Why Adblock is good for the internet, advertisers
Published: Monday, September 9, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 03:09
Don’t you hate it when you’re browsing your favorite sites and then a huge ad rolls up from the bottom of the screen and plays a movie without your consent? And let’s not forget how small that “x” button is when you try to close it. Or how about the ones that don’t have the close option at all; and you’re forced to sit through the entire ad about debt consolidation or gambling. Have you ever had a mother or significant other get the wrong idea when they walk into a room and the less than modest of pop up is spread eagle across your screen. My point is that it’s obvious why Adblock Plus is so commonplace now.
It’s no secret that millions of people use Adblock Plus on their browsers every day. According to ClarityRay, an ad-block protection company, the overall rate of ad-blocked impressions in the US is 9.26 percent! Sure the fact is staggering, but I’m here to say that there is nothing wrong with that. While most websites depend on ads for funds, almost all of the ads they have are extremely bad, annoying, and obtrusive. Some of them even take you to the dark corners of the internet where they suggest you buy male enhancement products. Oh sure, that ad saying you’re the millionth visitor on their site will award you alright…with pictures of scantily clad women and a Trojan; the bad Trojan.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Adblock Plus to death, but I also understand the implications of how it affects companies and independent sites. It severely cuts their revenue and forces publishers to make difficult decisions on how to provide content to their readers while still being able to make a profit.
So yes, Adblock Plus hurts the sites that you love but that doesn’t mean you should stop using it. Why? Because it grants you the power of choice. You can choose to whitelist the sites that you love visiting while blocking the ones that you don’t. It’s a great feature that grants flexibility and lets you browse the internet the way it was meant to be—your way. You’re already paying a good chunk of money for your internet so use it how you see fit.
Many websites have begun to counteract Adblock Plus however by launching subscriptions to their readers. The concept is simple: pay a certain amount per month or year, and you get full access with perks. For example, Destructoid.com, an independent gaming news site (which I love) just launched a membership program that gives you some pretty sweet perks such as automatic contest entries, live chat with the editors and 25 percent off their merchandise, just to name a few. The reason for launching this is pretty obvious; during February of this year, their Adblock rate was at 42.9 percent according to site founder Niero Gonzalez. Instead of the site bursting into flames, the founder found a much less annoying way to keep his site running.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, Adblock Plus is actually a good thing for advertising. Publishers are going to become selective about what ads they run. We know they’re already working their asses off providing good content and establishing loyalty with their readers, but the truth is that they still have little control over what actually shows up in the ad slots. And what usually shows up is an ad that doesn’t fit the site’s design, has nothing to do with its content or readers’ interests, and is usually annoying with its random pop-ups.
Publishers don’t have to worry about the readers who don’t have any other choice but to live with the ads. But for Adblock Plus users, publishers will want to exercise more control over advertising layout and content to pull those readers back in. This forces ad graphic designers to make better and less obtrusive ads. Visitors will respect the site more as a result, and come to love and support it by whitelisting. This is selective service in a whole new light folks.