Ads vs. Ad Blockers: Who Ya Got? (1 Viewer)

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V Chip

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I've been meaning for a long, long time to write a post/something about Ads and Ad Blockers and websites/apps that utilize ads. I have a half-finished Open Letter to websites asking me to turn off my bandwidth theft device that I'll pull from here to start this discussion.

Way back When™, ads were basically unobtrusive -- usually banner ads at the top or edge of the page. Lots of sites required click-through ads to get paid, so on those websites I liked the most I made sure to click through the ads each day to help out the websites I liked. Didn't matter if you actually did anything after that click, supposedly the website got some money for each click.

But then things changed, and ads started going by impressions -- the number of times an ad appeared, so basically the number of page hits. Clicking-through didn't help much if at all anymore. And then the ads started becoming obtrusive -- popup ads, takeover ads (they expand to fill the whole web page for a set time or until an action is taken), flash ads with sound and video -- some automatically playing without any chance to opt out of the video/sound, malware, tracking cookies, etc. They became a nuisance, and Ad blocking software or plugins came onto the scene.

I'm a savvy web user, and even though I tried to avoid ads that caused me irritation at best and a tedious process of removing malware at worst, eventually I got the Ad Blocking plugins and life was much, much better. And for some website I really like and grew to trust, I'd remove the bandwidth theft device (Ad - Blocker) for that site (but still occasionally becoming annoyed with the obtrusiveness of the ads).

But now many web sites refuse to serve content unless I disable Ad Blocking. And I get why -- they need to serve the ads to make money, especially for their original content writers (some of which are members here) or to cover server costs. But it's still incredibly annoying, as many (I'd say more than 50% from my personal experience) still use obtrusive and annoying ad content. I can't go to WWL anymore because of their ads and the way they take over my web viewing experience (at least the last time I tried to disable to bandwidth theft device (Ad - Blocker) on their site). Imagine in the old days of print news or content, flipping the newspaper to read more of that front-page article and reading a paragraph into it only to have the newspaper start yelling at you about this great new car deal while a huge picture of the crazy car salesman appears and covers the whole newspaper page. How many newspapers would they have sold then (getting past the obvious technological "WHOA! How did they do that!?" aspect of that occurring)?

I wish there was a way that the content providers could guarantee that none of these annoying things would happen on their sites (with even the possibility of remuneration in the event of malware contracted from their ads) because I'd be more willing to add them to my white list. But again, personal experience has been extremely mixed with white-listing. And I do want to support sites I visit frequently (like SR or here, or news sites that don't require a paywall) and I do subscribe to a few news outlets like the Washington Post or the NYT when they offer the big sales. But I'm still extremely turned off by the ones that block me with the "We see you have an bandwidth theft device (Ad - Blocker) activated..." message.

So what do you all think? Where is a good line between being able to generate revenue for content providers yet not be annoyed constantly by the ads that are obtrusive?

(HAHA! While posting this article and previewing it, everywhere I had typed "bandwidth theft device" (The word "Ad" and then the word "Blocker") this site replaced it with "bandwidth theft device.")
 
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V Chip

V Chip

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Blah Blah Blah
After posting this, I did a Google Search on "bandwidth theft device Ad - Blocker" (without the " - ") and the first link was to Tom's Guide, where the headline read Why Using an Ad - Blocker is Stealing.

I went to the link.

They asked me to disable my Ad Blocking plugin. Reluctantly, I did.

The site reloaded. Within 15 seconds, this appeared. This is why I hate sites that ask me to turn off my Ad - Blocker.
1571766226056.png


Back to the blacklist you go, Tom's Guide.
 
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Andrus

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Without ads, most sites would cease to exist. You aren't required to visit these sites and pay for the content by putting up with the ads that they are serving, but on the other hand the websites aren't required to give away free content either.

That being said, many sites get really greedy, and being that intrusive ads pay better than the standard non-dynamic types, the greedy serve whatever ad types pay the most with little regard for the user experience. I think that is a dumb approach if you want to both keep users from using ad - blockers or keep people visiting your site.

I do not allow advertisers to serve any pop-ups, pop-unders, expansion ads, redirects or anything that I find intrusive to members on SR, nor will I here. However, there are hackers out there that like to covertly insert re-direct code into their ads in a manner that makes it is a bit difficult to figure out which ads being served are the culprit, so although the ad servers have gotten a lot better at eliminating such, the hackers still find ways to do it and have to be dealt with. In-fact, we had the problem this week on SR, whereas normally the issue would be with devices, this time it was with PC's. That was taken care of by our ad people rather quickly.

