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Is Adblock Plus Killing Your Conversions?

Editor’s note: The tone and opinions of this article is that of the author and is not necessarily shared by the KISSmetrics team. However, this article does present an interesting issue for those engaged in online marketing and we feel that you should be aware of the circumstances that it creates.

With over 300 million downloads, Adblock Plus claims to be the most popular browser extension on the Internet. As its name implies, it blocks a variety of ads. But it can also block things necessary to run successful marketing campaigns – like tracking and social media share buttons.

adblock

For publishers, that means you could be paying for ads and then having them blocked, as in this example:

with ads

A screenshot of Google showing typical ads in the sidebar

Notice all the sidebar ads? With Adblock Plus, they’re gone:

no ads

A screenshot of Google with Adblock Plus enabled

And, judging by a deeper look into the blocking process itself, the ads are still being served:

ads blocked

Multiply that by every user who searches for your keywords and doesn’t find your site in the paid advertising results – and you’ll start to see a lot of money slipping through your fingers.

And it’s not just Google ads – Amazon ads, HelloBar, Gravatar and display ads can also be blocked with the click of a button.

Facebook and YouTube ads are also casualties of the blocking brigade:

adblock[3]

On your own blog, your calls to action may even be the victims of overzealous blocking, such as this example from our own KISSmetrics blog:

ad showing

What a normal user to the KISSmetrics blog would see

no ad

With Adblock enabled, the call-to-action disappears

So what does this mean for businesses?

Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as one might think. For many sites, ads are a source of revenue, and even if the ads are being blocked (because a user blocking ads isn’t likely to click on them anyway), resources like bandwidth are still being consumed – and need to be paid for.

Some blogs, particularly news and technology sites, have come up with creative experiments to sidestep this problem – but there’s no definitive method to “block the blocker” yet.

Which then begs the question, who’s actually running the show here?

Defining Acceptable Ads

In a ComputerWorld interview with Adblock’s lead investor, Tim Schumacher (creator of domain parking company Sedo.com), Adblock has recently started a push toward larger companies (think Twitter and Google) on having their ads become part of its “Acceptable Ads” program. Essentially, they approach these companies with the digital equivalent of a ransom note.  Right before Twitter’s $15 billion stock flotation, Adblock approached them with some serious gall fueling their demands and stated:

“We would like to partner with you to engineer acceptable, non-intrusive advertising that would conform to our guidelines and make it to our whitelist” (emphasis mine)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Adblock Plus would have struck a well thought-out, reasonable balance between relevant advertising, privacy-conscious tracking and easy social media sharing — but no, their guidelines pretty much outlaw anything that isn’t text.  Even if an ad meets these criteria, there’s no guarantee it won’t be blocked anyway.

Oh, and the most ironic part of the story?

Adblock has contracts with Acceptable Ads publishers that essentially mean that those companies are paying Adblock for the privilege of not blocking their ads. Currently, their fees scale with the size of the publisher – with some paying a flat fee, and others paying a percentage of their revenues.

If that sounds an awful lot like extortion, that’s because it is.

Eyeo, the company behind Adblock claims that it’s only doing what users want — and that means, “publishers and websites only participate by their own volition; those that have been pleased with the results of non-intrusive advertising.” According to the ComputerWorld interview, [t]he company does concede that it has “initiated conversations” rather than just waiting for partners to approach it, but emphasizes that “the order of approach is secondary to the process.”  Currently, sites including Google, Amazon and Yandex (Russian search engine) are forking over as much as 30% of their revenues generated by ads into Adblock’s maw.

In other words, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Where Do We Go from Here?

Many internet businesses are refusing to stay silent on the issue. Some, like PageFair, have sprang up to let publishers calculate the cost and percentage of revenues lost from ad blockers.

pagefair

Meanwhile, Adblock is busy blocking trackers, social media sharing buttons and other features that you may be using to better understand your customers and measure your conversion goals.

adblock plus malware social media tracking blocking

With calls-to-action, the only way to know if they’re being blocked is to install Adblock in your own browser and test your pages with it enabled and disabled.

Needless to say, it’s a very delicate balance between wanting valuable customer information in order to meet (or exceed) conversion goals, and keeping users’ privacy at the forefront of operations.  Adblock, too, is trying to carefully charm both sides of the advertising aisle by pandering to users while extorting big advertisers. Meanwhile, conversion experts and publishing professionals are caught in the middle — looking to increase their reach through paid ads and social media without being intrusive.

