point that Wowhead uses an ad framework with autorefreshing ads. If you leave your browser open on the page without proper adblock extensions installed, you'll get an enormous amount of traffic usage. In the last month there have been claims that this has increased, with statements coming from Wowhead that they have actually been reducing the number of ads and the autorefresh timer.

Looking deeper into the page code, I believe I have found the culprit: the Stanza calendar that was added recently.

This calendar is rendered in an iframe pulling from another zam site ( ). Because of this, it has its own complete html structure, including javascript.

Looking at the Wowhead page in Chrome with no adblockers installed, it can be seen that the main page pulls down the monkeybroker ad framework:

Looking further down in the sources tab, there's also a zam-wow element, which expanding it, reveals another request for the monkeybroker ad scripts:

Debugging finds that this zam-wow section is tied to the stanza calendar:

<div class="stanzacal" stanzacal="zam-wow" site="zam-wowhead" width="100%" height="250px" data-injected="true" style="width: 100%; height: 250px;"><iframe sandbox="allow-forms allow-popups allow-scripts allow-pointer-lock allow-same-origin" src=";site=zam-wowhead" style="width: 1px; min-width: 100%; height: 100%; border: none; outline: 0px;"></iframe></div> 

Now normally multiple pulls of the same javascript file, while wasteful, shouldn't be an issue. But, because stanza is running in an iframe, all the javascript in there is in a separate context from the main page.

Using the javascript console, there are separate instances of Monkeybroker in the main (top), and in the zam-wow context. I tested by setting the object variable in the main context to null so that it couldn't run, the one in zam-wow was unaffected and pulled its own set of ads every 90 seconds. The network panel showed that this second instance was responsible for a substantial amount of requests on its own. As most of the traffic/requests are not simply the ads themselves but all the cookies and tracking scripts the framework pulls down, two instances significantly increases the work your browser has to do every time it loads a page.

TL;DR: Wowhead is giving you two autorefreshing ad instances when you visit their page without an adblocker. This happened when the Stanza calendar was introduced a few weeks ago, which is why people have seen more lag and resource usage on Wowhead in the last month. Even though there are no ad sections visible on the Stanza row displayed on wowhead, they are present on the original site, meaning they still have to be requested and rendered, in addition to the cookies and tracking scripts that get pulled. Effectively, the amount of stuff tied to ads has nearly doubled with the introduction of this feature to the site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.