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  1. #1
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    Angry Your Thoughts on Ad Block Browser Plugin?

    Okay guys, this is something that really bugs me. Regardless of whether you know of this or not, Ad Block is a browser plugin that lets people block all kinds of advertisements from being shown INCLUDING Google Ads, full page ads, flash ads, affiliate ads, slide in ads, pop ups/pop unders, and yes including contextual ads.

    It really p:sses me off that such an application exists because such ads allows websites to be up! Owning and maintaining a website and/or eBusiness is NOT free, and isn't easy either. I just really wanted to hear other peoples' opinions regarding the subject, because when I see my forum users discuss it, I instantly warn them that if they use it to browse my site that I will ban them. I do offer premium memberships that don't see ads for very cheap.

    What are your thoughts? I think such an application should be ILLEGAL! I can understand allowing users to block annoying and intrusive ads such as pop ups/pop unders and JavaScript prompts and slide ins, but not ads that are physically on the web page.

    Your thoughts?!

  2. #2
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The people who use that to block the ads are not going to click on the ads anyway and so you are not losing anything by them blocking ads that they are going to ignore anyway.

    Also that plugin doesn't block anything that can't be blocked in many other ways anyway if you know how (such as simply adding references to all the ad services to your hosts file and pointing them all to 127.0.0.1) so even if you did away with that plugin those people could still block all the ads, they'd just have to put a little more effort into it.

    Anyway, why should that plugin be illegal? Should fast forward controls on video players also be illegal. What about making it illegal to ignore advertising billboards alongside the road - if you don't slow down and ignore the traffic in order to read the ad you're a criminal.

    Anyway, how would advertising be more effective if you made it illegal to ignore the ads? If ignoring advertising were illegal then the advertisers would just feed you 25 hours worth of ads per day and then have you charged for ignoring some of them.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    The people who use that to block the ads are not going to click on the ads anyway and so you are not losing anything by them blocking ads that they are going to ignore anyway.

    Also that plugin doesn't block anything that can't be blocked in many other ways anyway if you know how (such as simply adding references to all the ad services to your hosts file and pointing them all to 127.0.0.1) so even if you did away with that plugin those people could still block all the ads, they'd just have to put a little more effort into it.

    Anyway, why should that plugin be illegal? Should fast forward controls on video players also be illegal. What about making it illegal to ignore advertising billboards alongside the road - if you don't slow down and ignore the traffic in order to read the ad you're a criminal.

    Anyway, how would advertising be more effective if you made it illegal to ignore the ads? If ignoring advertising were illegal then the advertisers would just feed you 25 hours worth of ads per day and then have you charged for ignoring some of them.
    You don't know that. Please don't make such naive statements as that.. Ads can appeal to anyone, even people that hate ads, and everyone hates ads.

    You lose money on impressions and the chances of a click or lead. It's flippin' ridiculous. I can't believe how calm you are. I bet you lose a lot of money from your sites from the script.

    My one site receives over 7,000 unique visitors per day, for example. I know a lot of my users do use the Ad Block script, and because of that, I only generate $5 to $10 from Google AdSense per day, and I have ads everywhere on it and in the best placements.

    It's flippin' ridiculous.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    I gotta say I love the AdBlock Plug-in - I've been a fan for a long time

    I can understand where you're coming alright but I don't agree with the idea you put forth that it should be illegal or even banning people that do have it installed, that's a bit harsh IMO.

    There are many other ways you can generate an income from an online business/website/etc without the enforcement of adverts or indeed premium memberships (but that's me) I guess. Even though I use the Ad-block plug-in I do sometimes disable it or set filters to allow adverts from certain websites I do wish to support. Perhaps that's an angle you could suggest to your members rather than attacking them and perhaps losing some good contributors on your Forums?

  5. #5
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puff Titty View Post
    and I have ads everywhere on it and in the best placements.
    So if it weren't for the ad blocker that many of your visitors are using there would be so much bad publicity for your site because of all the ads that your visitor count would soon drop close to zero and you'd probably be making a lot less from the site than you are now.

    The first thing you need to go away and learn is just what 'advertising' is and how it works. Then you will not be making such ridiculous demands about it which would actually have the exact opposite effect to what you want.