What are Your Thoughts on the Issue?

We want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on Adblock’s practices?  Are Acceptable Ads a way to ensure that everyone plays fair? Or is it wrong of a company to block ads on one hand, and get paid to remove them with the other?  How do you think these practices are affecting your social reach and conversion rate?  Share your thoughts below with us in the comments!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps businesses improve website design and increase conversions with user-focused design, compelling copywriting and smart analytics. Learn more at iElectrify and get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up. Follow @sherice on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ for more articles like this!

  1. Who cares for Internet advertisement? In my 15 years of browsing history I haven’t bought a single items because of an Internet ad’s influence. Rather I search for what I want.

    • Thats what you think.

      Guaranteed that ads have influenced you before.

    • True, not many consumers care because it’s not relevant always. Publishers and marketers need to learn from the intrusive consumer experience of mobile advertising, which is why ad-blockers usage rose by 41% in the last year. Check out this post, to discover how progressive media owners and publishers are adapting to the rise of consumer ad-blocking technologies and iOS9 by employing five smart approaches to driving engagement, data acquisition and digital revenues. http://www.engagesciences.com/ad-blockers-5-ways-publishers-drive-revenues/

  2. Guess you just did not recognize how you have been influenced by ads. I am pretty sure that ads influenced your buying behavior. If not direct then indirect.

  3. Well, there are solutions to identify Adblock – “You got Adblock running, we are run by ads…”. I’m sure Google tracks/follows this tagging any ads served but not seen as problematic and exclude them from any data in say the AdWords CP? Or?

  4. I must agree with Philip on this one. Maybe internet ads have some small influence on my buying behavior (you can’t be 100% sure) but if I need something than I will search to find it.

    • You are right, i may have clicked a couple adverts in the last 20 years…..BUT very rarely if ever have i bought anything directly from a click of an advert….they are just annoying and pointless.

  5. I’m glad to see someone at least talking about what I think is the elephant in the internet advertising room, as it were.

    While I don’t think AdBlock’s extortion-esque tactics are very helpful, they are definitely solving a real pain among Internet browsers. I think publishers and advertisers are the ones to blame for creating the situation in the first place with short-term tactics that “work” but have secondary effects that aren’t accounted for in analytics.

    If the offline world worked like the Internet, every store I decided to casually visit would immediately barrage me with 10 yelling salespeople…who would then follow me around for the next year. Sure that might “work” and lead to conversions – but would also lead to bad word of mouth and a bad brand.

    If anything, the AdBlock issue should start a conversation among publishers and advertisers on how to do respect their potential customers, so that everyone can make money without turning to extortion or a technological arms race.

  6. I must agree to a certain point with the second comment on this article.
    Ads are really powerful – on the other hand I think many people are more targeted in their shopping habits today. Unless there is a really good offer with a huge discount, I personally think most ads are ignored today.
    The other angel is the massive campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social medias.

    People are exhausted with all these ads I tend to think.

    Kind regards,
    John

  7. I think it’s completely unacceptable to basically say ‘we’ll block your ads unless you pay us’ especially when the whole point of the software is to remove ads, not remove ads from companies who won’t pay the software provider.

    I’m on the fence with this as I would love to see all the big companies give in and pay just so AdBlock becomes totally useless. On the other hand, I don’t want big companies to give in because AdBlock deserve nothing money wise.

    Also, everyone is influenced by ads subconsciously, it’s been fairly well documented. Good ads make you think that it was your idea, bad ads just put you off a company. Just because you don’t *think* you’ve been influenced it doesn’t mean that’s the case.

  8. Boy oh boy. There’s things fundamentally wrong about this article.

    Maybe with the fact that the Google paid search ads shown at the beginning of the article are PPC not CPM? No hard financial damage (to the advertiser) if an ad is blocked.

    Or that most display ads are served nowadays with some form of quality control mechanism, ensuring that advertisers only pay for ads that were actually visible in the users viewport?

    Ad blocking may hit some publishers hard. But its not (yet) a big deal for advertisers.

    • I was thinking the same thing!