On SR, the last time that I checked about 40% of all users were using ad - blockers. Up form 27% the prior year. It's killing ad revenue. More and more sites are now blocking content to traffic using ad-blockers. High traffic sites are quite expensive to operate, and its getting to the point where its a matter of either blocking users using blockers or shutting down, and that is exactly the reason websites are blocking content to people using ad-blockers.
 

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After posting this, I did a Google Search on "bandwidth theft device Ad - Blocker" (without the " - ") and the first link was to Tom's Guide, where the headline read Why Using an Ad - Blocker is Stealing.

I went to the link.

They asked me to disable my Ad Blocking plugin. Reluctantly, I did.

The site reloaded. Within 15 seconds, this appeared. This is why I hate sites that ask me to turn off my Ad - Blocker.
1571766226056.png


Back to the blacklist you go, Tom's Guide.
That could be the result one of those redirects I mentioned due to unscrupulous advertisers, which the sites webmasters aren't to blame. Ad-servers are in a constant war with these cretins.
 
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V Chip

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That being said, many sites get really greedy, and being that intrusive ads pay better than the standard non-dynamic types, the greedy serve whatever ad types pay the most with little regard for the user experience. I think that is a dumb approach if you want to both keep users from using ad - blockers or keep people visiting your site.
And this causes everyone else problems, as people get tired of the intrusive ads and then block everything because of those bad actors.
On SR, the last time that I checked about 40% of all users were using ad - blockers. Up form 27% the prior year. It's killing ad revenue. More and more sites are now blocking content to traffic using ad-blockers. High traffic sites are quite expensive to operate, and its getting to the point where its a matter of either blocking users using blockers or shutting down, and that is exactly the reason websites are blocking content to people using ad-blockers.
Which is why I have SR whitelisted. :9:

But in general, I won't whitelist unless I really trust the site or really want to support the site. Because what Ishowed as an example above happens far too often for my liking. I realize it's almost never the website doing it themselves, but IMO the website is being lazy with their vetting of ads if it happens more than a couple times. And it's especially ironic when it happens immediately after I whitelist them.
 

Hatakikomi

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Without ads, most sites would cease to exist. You aren't required to visit these sites and pay for the content by putting up with the ads that they are serving, but on the other hand the websites aren't required to give away free content either.

That being said, many sites get really greedy, and being that intrusive ads pay better than the standard non-dynamic types, the greedy serve whatever ad types pay the most with little regard for the user experience. I think that is a dumb approach if you want to both keep users from using ad - blockers or keep people visiting your site.

I do not allow advertisers to serve any pop-ups, pop-unders, expansion ads, redirects or anything that I find intrusive to members on SR, nor will I here. However, there are hackers out there that like to covertly insert re-direct code into their ads in a manner that makes it is a bit difficult to figure out which ads being served are the culprit, so although the ad servers have gotten a lot better at eliminating such, the hackers still find ways to do it and have to be dealt with. In-fact, we had the problem this week on SR, whereas normally the issue would be with devices, this time it was with PC's. That was taken care of by our ad people rather quickly.

On SR, the last time that I checked about 40% of all users were using ad - blockers. Up form 27% the prior year. It's killing ad revenue. More and more sites are now blocking content to traffic using ad-blockers. High traffic sites are quite expensive to operate, and its getting to the point where its a matter of either blocking users using blockers or shutting down, and that is exactly the reason websites are blocking content to people using ad-blockers.
That could be the result one of those redirects I mentioned due to unscrupulous advertisers, which the sites webmasters aren't to blame. Ad-servers are in a constant war with these cretins.
Ultimately the site owners are responsible - you do a pretty good job, but even so, on SR popups or whatever still get through once in a while. It's only the site owners that can put pressure on the ad servers to check the ads they serve. Long term, more sites will block visitors who use ad blockers, and site traffic will reduce, and/or they put more pressure on the ad servers to control the ads they serve better, and get/keep more traffic as a result. The more website owners push back, the more things will improve. End users can't do it.

It's fine either way. There are sites I've whitelisted, there are sites I won't, and there are sites I've abandoned, because the options are the version overrun with intrusive ads or the version that's pretty much broken.
 

zeetes

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if it is a site i like/support, i will put an exception in for it to not be blocked. otherwise, some of the sites, especially the stealthy click-bait, i am all about using whatever means necessary to block penis pills etc. i looked one time. quit reminding me!!!!
 

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