Feelings on (Ad) Blockers?

What are your feelings on Blockers?

I use the word “Blockers” instead of “Ad Blockers”, because there is a new one I’ve found called µBlock, who blocks both ads and page tracking. It replaces AdBlock who have gone back on their word and allow ads if you pay them or get whitelisted. Which, even if you strongly disagree with the purpose of it, I’m sure you can agree this is at least borderline extortion.

But with µBlock, blocking ads is one thing. There are many sites out there with far too many loud, annoying, and distracting ads on a page. But blocking everything including registering your hit (in the name of “privacy”), is just stealing. So even if you’re not loading the ad, you’re contributing to the site hits. Most of the time hits effect the selling of ad space, funding, job numbers, and a ton of other things that help the site grow and make money. So you’re still helping out in a way. (unless they do server logs)

Personally, I’d like a plugin that was off by default and enabled on a per-domain basis to give a site a chance. I don’t want to steal from anyone, but I also don’t want 16 flash based ads that eat memory and start screaming at me with popups that try to hide the close button to load.

This is the primary reason why I use AdBlocker. (And since they are changing, I’ll likely be dropping them in favour of µBlock.) There is this thing that many ad-pushing sites seem to have forgotten about; this thing called “responsibility” or responsibly presenting the ads in such a way as to NOT interfere with the real reason that the user is on the site to begin with. Banner ads are quite effective, even the non-animated ones. But when I go to a page and then get this modal window that has a huge flash file, or some other monstrosity, and it bogs down my browser so I can’t just click the X to close the ad, I actually have to close the BROWSER, I’m never going back to that site, again. Period.

Just my US$0.03719 worth.



The worst offenders are local news sites. I’m sure they are like any other business that isn’t tech centric (or don’t think they are), and see all forms of IT as nothing more than an expense and/or don’t listen to the ones they have. Combine that with rapidly falling TV viewers and rapidly declining paper sales, and I’m sure they are having a hard time. But throwing more ads out on a page is not going to solve the problem. I’m sure the web person who’s actually putting the ads on it is not happy about doing it.


But throwing more ads out on a page is not going to solve the problem. I’m sure the web person who’s actually putting the ads on it is not happy about doing it.

Speaking from personal experience, [My experience] Was a nightmare. Zero design control. Ads on every whitespace. Actively trying to find ways around blockers in their spare dev time. Ads before, after, inside of video content. Popup ads. Ads ads ads.

The impression I get is that companies that do this literally don’t care about user experience until it impacts the money. If their viewer numbers drop so far that companies don’t advertise with them, they’ll care. But as long as people keep, frustrated, still coming because it’s their source for (whatever local thing), then they’ll ignore the user issues there.

As far as my opinions on ad blockers in general, same mixed feelings as a lot of active Internet users. Ads provide a large chunk of the revenue that keeps services (like SitePoint) that I enjoy and use daily going. I don’t want to block the ads. I think that the solution for me is to block annoying ads with blockers, and to appreciate and/or hope for less annoying ones from the resources I want to support.

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Off topic (sort of): Sitepoint’s adverts are particularity annoying on mobile, the close button is tiny so most of the time I end up clicking the ad entirely by mistake.


Some sites count on that. I don’t think SP would count on that, but I’m pretty sure many sites do that intentionally for exactly that reason. :frowning:



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Tell me about it! My local papers site is horrendous, home page stats:

39 Documents 2271 KB
119 Images 1945KB
156 Scripts 8251KB (I’m not kidding!)
4 Style Sheets 340KB
Total 320 Files 12810KB

Ad blockers are a response to irresponsible site management, usually by marketers trying to cram in every advertising and tracking opportunity where they can. As banner blindness became a “thing” their response was just to shove more and more ads in peoples faces with the obvious results.

The solution is “easy” - marketers need to learn about value and user/customer experience and build advertising around people. I use ad blocking, I’m not against advertising but the way it’s implemented - once marketers learn how to do it properly I may turn my blocker off, but in the meantime while they continue to get it wrong it will stay on!