      I don’t think it’s ethical for AdBlock to take money from advertisers in return for whitelisting them–I didn’t know they did–because it’s a conflict of interest and also breaches the user’s trust/misleads them by suggesting the extension will give them control over what they view.

      I believe it’s within the individual’s rights to control what they see, though, and I recall people can also whitelist particular websites by themselves. So in a way it just adds an extra step to your marketing (convince people you are trustworthy enough to view ads from) and you CAN tell if people have AdBlock on so you can specifically ask them to whitelist you.

      I was an AdBlock user, back in 2002-2006 when I didn’t have the bandwidth to spare (it’s not just websites that have to spend money on data transfer when somebody wants to load a page!) and ads used to be pretty crappy. Now I get more Internet for less and ads, especially display ads, have become much better. So I’m cool with them.

      P.S. Hate those social media beacons! Those infringe privacy and dissuade me from interacting with a website, because then I have to wonder if I want the activity broadcasting to my entire friends list or not.

    • Sherice Jacob Dec 04, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Hi Veit,

      You’re right, those are PPC ads, but if you were the one advertising, and someone using adblock came and didn’t see the ads that you *paid for specifically to target them*, that’s a major lost opportunity right there. Sure, it’s not CPM and you’re not out however many cents it is to click it, but the implications of having the ad blocked and not reaching the customer have much more than a monetary value.

  9. Nishant Bazzad Oct 03, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I just love Ad block to get me away from those creepy ads and helps me to focus on what matters for me. I don’t even buy a single item in my whole life by viewing these ads.

  10. Scott Lansing Oct 03, 2014 at 9:22 am

    So I have to pay Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms to promote my services/products, and pay Adblock to make sure what I’m paying for in the first place is seen by people paying Adblock not to see it.

    Effective promotion on these channels isn’t cheap in the first place, so big companies can likely afford to pay what they need to be seen. In the end, what’s the purpose of Adblock if I’ll likely see ads I’d see anyway?

    Very interesting read here. Thanks for sharing!

    • Dude, you’re not really tech savvy, eh ?
      You can go into adblockplus and turn off white listing. You can also open the console and using standard syntax add wild cards to the domains you don’t like. pandora uses pi or some other large variable number in their adds and promotions. Wild cars kill that easily. Ergo you just paid ad block to white list and..got nothing. sucks for you, but I don’t give a crap. I hate ads and worse yet I HATE being tracked. Ad block then takes that money and lobbies to keep companies in check. Win/win. Welcome to the younger generation. We can all code to some degree.

  11. Gryphon Adams Oct 03, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    “Multiply that by every user who searches for your keywords and doesn’t find your site in the paid advertising results – and you’ll start to see a lot of money slipping through your fingers.”
    You’ve missed the point that people who use ad blockers don’t click on ads.

  12. I hate ads with a passion. If I didn’t have adblock plus, I’d use my phone to browse the web as that can’t show ads on web pages

  13. The reason that people like me use AdBlock is twofold. I remove ads from sites that have great content but allow filth to pollute their sidebar (I’m talking about pornography advertisements), and I remove ads from sites that go overboard with them. For the most part, porn isn’t so much of a problem anymore. Advertising networks have really gotten better at targeting ads to people that are more likely to use them, and so I don’t really get the garbage anymore.

    Let me elaborate on the second point a bit, though. Ads don’t need to fill every pixel of available space you might have after your content is published. A few advertisements in a sidebar or relevant ads mingling with the main content of the page is fine, but a popup ad every time I touch the scroll wheel or some animation that hinders my ability to get to the content is annoying. Many marketing experts don’t understand that their ads are just that: ads. They are a side effect of the content that the user actually came to a webpage for. It’s for the sites that do go crazy with ads that slow down their pages that I use AdBlock. The ones with design sense and empathy for their users just get caught in the crossfire.

    As one last point, the age of smart devices is here. When pages contain >5MB of content, you either have too many ads or you need to be more pages. Smart phones particularly have a problem dealing with things like popups that are poorly implemented (like needing to scroll sideways on an un-zoomable “mobile friendly” site to find the little “X” in the corner of a popup), and ads that are mingled with the content are not scaled properly.

    Until the Internet-at-large decides to stop being dumb by placing ads in all the wrong spots and slowing down their sites with popups and animations that aren’t even implemented correctly, I’ll keep using AdBlock.

    P.S. – I maintain a website that uses ads, and those ads are blocked by my AdBlock program.

