Why Ad Blocking Hurts Sites like this one

The folks over at Ars Technica of which I am a personal fan, put out a post today titled “Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love“.

There is no way I could have expressed as elegantly as they did what I have felt for a very long time. I am not sure I would have done the experiment that they did, but I have to admit I bet a few folks eyes bugged out of there heads when they were the recipients of the experiment. Do you Love us? Please white list us and don’t block the ads, those ads help keep the lights on!

About Todd Cochrane

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.

4 thoughts on “Why Ad Blocking Hurts Sites like this one

  1. Unfortunately for Ars Technica the issue is not about blocking ads it is more fundamental.

    There is an implicit assumption that advertising in its current format will continue as it has always done. In other words an industrial-age concept of billboards can be successfully grafted onto the information superhighway.

    This is working at the moment only because an information age alternative has not yet emerged where vendors can meet with consumers in a more efficient, less intrusive and more cost-effective environment.

    Information age advertising mediums are inevitable and are starting to appear right now. One example is the Customer Satisfaction Monitor which has recently been launched.

    This Customer Satisfaction Monitor ) answers the three most important pre-purchase questions and introduces a new step into the sales process. Advertisers can now target prospects at a very crucial point in the sales process much more cost-effectively and less intrusively because the consumer is in control.

    As an advertiser it will be increasingly uneconomical to advertise elsewhere because potential customers will be ambushed by competitors at services like the Customer Satisfaction Monitor. Industrial-age advertising will, as a result, wither on the vine.

    For those services relying on advertising it is time to rethink your revenue model.

  2. I’d third this – frankly I don’t block ads from websites. Typically I’m using Firefox with noscript, and I’ll whitelist the ads as I do enjoy not paying for the free websites I browse.

    However, to the advertisers: if an ad site uses graphics I don’t agree with (recently one used non-work safe images), they either get no-scripted again, or more likely, I’ll just block the images. It would seem to me that blocking the images has the desired effect for the website I’m browsing – their advertiser will see a hit and pay them for it, but lose all of the advertising potential for the products being offered. Please advertisers: choose judiciously what you put on OTHER websites.

  3. I agree with John. I tend to unblock the sites I use most often and the sites I trust not to hit me with obnoxious ads. The #1 rule for advertising should be to not shove your ads in front of everything else. When it becomes obtrusive and problematic is when I block it or no longer visit the site.

    It is a two way street. Promise to know exactly what type of ads you are serving up to your audience and don’t make them intrusive and your audience is more likely to be generous with their browser space and time.

    I’ll use a prime example. Nick Bradbury, the creator of the rss reader program FeedDemon, turned from a commercial product to a free software and then later added a small ad block on it. He was upfront with his audience about the switches and wieghed the consequences in his forums. It wasn’t an obnoxious ad block and it didn’t take up much realestate. Soon after the switch to ad supported software he had 1 problem with an ad causing a browser to be launched and he quickly pounced on the ad suppliers and fixed the program to never allow that again.

    As an aside, I have to say I find the thought of people complaining about adblockers a little humorous when many on the internet have almost rejoiced in seeing their local newspapers suffering because of shrinking ad revenue base. Both are based on the same suffering monetary model.

  4. Fortunately the ads on GNC are not too intrusive Todd, but many are and some of these do and perhaps this is why some will block every add on every site?

    This is the money that keeps everything “free” so blocking everything is a mistake but some of those sites really need to take a look at the way they do things too and possibly even more importantly what they are advertising. For example the number of scam adverts on Facebook is getting beyond a joke…

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