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Dying Light January 12th, 2013 10:53 AM

Ad Blocking And You (And What It ACTUALLY Means To Website Admins)
Today, advertisements are slapped on every webpage that exists. Whether it be forums, online retail, blogs, or e-mail, we are constantly faced with annoying adverts that spam the page. They can be as subtle as a small button, or as ridiculous as a pop-up. Now, internet users have turned to a new solution: ad blocking.

Ad blocking, as it's name suggests, is the action of installing a third-party program or applet that disables all known advertisement scripts and plugins. Because of this, it has caused a lot of bloggers and website admins to start blaming their users for the lack of income to help support the websites' operation.

I find this to be dumb. Let me portray an example.

User visits a website. User doesn't have an ad blocker installed, so user naturally sees adverts. User has no intent to click on the ad, because it's pointless, unless user is not tech-savvy.
Okay, so we already know that some people click on adverts anyway, but most know it's just solicitation or viruses. Therefore, we don't click the advert.
So, user is annoyed by the adverts, or has a limited bandwidth and would like to squeeze every last drop of usage he/she has. User then installs an ad blocker. User visits the same website. It's ads are no longer showing up. It's no different than user not clicking the ads in the first place.

Because of this, admins are irritated by their users since they use ad blocking software. But in all actuality, it's no different than the user not clicking the ad in the first place, as mentioned above. Because most ad services, like Google AdSense, record ad clicks to determine the admin's payment, it makes no sense that admins get frustrated at their users for using an ad blocker, since they weren't generating anything from those users anyway.

See what I'm getting at?

That's why some websites, such as The PokéCommunity, have special subscription-based supporter services that allow benefits to the users. It allows a revenue that helps pay for the website's domain costs, that cannot be "blocked", unless a user doesn't donate at all. I'm sure many people here donate to the forums, which is awesome. But I'm just saying, admins have no reason to be lashing out at users for something that seems quite contradictory. Also, if you're gonna slam your users, you're already pressuring negative effects on them, such as their leaving the website, or telling friends about what happened.

What do you think about this, fellow users?

Links For Extra Information:

Zach January 12th, 2013 12:17 PM

I will confess and say that I do use AdBlock Plus in Google Chrome, but I really only block sites that I find annoying to have ads on (such as Youtube or my local news sites, since they have content that I want to see right away but I can't). However, I do not mind advertisements on sites that I truly support (such as PC) so that they can continue to run, and I do disable my Adblock on those.

PokéZoom January 19th, 2013 2:39 AM

Like almost everyone today, I use a popup blocker, but I don't use an ad block... I like supporting good websites and click on the ads a lot, provided they're from a good ad network like AdSense... And not something that says "DOWNLOAD NOW". I don't mind seeing ads as long as they're not popups.

Poke Fox January 19th, 2013 6:29 AM

I use AdBlock a lot, but I do turn them off on certain websites I support, even if I never click on them.

Catalyst. January 19th, 2013 7:54 AM

I'll confess and say I use Adblock and never turn it off. Ads just bug the **** out of me. I'll happily donate to a good site, but I shall never turn off precious Adblock.

Meganium January 19th, 2013 8:38 AM

I use adblock for a reason, my computer is typically slow with low RAM and loading websites with ads makes things a lot slower. So, adblock makes things a lot easier for me (especially when loading PC). PC is the only site I support, so I donate once in a while. Like Shiny (Catalyst) mentioned, if there's a site I'd like to support, like PC, I'll be happy to donate. Ads are something I refuse to see, tbh. I'll only turn them on when it's necessary.

Great topic, by the way!

droomph January 19th, 2013 12:10 PM

Well, the thing is, loading an ad counts towards a click…whatever

I'll happily not look at ads but if they need the money I'll just donate when I have the time.

Oryx January 19th, 2013 1:10 PM


Originally Posted by droomph (Post 7500409)
Well, the thing is, loading an ad counts towards a click…whatever

I'll happily not look at ads but if they need the money I'll just donate when I have the time.

Droomph hit the nail on the head here - there is a difference between an ad being there and an ad not being there, assuming the user didn't click on the ad. The ad companies pay for people seeing their ad - think of it like a commercial. TV companies are not paid by how many people buy their product after it shows on the commercial; they're paid by how many people saw the commercial. When you block ads, the ad company is not paying for you to see the ad, therefore the website is not getting any money that they would have otherwise gotten.

Edit: If you read your own sources you will see that prices are based on "impressions", or who sees the ad, not clicks.

Sweets Witch January 19th, 2013 1:15 PM

I use AdBlock and I never turn it off, but that's because my biggest pet peeve on the internet is when an ad with audio starts playing and I can't find the source so I can pause or mute it. A surprising number of video sites have those and it's just so annoying that I don't bother playing around with the settings and I just leave it on all the time.

twocows January 19th, 2013 7:09 PM

It's not my responsibility to maintain your servers. I'll adblock if I want to, and if you try to detect my use of adblock, I'll either get around it or use a different site. I understand that maintaining a website costs money, but I'm under no obligation to help you maintain it. You chose to host the site, it's your job to find a way to pay for it. Blaming your users for your failure to find an acceptable way to profit from your content is stupid.

My personal favorite ways people have come up with to help cover their server costs are merchandise shops (with inflated prices) and donation links (where donations don't confer any benefit to the donor). Those two things are voluntary on the part of the user and they don't distract from the content of the page to any significant degree. If people want some sort of return on their money, the merchandise shop is there; if they don't, they can straight-up donate through the donation link. Neither affects anything inside the website/game server/whatever. It's perfect.

Advertisements are tolerable as long as they're unobtrusive and don't try to get around adblocking rules. Better, have an option to disable advertisements for people who have contributed significantly to the community (ala Slashdot).

Aeon January 20th, 2013 2:31 PM

I generally turn off my ad-blocker for sites as long as the ads they host are not in your face. I really only have it on for flash sites. It's a massive nuisance.

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