Adblockers killing websites

How much money are you losing because of adblockers?


Do you know how you’d tell if you were? Do you have a way to detect when ads are being blocked? I imagine it shouldn’t be hard to get this info, but I don’t have ads on my sites.


I don’t use ads on my sites either, and of the 100’s of sites I’ve built for clients over the years only 2 use them - 1 is now defunct and the other is going through a revamp right now and we’re using native ads on there which are mostly immune from ad blocking.

A couple of years ago I setup ads on one of my sites and it took 13 months to reach the minimum pay out by Google - before the cookie scare. I am another 18 months on and I have not even reached halfway to the next Google pay out.


Do you know how you’d tell if you were?

Since it’s usually possible to tell that they’re being blocked (re: the sites that beg you not to use adblocker in the middle of their ad spot when it’s blocked) I’d assume you could just log that hit as adblocked, then compare that number to your raw analytics? Could at least get a ballpark idea from that.

This is a problem with advertising, but definitely not the case universally. Sites have to consider a couple of things.

  1. Enough traffic. It can take really large volumes to make money with Adsense, for example.
  2. A good ad deal. Arranged advertisements are almost always more lucrative for the host and more productive for the advertiser than the automated services like Adsense/Adwords.

That said, I can’t imagine that adblockers are killing websites. Or, let me rephrase: I don’t imagine that they should be killing websites. If your site is trafficked enough to support itself off of ad revenue to start with, I’m sure that in most cases you should have the ability to leverage that userbase to make money in other ways if you are becoming unable to support the site with the remaining ad revenue post-adblockers.

On the other hand, it’d be nice if there was a way to block trash ads on sites while still keeping relevant ones, or easily remove ads from your most visited sites, or something. The white and blacklisting with most extensions is still too much effort for a lot of people to bother with, even if they want to support a site.

I’m a big fan of running an adblocker and just enabling it only on annoying domains, or the reverse and taking care to disable it on domains you are on a lot. For whatever that’s worth.

according to the WSJ Ad-Blocking Software Will Cost the Ad Industry $22 Billion This Year. sites like cnn, forbes and others are free of charge and all their income is from ads so i guess they lose a lot of money.


This all assumes people would click on the ads if they weren’t being blocked. I don’t buy it. I often use an adblocker but I’m unlikely to click on an ad anyway.


Very true, the kind of people who are using adblockers, are highly unlikely to click the ads if they were there, which would make their financial impact very low indeed.
By using a blocker you are saying “I’m not interested in ads.”


Typically media sites earn by ad impressions, not clicks. That’s why they’re throwing tantrums because ad blocking prevents ad impressions and thus they lose income.


Not the $22B they are claiming they will lose…


It is fairly easy to set up the page so that the display of the content gets blocked if the ads are not displayed.

That does not make any sense to me. :ng:

One can only lose money by personal carelessness or stupidity. :mask:

Holes in the pocket and gambling are possible examples that
immediately come to mind. :sunglasses:



There is a way you can tell what percentage of your traffic is using ad blockers. It’s a little piece of JS you put on your site and then a quick setup on Google Analytics.

You can find a full guide here:


it makes total sense. let’s say you put an ad on your site and the advertiser pays you a million dollar per impression. you get 10 impressions every day and makes 10 million dollars every day. all of a sudden 20% of your users started using some adblocker. now you have only 8 impressions a day and in a year you’ll probably have only 5 impressions a day. so your expenses remain the same but you make less and less money…

Scary times we live in.

At SitePoint, about 40% of our visitors use an ad-blocker of one kind or another. Over the years we’ve worked out other monetisation methods, but it’s still a big hit, and it means we’ve had to re-consider the amount of content we can publish. Some sites stopped paying authors (which we’re unwilling to consider), other sites are just folding, or going with more and more aggressive ads for the users who don’t use an ad blocker.

Any way you look at it, it has a real impact for publishers. Again, SitePoint’s doing ok because we have a great team that works on monetising the site, but it’s not easy publishing a free site these days. It was a whole different scene 4-5 years ago.


wow! 40% is a lot! i’m actually talking to an anti-adblock company at the moment to implement their solution on my sites and circumvent the ad blockers, if you’d like i can tell them to talk to you. they are called UntouchableAds, i’m talking there with Liron.

I use an adblocker for much the same reason as I keep JS disabled by default. So many of them use moving/changing images, which cause perceptual difficulties for me, that I do it as a form of self-defence.

which are mostly immune from ad blocking.
Bold statement.

Why do you believe that to be the case? Do you have something to indicate otherwise? Care to point at any authoritative references?

Care to point at any authoritative references?
Your “native” ads are still plain HTML. They’re contained in element, as soon as the IDs get wonky, they’ll start blocking entire domain names. De facto it’s already happening with Firefox.

Care to point at any authoritative references?
What about you? What makes your specific ads so immune to adblockers?