    A significant fraction of my income comes from advertising displayed on the web pages that I write and I am certain that if it were possible to force people to not block ads then my income from advertising would be greatly reduced.

    Are you volunteering to sit in a chair watching a 100% ad channel on TV and to be punished if you so much as blink and so miss seeing a part of one of the ads? How much of what you see in the ads will you then volunteer to buy compared to what you would buy if you were not forced to watch? Or perhaps you are suggesting that it should be illegal not to actually buy a certain percentage of what is advertised as well.

    Advertising is a matter of choice. Those who are interested in increasing their choice by seeing ads will do so, Those who are not interested in increasing their choice of options will either ignore the ads or will bypass them completely.

    Anyway if Google is reporting that you have 7000 visitors a day then that's the number of people who are seeing the ads since Google doesn't know that the page is loading if the ads are blocked. $5 - $10 may or may not be a good return on that many ad views depending on the subject your site covers. Many subjects would require far more ad views than that to earn that large an amount.

    Anyway, a;; anyone need do to block Google ads completely regardless of what browsers they have on their computer is to add the following line to their hosts file:

    googlesyndication.com 127.0.0.1

    Doing that blocks the Google ads from thousands of different web browsers all at once and not just the one browser that adblock works with. So by all means let's ban adblock and just have everyone use the entry in their hosts file so that those using Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome, Safari and all the other less common browsers don't see the ads as well and not just the small percentage who use Firefox/Adblock and have selected to block those ads.

    Alternatively if you were to find a way to get twice as many people to actually click on the ads then unless there was a corresponding increase in the number of people buying the advertised products then the advertisers would at least halve what they are prepared to pay and then you'd need to maintain all those extra clicks in order to keep your existing income. The higher the percentage of people who click on the ads who then actually buy the more the advertiser will pay to have the ads displayed so ideally you want all your visitors who actually click on ads to actually buy the advertised product so that the advertiser will pay a larger amount for the ads and you get to keep those who don't want to buy that product on your web site where you might manage to make money out of them some other way.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  6. #6
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    I'm sorry to see you have such a radical approach Puff Titty, but it's my browser, my internet connection. Who are you to decide I should get what I don't want?

    For all I know, you've tricked people going to your web sites just to see the ads, promoting something that is not there. I don't need to be scammed once again, I want to find what I'm looking for.

    Your ads are scams as far as I can tell. Because you can't vouch for any of them, you're just one that profits from them, and that probably when it means other are scammed.

    Your ad theory is broken. Just because it benefits you, it doesn't mean is good for everybody. And I don't care you being all altruistic and maintaining a useful free web site or you being a shark looking to max its profits.

    What if you go to a restaurant and you receive in your plate, along side the food you order, bits of a few other foods? What if you are listening to radio and the tune they play is mixed with several other publicity jingles? What if your telephone conversation was interrupted by bits of other people voices promoting stuff?

    I hope you see what bull_*/hit is and what you're saying is one. I'm not on the internet to help you make money against my wish, and if you don't understand that, than get off the internet you and your web sites!

    It's all about personal choice, it's not about you deciding for others because you know better or profit more! If you want help, like in "I scratch your back, you scratch mine" kind of thing, you need to learn to ASK FOR SUPPORT AND BE POLITE!
    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    Even though I use the Ad-block plug-in I do sometimes disable it or set filters to allow adverts from certain websites I do wish to support. Perhaps that's an angle you could suggest to your members rather than attacking them and perhaps losing some good contributors on your Forums?

    Once again, for you to properly understand: MY TIME, MY BROWSER, MY INTERNET CONNECTION!!!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard masm50's Avatar
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    AdBlock is always a hot topic amongst web developers, and you seem to have ruffled some feathers already.

    Making it illegal is way too strong a step to take (ignoring the fact that making something illegal in one country have a very limited effect on its use as the rest of the internet would still offer it to everyone) as like others have pointed out - it is their browser, time and internet connection, so they should be able to use it how they like.

    That said, I wish AdBlock did make it easier (via useragent or similar) for website owners to know which users are using it or not, and also have the choice to act accordingly. Whilst I completely agree that users should be able to have the choice to block ads, content providers should be then able to choose if that user may be beneficial for their site (building buzz with a wider audience, etc) or if they are just a simple leech on resources.