    • So what your saying is, ou really like to “steal” the sites content that they paid to create, and not view their ads, because your just an information theif? Is that what your saying?

      • Hi Jarret,

        There are a few underlying assumptions in your comment that are incorrect. I will, respectfully point them out while breaking down your comment.

        “So what your saying is, ou really like to “steal” the sites content that they paid to create, and not view their ads, because your just an information theif? ”
        after stripping off the irrelevant content, lets talk about stealing data in specific.

        >People “stealing” NOT an effect of technology OR a moral issue. The business model created an environment where people came up with the technology. Our (yes mine as well) industry’s reliance on flash enabled autoplay ads, heavy pages etc
        Tides change, it is our job to find out how to monetize our content (which they have proven they want).

        Regarding the morality of it – this discussion gets us nowhere – we can shout at our consumers that they steal. They will shout back that we forced them by sending our corrosive ads.

        Like I said, our intent is not to judge morality – its like shouting at trends because we don’t like the way they are pointing. Our intent must be to find a new model, or a way to make the existing model work.

  14. We have used the Blocked Ads Notifier plugin for our WordPress site with some success (for use with banner ads).

  15. I’ve been on the net since it began and private networks before that and I hate ads. I’ve never bought a single thing from an ad and I go out of my way to avoid them. In fact, any sort of ad or “sponsored advertising” bother me so much that it strongly affects the likelihood that I would ever work with that company. Email spam is at the top of this list but almost anything on the net that pops up, flashes, beeps or appears where it shouldn’t is automatically avoided.

    Here is why…

    1. Companies lie. They hustle people, steal their money and then run away. Of course there are reputable ones out there but there’s no way to tell the difference unless it’s an established brand because advertisers will take money from anyone.

    2. Spammers, hackers, information resellers all use ads to hook people. All it takes is one click on the wrong banner add and you’re on a malicious site which is now force loading applications onto your machine.

    3. I don’t WANT to be shopping when an advertiser wants to shove his content in my face. You are interrupting me and pissing me off. If I want to buy something, I’ll search for it.

    4. Featured content doesn’t impress me. Positive customer reviews or objective industry articles do the job. Companies use click ads and featured reviews to cover up bad products, poor service and bad security practices. Want to make more money? Do a good job, provide a good product and back up your words. Tricks and misdirection just piss people off.

    5. For those who repeat that we are affected by ads even if we don’t think so I would agree but the affect isn’t always what you might want or expect. I didn’t eat Carls Junior for 10 years because of an ad they used featuring eating noises interrupting my night time TV.

    I know this isn’t good news for the advertisers but I think internet ads are a waste of money for a corporation. After having my say above I need to add that I never see advertisements on the internet. I have ad blockers, tracking cookie blockers and script blockers on my PC. I rooted my phone, quite unsafe, for the sole purpose of installing an adblocker. Also use every type of “donottrack” and “donotcall” lists and programs available.

    I don’t see any of them at all. Not in google search, not on youtube or social networks. None. Ever. Nowhere. So if I were a company thinking about internet advertising I’d put that budget into customer service and quality assurance. Just my opinion and I can’t believe I just gave a marketing blog my email address. /smh

    P.S. Kissmetrics, demanding my real and social media profile just to make a comment is exactly the kind of thing people hate. Including me.

  16. I am fan Add block. Ads is just annoying my browser. Tracker is just like you being follow by stalker.

  17. I love AdBlocker. I’ve had it installed for at least a year. With websites I love and trust, I disable AdBlocker because I’m interested in their ads. But most of the time, ads are a distraction, and sometimes they even increase load time. I’m too impatient for that!

  18. There is something that everyone likes to ignore when they are bemoaning ad blockers and that is security. There are regular occurrences of viruses being distributed through ad networks even the big name ones on big name web sites. Users have a right to protect themselves from infection and since ad networks have done a piss poor job of policing themselves (anything less than 100% security isn’t good enough), then users have the right to block ads.

  19. To helll with you and your ads. On metered connections, unwanted advertising costs me money. I should start billing the advertisers for my time and wasted bandwidth.

  20. I hate adds, I use no script, ghostery, and adblock plus.
    I don’t click on any adds, if I need something, I go to a store and look for it.

    There are even some tech sites where you have a big add for a porn site and can’t view the content before you click on that add.

