Over the past few months, I’ve been prompted by a good number of websites which blocks my browser from viewing the page with an overlay or redirects me to a page because I'm running one these plug-ins – Ad Blocker and Ghostery.
it is nonetheless true that ad-blocking is a real problem for blogger's ( including me) and site owners the world over whose only source of income is ad revenue.
This is my view on the ad-blocker, its blockers and suggestion to improve the blocker.
How did it started
The candidates that triggered someone to make the Ad Blocker project is none other than the publishers. I'm not blaming a person or the whole community but it's the community that started it by bombarding users with pop-ups and ads.
I'm not sure exactly when the ad-blocker plug-ins came up (Ad Blocker projects states 2006), I been using it for long time. It helped me clear the clutter and other distractions out of the websites I visit and Ghostery plug-in to prevent tracking my activities.
AdBlocker & Me
I been using Ad-Blocker before I started working on the web and the first time I noticed the adblocker's effect on publishers was after I became a publisher myself. I did know it reduced their ad revenue but not the scale it actually did.
In the initial days after Tech Stream started producing some visitors I thought of going with ads. I tried a lot of platforms like google ads, Media.net and more. I ended up removing them after I found these platforms weren't showing relevant ads and the presentation wasn't of my interest. It was after another year I found an ad network that does something I am interested inInfluads (now Carbon Ads) a premium ad network, which had a policy of One ad per page and small 140x90 sized image and the advertisements were relevant to my contents.
After joining Influads I did compare the web analytic and the ad analytic and found that the ad traffic was half the actual traffic. That's when I analyzed the effect of ad-blockers. I knew what Ad's was on both sides so I did nothing.
In 2015 I submitted Acceptable Ads proposal to Adblockerplus to White-list techstream.org and it got approved and all of sudden I found the ads traffic showed 80% of the total traffic which indeed produced more revenue and also happy readers (I hope).
Ad-Blocker blockers the killer for killing the program that blocks the ads. I want to discuss the working, current systems and suggestions
Unlike the Ad-blocker plugins, Ad-Blocker-Blockers are not an application that user's installs, it's not an application at all for a user. This is what makes it dangerous, it's an identification plugin for publishers that detects the presence of ad-Blocker and can trigger some action.
How to detect ad-block
So what makes it dangerous? yea its the action part because your doing something that user didn't expect or want you to.
DetectAdblock.com can give you more information on it.
Hey you have ad-blocker!
Everything comes down to this, letting your user know they are doing it, common approaches are :
Do Nothing (The Best)
As it says do nothing, if you found a user using ad block good. Just keep calm.
Request user (Good, Recommended)
No shouting message, No disruption of content, Pop-up ( Not okay, with skip or close only)
Inform the user about the ad-block and the consequences of that for you, if they are good enough to understand and like your content. They will disable it on your website.
Make sure you give a 'how to' steps to white-list a domain in ad-blocker
Redirect the User (Just don't do it)
Redirect your user to a page that informs they are using ad-block and request them to disable it.
Make it the final call, I'm not sure if it is, I don't have any data to analyze but in my case it is. If you do that Bye.
If the publishers were using the first and second methods I wouldn't be writing this post nor you will be reading it most probably. It's clear that publishers take the third one as final call and it appears it's gonna lose users after I asked about the experience with a few of my friends but It would be great if someone can publish a detailed study with data on the effects.
Creating contents comes at a price, advertising is one of the revenue method to fund it, actions against it does bring a problem to the publishers but it necessary for publishers to think the cause of those actions before acting against it.
If your users love the content they will come back unless you send them away, it's the users we work for so it's our duty to keep them happy. One advantage we publishers have is every publisher is a user but not every user is a publisher. so it's the publishers who should find a solution than forcing the other.
Alternative for ad-blocker Blockers :
Acceptable Ads program
Survey conducted by Adblockerplus.org concluded that only 25 percent of Adblock Plus users are strictly against all advertising. This has led to creation of Acceptable Ads program where each website is inspected and added to the list. This can let your ad's skip the Adblockerplus plugin but not others.
Asking users to pay for content is a good method, internet is mix of users from different countries, different financial status this doesn't promise revenue from everyone but it they can afford or are willing to, this can help you keep the content pumping.
Looking forward to more alternatives. Let me know in comments.
We are doing it on the internet where each individual has their own choice, I personally will avoid any program that goes against my interest or figure a way to get around the blockhead.
A few have emerged to go beyond it.
Anti-Adblock Killer a script to kill ad-block-killer. Helps you keep your Ad-Blocker active, when you visit a website and it asks you to disable.
The Brave Project
And more to emerge..
Its clear that neither the Ad-Blocker nor Ad-Blocker-Killer can win the game, it can at max end up in an arm's race between the two, so it's better to stay in peace than engage in the cold race.