    For the sites I run which are a large part advertising funded, I would not block the adblockers as the cost to me for each user is so low that implementing the tech to do so would not be worthwhile - especially as like others have said, these users will likely not look/click on the ads anyway. But if the site was resource intensive like audio or video streaming, where the bandwidth bills can be substantial per user, then I would block them.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    I don't really get all that upset about AdBlock. Sure, I might loose a few clicks, but it would be miniscule, compared to the total amount of clicks I receive. No-one in their right mind would argue against pop-up blockers, because pop-ups are far more intrusive - but who is to say that the level of annoyance from a Google AdSense-block for one user isn't the same as the level of annoyance from a gambling website pop-up for another user?

    Don't get upset about something you can't do anything about. And no, the 'solution' I've seen of blocking everyone who use Firefox is hardly doing something about it. All it will do is cost you the clicks of every Firefox users without AdBlock, making you loose more money. Believing that users will open another browser to view your website because you tell them to, for reasons they don't even understand, is analogous to those 'Best viewed in'-images of the nineties. It might even make more Firefox users download AdBlock, by learning about it through your website.

    Rather, think about how you can take advantage of those who won't see your regular ads. For example, if you really want to display some ads to these users, get some direct advertisers, and display their banners to all Firefox users. Since you can implement this proprietarily, AdBlock won't be able to detect the banners as ads. The question is, of course, whether this is worth the extra two or three dollars per month.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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  9. #9
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Yes, I use the plugin because I pay per megabyte; I flatly refuse to pay for adverts I will not follow, and I customise what I block and don't.

  10. #10
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Anyway if Google is reporting that you have 7000 visitors a day then that's the number of people who are seeing the ads since Google doesn't know that the page is loading if the ads are blocked.
    So if I have a site with no ads and Google Analytics installed then there is no way for Google to know that page has been loaded because of adblocker? Wow

    Anyway, a;; anyone need do to block Google ads completely regardless of what browsers they have on their computer is to add the following line to their hosts file:

    googlesyndication.com 127.0.0.1
    99% of the Internet population has no clue what a host file is.

    Alternatively if you were to find a way to get twice as many people to actually click on the ads then unless there was a corresponding increase in the number of people buying the advertised products then the advertisers would at least halve what they are prepared to pay and then you'd need to maintain all those extra clicks in order to keep your existing income. The higher the percentage of people who click on the ads who then actually buy the more the advertiser will pay to have the ads displayed so ideally you want all your visitors who actually click on ads to actually buy the advertised product so that the advertiser will pay a larger amount for the ads and you get to keep those who don't want to buy that product on your web site where you might manage to make money out of them some other way.
    Huh? So you're saying that not displaying the ads to people who may be interested in the products is actually helping advertisers? People aren't blocking ads based on their interests, they are blocking all ads so your logic is flawed at best. People who are violently opposed to ads aren't going to start clicking on them just because they suddenly see them causing click costs to drop to compensate.

    OP at the end of the day there will always be people who don't want to see ads, just like there will be people who fast forward over commercials on TV, there really isn't much you can do about it so there isn't any point in getting worked up over it.

  11. #11
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Your energy is best used on things you can control. This is something you clearly can't control so don't stress over it. You're stressing over losing money you didn't even have in first place.

    Focus on improving your site, creating more value and money will follow. Focus on destroying something you perceive as the reason why you're failing and you will lose the little you have. Ironically, AdBlock is not the reason you're making less than you'd like to.
    Saul

  12. #12
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    99% of the Internet population has no clue what a host file is.
    I recommended the hosts file blocking method for a long time before adblocker plugins became common. It's not as obscure as you would think. Additionally, a few anti-malware/anti-spyware applications use this method to block domains and IPs of known sources of malware (Spybot and SpywareBlaster, for example).
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  13. #13
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    99% of the Internet population has no clue what a host file is.
    There's no such thing as a host file - the file name is hosts with no extension and it is the file on all Windows based computers that can control what IP address domains will go to without needing to look up a DNS. All of the anti-spyware programs etc automatically add entries into that file to block many of the spyware and adware sites .

    Anyway 99% of people don't know what adblock is either and those who do know about adblock were actuively searching for a way to block ads and if they hadn't found adblock would have found some other way such as adding entries into their hosts file.