    And many times where add networks where spreading mslware

  21. Like you have this site setup with a small ad and a few social media buttons on the bottom, that is a good example of a site layout with no intrusive ads, i will definitely whitelist in my filters.

  22. Haha.

    I’m glad ad blocking hurts you. Enjoy the feeling as i have seeing all those ads popping and never stopping, pushing all content aside as if IT (the content) would be the irrelevant thing on a page.

    I’m also glad all these invisible, untouchable tracking companies don’t get their data anymore!

    How do you feel being marginalized?
    That’s how we feel looking for content through ads without end!

  23. Adblock is by far the best and most useful browser extension ever. I can actually use my computer now without getting slowed down by all the ads, scripts and tracking. Thank god for adblock. It has changed my life.

    And it’s not true about the whitelisting. Yes you may be able to get on this list, but I can still opt out and I don’t ever have to see your ads. So, no, spending money to get on the list is no help to you at all either since the user has total control.

    I wish everyone used it. The internet is much much nice place without the marketing/adsense/ads/tracking crap!

  24. Make the ads less intrusive and less annoying and we won’t look for solutions to block them!! Simple. They have become so obnoxious that it ruins every article, every website, every video. TOO much. I take note of the most offensive ads and make SURE I don’t buy from them.

  25. If your business depends on tracking people around the internet and shoving ads in their face, your business is unethical and I hope it fails.

    Long live Adblock.

  26. I’m a bit confused with the wording in this post.

    I’ve heard from a few sources that blocking does not lead to a paid impression but that hiding might.

    The way I read this article, I interpreted that an advertiser could be paying for an ad because it is still served to an internet browser and an impression is recorded.

    I am also wondering whether you meant to write “advertiser” instead of “publisher” in the following sentence:

    “For publishers, that means you could be paying for ads and then having them blocked, as in this example:”

    Do you mean:
    1) “For advertisers, that means you could be paying for ads and then having them blocked…
    2) OR do you mean that publishers are paying for an ad’s technical cost of delivery? In this instance, would you be trying to say that a “publisher” is out technical costs and then have not received any revenue for serving the ad as no impression was recorded

    Some clarification would be very helpful. Thanks!

  27. This is an accurate article in most regards.

    However, an extremely (used advisedly) egregious error is to repeatedly use “AdBlock” when you mean “Adblock Plus”.

    AdBlock does NOT whitelist, free or not, unless the user instructs it to.

    I think a correction is in order. Those not familiar with AdBlock, yet, might think you were speaking of that program/app/extension/whatever-you-want-to-label-it, when you meant to show how you are being sold a bill of goods when you use Adblock Plus.

    If you WANT to see an advertiser using AdBlock, you can do that. You can also go the other way, if, for example, you have very limited internet bandwidth, and want not to see any pictures, but get only the text portions of any link you visit. And anywhere in between.

    Do not confuse AdBlock (current version, of course; the original was written in 2002 and widely adopted in today’s adblockers) with Adblock Plus.

  28. Everyone is just trying to make money. AdBlock isn’t doing anything illegal, and they are making a lot of people’s web surfing experience better. I will continue to use it, and not allow “acceptable ads” because I don’t find any ads acceptable. That’s why I don’t watch TV anymore unless it’s Netflix or another advertising free form such as a DVD.

  29. When a person doesn’t understand Marketing and Advertisement processes he/she will often complain about it – and normally he/she won’t accept advertisement and actually use whatever to block and evade it. There are so much people here complaining without any idea! As always, when a person doesn’t understand something he/she always wants to take it away, never see it again, people doesn’t like to see what they don’t understand, and here comes AdBlocker with all its shininess!

    On the other, it has become a complete nonsense to advertise. Tons of money invested just for one AdBlocker to ruin it all. And in the end gain money from the hole process, this is the biggest charlatan, believe me – AdBlocker!
    And simple thinking people just don’t understand how much advertisement has changed the world, they just won’t understand it and keep complaining about it!

    Simple people don’t understand because they never need to advertise – so they never know what it is about – they only see the front side of the picture, but not the other side. That’s why they will always stay simple, and they will always use AdBlocker.

    Of course, there is so much malware and so much annoying and inappropriate ads out there that it has become a necessity to have Ads blocked – but this is not because of the ads, it is because of simple people using them in a cowards way and making a whole hell out of it.