When hit counting and ads are such a vital part of a businesses revenue stream don’t you think it is their job and their job alone to use technology that is *most reliable for such purposes. It definitely is not the responsibility of the user. I know the norm these days is using client site scripts due to mass availability and ease of integration but that also means allowing for some level of incorrect results as anything client-side can be blocked in theory.

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i had a bit of a moment with my ad blocker as i’d been developing a site and had put our membership images in a folder called ‘adverts’. Hadn’t realised that the ad blocker on my windows computer would automatically stop them being shown. I then tried my linux computer and got the same (forgetting i’d also put an ad blocker on their too). Spent a couple of hours trying to work out why the ad would only show on certain computers/browsers doh!

The worst ads for me are the ones that pretend to be a ‘download’ button matching the actual download button of the site i’m on.

I don’t feel bad about blocking the adverts, very few adverts are going to get me to click through. If i want something i’ll go look for it, a random web advert from an unknown company doesn’t normally do it for me.

Worse still is when you have gone and bought something e.g. a pair of trainers, and you then get every advert with the same pair of trainers. But i have already bought them!!! And again on a shared computer around christmas as everything you look at then appears as an advert, no more surprises.


The worst ads for me are the ones that pretend to be a ‘download’ button matching the actual download button of the site i’m on.

Ugh. I hate that. And it’s the cause of so much grief - I used to dabble in IT support, and ugh.

I can’t like your post enough times.

A lot of people are big on anti-tracking and what not. I’ve found some really cool stuff from targetted ads. Sometimes you can find some pretty decent discounts too.

Also when I buy board games, I specifically go to BGG and buy it through one of their Amazon Ads, because when you look up a specific game, they have the ad to buy it at the bottom. Helps support them and isn’t taking anything from me. It’s win win. They even have a marketplace & eBay list to find the best price, but I usually just stick with the Amazon ad.

I guess i’m not anti tracking as such, i just find seeing the same adverts again and again more annoying than new ones. And as said if it shows things i was looking at for presents it can ruin the surprise. Ebay is bad for that as even if you clear your searches it shows you suggested stuff which can be what you bought or were looking at.

Oh can’t stand those ads currently doing the round along the lines of ‘one small trick the doctors don’t want you to know’ and some ridiculously photoshop’d picture of a fat person becoming a supermodel.

Many advertisers pay by impressions. In that scenario each time an ad is clicked the advertiser is actually charged. So in theory without any safe guards one could automate clicking ads and rack up a huge bill for advertisers whom are not using service providers who have done their due dilegance to prevent “fraudulent” ad impressions. So if you really want to get back at advertisers click on all ads without any intention of buying anything.


I think ads actually track how long you are on the page, if you actually visited pages, etc. So I don’t think you could just simply click it 100 times and instantly close every tab, AND get away with it.

I do not endorse any of this behavior (Disclaimer).

whom are not using service providers who have done their due dilegance to prevent “fraudulent” ad impressions

Yeah, as you say, depends on the provider. Repeated multiple clicks from the same source are usually discarded from a service such as say Adwords/Adsense.

So if you really want to get back at advertiser

I’ve got mixed feelings about that as a goal…

Also, for anyone who doesn’t know or is confused about the terms being thrown around, impressions are different than clicks. Impressions are simply the amount of people who are presented with an ad - page views with an ad loaded. Some service providers will couch that in conditionals - viewed the page for so long of a time, or was not coming from a particular block of IPs, or whatever, but that’s the gist. Clicks are obviously people clicking the ad. That’s why you can sometimes have the option to pay per X many impressions or per x many clicks. Depends on your campaign’s goals.

It depends on the provider. I’m sure the top players have safe guards. However, with the advent of the headless browser near anything is “possible” to automate.

On about tracking what you do has anyone used https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/lightbeam/ - it’s quite an eye opener as to the amount of tracking that goes on on some sites.

When you’re on someone else’s website you have no privacy. Just imagine what the people whom own the browsers are capable of.

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