    Since most of the people who completely block ads are doing so because they have a limited bandwidth and don't want to waste it on ads they don't want to see, those same people probably block other things that are of no benefit to them but which would use up the bandwidth that they are paying for - such as Google Analytics which downloads JavaScript along with the web page that provides no benefit whatever to the person viewing the page. Personally I'd be far more inclined to block the absolutely useless to me Analytics rather than ads where there is a 0.0001% chance that I might actually find one interesting enough to look further.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  14. #14
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    Well, I understand Puff Titty but...can't agree. This is a free world and hopefully people are free to choose if they want to block ads or not.

    It really annoys me when someone complains because others use ad-blockers and then they can't make more profit... because I fail to see why I have to be forced to see ads that I don't want to see... only to make them earn more! That's selfish, in my opinion.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Ok, here goes...

    1) You will never be able to make adblock illegal. That goes against the concept of the world wide web. You choose to create and maintain your website and therefore you are responsible for the costs. Besides, all you have to do is pay for the domain, hosting, site configuration and content. You're not paying for your visitors broadband and hardware so you have no right to complain that they don't tip you when they come for a visit.

    2) Maybe some visitors use adblock. So what? If the content is valuable, they'll refer others to your site and they may be interested in your ads.

    3) Rather than focus your energy on something that you'll never change, maybe you could focus on getting a better conversion rate from those who are open to your ads. I don't use adblock and I visited the site in question (I think www.linkative.com). If this were my site, I would redesign the template to provide better positioned ads that:

    • provide better separation between the site's content / navigation and the ad material and
    • Highlights the ad and makes it look like it belongs rather than being cobbled on.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  16. #16
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    I have to say that I use adblocker for a couple of reasons, the first and most important for me is that when I am designing adsense templates for sale, I can view them online without fear of clicking on the buggers.

    I also don't want to click on em anyway so why have em?

    It is and has to be a basic right of ppl to either use one or not, before you ask I make money from ads too and I have no problem with ad-blocker.

    Nichesites

  17. #17
    Twitter: @TimIgoe silver trophy TimIgoe's Avatar
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    I personally sit on both sides here, I have adverts on one of my sites and it does pay for the hosting, so I like to know people can see them. For this I use Google's Adsense to give nice simple adverts.

    However, flipside, I HATE sites that are full of adverts, especially noisy / flash based / pop up over the top / get in the way ones. I suspect there would be less of a reason to block them if adverts weren't so obtrusive. This is why I do have an adblocker myself, to get rid of the large amount of crap adverts on the internet that cause my machine to run awfully slowly.

    I would certainly make the assumption that those users who tend to block adverts don't care for them themselves and wouldn't actually click them so rather than focus on dealing with them, I'd be concentrating on working with those who do see the adverts and increasing my conversion rates there.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophy
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    I do not use adblock software but I can honistly say that in the 12 or so years I have been using a PC I can not remember clicking on one ad on a website.

    My father is in his 70's and complains that he has problems finding his way around some websites due to all the ads etc. and it looks like your site could be one of those:
    I have ads everywhere on it

  19. #19
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    Ironically, AdBlock is not the reason you're making less than you'd like to.
    What I mean by that is that the wide use of AdBlock among your users (as you say is the case) reveals a much bigger problem - a very low commercial intent of you visitors. And while you might not be selling anything yourself, Google is very good at determining the commercial intent. The math is simple, if the visitors don't buy, advertisers are not gonna want to run ads on your site, which results in low competition for your ad space and low CPC.

    In this case you may try to run some ads on your site yourself (with affiliate or CPA programs). In that case you have all the control to create an offer that you deem fit for your audience. And no ad blockers will prevent that.

    And sometimes you have to accept the fact that some niches simply don't have buyers. I have such a site myself, it enjoys but a few bucks from AdSense regardless of the 1k daily visitors it gets. All attempts to monetize it better are of no avail - there are no buyers.
    Saul

  20. #20
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    because I fail to see why I have to be forced to see ads that I don't want to see... only to make them earn more!
    The thing is that they wont earn more in that situation - they'll earn less. If you are forced to see the ads then you use more bandwidth to view the pages and the ad service also uses more bandwidth to send the ads. If you don't click on the ads then the ad service has higher expenses and no extra income and so has to take a bigger cut from what the advertiser pays. If a small percentage of the extra people who see the ads then accidentally click on them while trying to navigate the site then the advertiser has to pay more and because they aren't actually making money from those accidental clicks they will have to reduce what they pay per click so as to not end up paying more for the ads than the advertising is worth to them. So with the smaller amount being paid by the advertiser and the larger amount being taken by the ad service the amount earnt by the web site owner will be reduced.