    The problem is not the Ads, it is how we make them to annoy simple people and push them away from it. Simple humanity. And Advertising really can be a infinite monetize for the whole world, just if you knew how! But not, don’t do it, leave it all miserable and Block it all.

    Good luck AdBlockers.

    i still block PopUps and bad ads, but I leave the normal advertisment to exist, it doesn’t harm any one in any way!

  30. Ad-blockers are making it too hard for the bloggers and internet marketers out there. This is a very serious issue and the number of adblock users keep on increasing over time. Hope somebody comes up with a practical solution.

  31. Ok so you visit a website, which gets paid by advertisers to show their ads on said website. It can be argued that the advertiser has the right to have their ad shown on account of it being paid for, because technically when you visit websites you are receiving a service. If ads are intrusively illegal then why are movies allowed ridiculous product placements(I, Robot, anyone?). On the other hand it can be argued that the fault of cost lies on the ISP itself, because we pay X amount of dollars to Comcast etc., every month. Companies need advertising to survive, although unsightly doesn’t sit well with me for the moment. In conclusion, ads are only going to get more and more clever, in ways we can’t even imagine right now.

  32. Some fairly misleading things in this article but I’ll just pick one. You say that publishers may be paying for adverts that are not actually being displayed.

    If you as a publisher are paying for ads shown and not ads clicked then you are doing it wrong. Views are basically meaningless, click are what matters. If you are doing it properly and buying clicks instead of views then ad blocking is costing you nothing for two reasons:

    Firstly; people blocking the ads are not clicking them because they can’t see them so you are not losing money. Secondly; those same people would never have clicked an advert in the first place since they are blocking them and have therefore made an active decision to not be subjected to advertising.

    Until advertising publishers clean up the mechanisms for displaying adverts to make them reasonably secure (I’m looking at you Google) then adblockers remain a must-have tool for people who are security conscious. Infected adverts, published in an automated fashion by advert serving robots, are by a wide margin the most common infection vector for viruses. As content publishers we are responsible for the content of your site, but with automated advertising the buck is passed on to the advert publisher which is a third party. Those publishers mitigate their own responsibilities by claiming that they are not responsible for the actions of the people who use or abuse their service. Who then is responsible for the delivery of infected adverts in such a system? No one. Despite this the same people who shirk responsibility and bemoan adblockers will hold each and every visitor responsible for a perceived loss of profit if said visitors choose not to take part in advertising. I choose to not treat my visitors and customers that way because I believe it is wrong.

    If you choose to ignore your responsibility as a digital content publisher to deliver secure content then you have no ground to tell others that they are responsible for generating cash via methods that pose a legitimate security risk.

    Fix the delivery methods, stop snooping on everything without express permission, ACTUALLY abide by opt-in and opt-out advertising policies and people will have no need to block the adverts and tracking. Since this is unlikely to ever happen in large scale (due to the fact that there is profit in delivering potentially insecure adverts with no accountability for doing so) it’s unlikely that adblockers will ever be seen as something other than essential security tool, privacy enabler and nuisance remover. That’s a shame because advertising is critical for business, but how you choose to operate the business that is your advertising model is your choice as a content publisher.

    The solution is simple: if you refuse to serve your own, privately vetted adverts and offer some form of accountability for your advertising then block the site from loading for people with an adblocker enabled. Explain your policies, give users a chance to whitelist your site, chances are they will when they realize that their privacy is not being destroyed and that the adverts are are individually vetted by a real person. If you won’t even do that, if you won’t take responsibility then block the adblock users anyway and allow only users who dont use an adblocker to visit. Since they are the only ones potentially generating revenue then there’s no loss to you.

    Adblock is a symptom of a much larger problem. The cure lies not in complaining about adblockers but in changing how adverts are delivered and utilized.

    For what it’s worth I’m a web template author for several CMS’s and I run a fairly popular blocg based on this subject. Given the general reactions here I’m choosing anonymity. I monetize with premium content (I use Joomla with various extensions for premium grade users) but also with advertising. The adverts are all from local businesses or other people / organizations with whom I deal with directly, often other template creators. I source or create the promotional materials myself. All the adverts are local to my domain and I don’t have a problem with adblockers despite my site containing adverts because I control the content I am serving. Content delivered in this fashion isn’t usually even blocked as an advert by an adblocker! Surely that’s a better way to serve adverts anyway? Under your own control? Is the convenience of automatically dropping a snippet of code from Google or someone similar in to every page really worth the mistrust has been created for the whole industry?

