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Don't Surprise or Annoy the User
Here's another one: don't make the "dead space" to the left and right of your article a live link; in this era of many monitors and even more windows, I often am jumping around and need to click inside the browser window to get "focus" back to the TechRepublic site - and then I get to wait while an ad site opens up. ALL the "neutral" space to the left and right of your main frame is a live link! Talk about being both annoying and surprising.