    Far better to let those with no interest on the ads hide them so that they can avoid clicking on ads by accident and thus you don't reduce the value of the ad clicks that are delivered. Also if you did have too many people clicking on ads by accident you run the risk of having the ad service ban your site and so you benefit from those with no interest in the ads hiding them because it lessens the chance of your getting banned because of accidental clicks on the ads.

    Ideally the ads need to be shown to those who are interested in them and only those who are actually going to buy the product or service being advertised should click on them. That impossible to achieve ideal situation would give the maximum benefit to all concerned. Having those with no interest whatever in ads blocking them assists slightly toward that ideal and so everyone ends up better off.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  21. #21
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    I block most ads and flash because I hate waiting for them to load. Maybe if sites with a lot of ads would pay for their visitor's broadband

    I have a forum site that was created by the users of another forum that was sold and the new owner plastered the site with intrusive ads. I am able to pay for the webhosting with a PayPal donate button and no ads.

    Bill

  22. #22
    John 8:24 JREAM's Avatar
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    I use it because Ads are very irritating. Ads are so easy to identify I don't think anyone really reads or clicks them unless it's a quick impulse. Except for maybe facebook ads, those are decent looking.

    Some sites wont let you view their content if you have ad blocker on. For myself, I don't turn the blocker off, I just leave, but that's an option.

    In my opinion the people clicking Ads are mostly computer newbies. I've only clicked about 3 ads total this year, they were images, and all had to do with web hosting that I was interested in at that immediate moment, which is very rare!

  23. #23
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Advertising is about a whole lot more than putting *relevant* ads on your website to make you money. Ever since advertising has existed there have been ways of blocking adverts, from VCR's with software installed to not record adverts to people recording shows from the radio on cassette tapes and skipping adverts.

    The idea that "adverts help people" is a load of crap. Everyone on here that has put adverts on their website has done it for one thing and one thing only, profit; and there is nothing wrong with that! However, people come to your page for its content or its services, not your adverts.

    Reddit, currently the most popular social news website in front of Digg, has a novel method of showing adverts by making them available to the community by allowing comments and votes on them. In addition to this, they leave fun Flash games and nice messages thanking their users for not using AdBlock. As a result (and don't quote me on this) a lot of Reddit users have turned off AdBlock on Reddit because they want to support the website, and trust that the adverts shown won't be intrusive to their experience.

    Rather than come here and complain about your adverts not reaching people that don't care about them, why not take a leaf from Reddit and thank those users that don't use AdBlock, in addition to opening the floor to suggestions as to what you can do to make the ad experience more tolerable.

  24. #24
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    I do agree on Author's point but should not interfere w/ the viewers. For example, would public TV station exist w/o commercials? What if there was a plugin for you TV to skip commercials? w/o a doubt many people will install it! However, if you start denying the users because of AdBlock... you will always lose... it's not a battle you want to fight. The maximum action you can take is to "nicely" ask your viewer to set their AdBlock to disable on your site. If not, those users will never ever visit your site again and they may say negative things on other forums. I don't know too much of your site but if you have commenting system then your users add value to your site. You don't want to lose that.

    How about this? for the people who use AdBlock, put up a "flash" page. This might annoy the user enough to disable the AdBlock. But, don't threaten them saying their IP be blocked!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sg707 View Post
    How about this? for the people who use AdBlock, put up a "flash" page. This might annoy the user enough to disable the AdBlock. But, don't threaten them saying their IP be blocked!
    I think that it will only annoy users and make them leave the site.

    That's why you have to have the right amount of ads and you really need to integrate them nicely. If people didn't abuse of ads, then visitors wouldn't turn to ad blockers to enjoy their browsing. They would accept the ads, ignore them if they wish, or click on them if they please.


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