  33. I just read this entire article with ads and scripts blocked.

    A previous comment stated they have never purchased something based on an ad. I too would agree. I’m not the type of person to be affected by the ads which is why I block them in the first place. So no revenue is lost because there was never hungry for the bait on the hook to matter. I buy things I need and research things I’m interested in to get the best deal. If your site doesn’t come up in my search you’re failing at other forms of advertising that aren’t internet ads.

    I understand marketing and advertising. I’ve created commercials and ads. Ad blockers came about because of the annoying use of ads and intrusiveness. Pop-up ads are still a problem on many sites but pop-up blocker functions were built-in to web browsers before AdBlock extensions.

    There is no way around getting your ads to people that dont want them. I would spend more of my time searching for ways block anti-block measures than I would looking at your ads anyway.

  34. Ad blocking is far more wide spread now than when this article was published. Another factor is Amazon which is having the same effect as Walmart did on small businesses. It’s a tough industry shoving consumer goods down the throats of many who never needed or wanted their products initially. product awareness is what they teach you in school but the reality is physiological trickery. I like not having to look at ads when I’m browsing the internet. When I’m ready to buy something I’ll actively seek it out on my terms and research. Thanks.

  35. Ads were never that intrusive to me, I’ve been on the WWW since it became mainstream back around 1995. Back a little after that time I remember pop ups being a huge problem. We were on dial up back then so it really messed everything up. The computers were also still single core 90 mhz Pentiums and the like so it slowed the system down. Since then one of the main things that I remember being added that is now common on all browsers are pop up blockers. I figured it was because I saw the WWW mature to what it is today over the last 20 years… I figured that since I witnessed it, I saw advertising becoming more and more present as bandwidth became more and more affordable, that I simply became conditioned to ignore it. Perhaps occassionally I’d see something that interested me, but that was very rare. It’s like TV, I ignore almost all the ads but the audience is so large it makes financial sense to run them constantly. I hate ads though and I didn’t really find a need to use the ad blocker until youtube started the commercials, they were a pain. They want $10 a month to turn them off. Ad blocker did that for me for free. But I ignored traditional ads so routinely that I didn’t even realize that all the ads were being blocked from the side bars, I had to turn it off to see the difference. I put it on because of youtube ads. How many others like me are out there that are conditioned to ignore these ads? Unfortunately like TV, the audience is large enough to continue. For those tech savvy enough to do all these work arounds to avoid the whitelist and everything even remotely tech related, and those like me that don’t even pay attention to the ads anyway…. We’re simply not the advertisers demographic.

  36. oh my god we arent able to invade peoples privacy any more by stalking them!!!!1 are you seriusly complaining about not being allowed to stalk people and steal there information? (and yes tracking is just that your obtaining peoples browsing history/habits without there consent and now your literally complaining that users are able to prevent you from doing so…)

  37. The stalking argument is a good one but separate from the central issue as stalking ads are search engine related. Almost all the ads we see today are on publisher websites.

    If this were the real world, those ads would be on billboards, and the publisher would own the billboard and rent it out to whoever wants to advertise. Adblocks would be the guys who sneak in after midnight and erect a barrier in front of the billboard. Then want to be paid to remove it. This is a crime.

  38. I would think the solution would be simple. Create javascript code that waits until the entire page is loaded and on_complete event or something similar. Then javascript code would use document.write or something similar to print the appropriate ad code where it is suppose to go.

  39. I think the idea is simple.

    — Have RELEVANT ads, not just crappola ugly as sin junk because they pay high

    –Stop overloading the page with ads. It shows how fricking desperate you are. I do not share sites with crap load of non-relevant advertising.

    — Since many have javascript or noscript running good luck with that drek

    — Stop blocking us from block you. When I LIKE a site and turn off the adblocker if you are conservative in your approach to advertisements I will whitelist your site. If you’re a jerk, I put it back on, click away and never come back.

    — Yes, ads influence my behavior – to the negative. I note the types of junk being sold and enter keywords into my mind and never seek those sorts of products. Pretty simple, eh?

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