I wrote a post the other day talking about a blogger who stopped all Firefox users from visiting his site because they may have the Adblock plugin installed!
Adblock is a plug-in for Firefox which allows you to view sites on the Internet but avoid seeing the ads they display.
I am a big fan of Adblock (as I have mentioned several times on this blog) and so was surprised that in the comments of my previous post, several people I respect came our strongly against Adblock saying things like:
I can understand how he feels if his business revenue depends on ads
I do get irritated when I see people using AdBlock. As a web-developer I see it as part of the contract of using a website. We give you free content and you get to see some adverts
Iâ€™m very much against Adblock myself. I installed it once and it provided one of the worst web expierences ever. Adblock was presenting white areas where there would be ads, a lot of webpages looked very naked as Adblocked skwed the natural appearance of the site.
I would love to see Adblock and other ad blocking extensions illegalised but itâ€™s never going to happen.
My attitude is quite different.
I read hundreds of websites per day. The majority of these sites I read through my RSS reader so even if they are displaying ads, I don’t see them. To the commenters, if you truly believe that people should only view your content if they also read your ads, you need to either stop publishing RSS feeds or start publishing ads in your feed.
As to the point that his business revenue may depend on Ads – if so, then stopping all viewers who use Firefox is only going to hurt his revenue, not help it. Firefox users are, in general, more tech literate and therefore are more likely to link to your site. Banning them from your site will only reduce inward linkage, drop you in search engine results and decimate your ad revenue.
As for the point of making Adblock illegal because it affects how sites are rendered, I think I can safely ignore that one
Ads (especially Flash based ads or graphical ones) slow down the loading of sites and therefore waste my time without adding any benefit to me (I haven’t blocked Google Ads as they are non-intrusive, text based ads).
I have never clicked on an ad on a website and I have seen plenty of them (non-blocked Google Ads and when I use browsers other than Firefox).
According to Google Analytics, Search Engines account for 73% of traffic to this site. The majority of people who do click on ads are, I suspect, one off visitors to a site who land there from a search. This demographic doesn’t use Firefox, doesn’t use RSS and has never heard of Adblock.
For people who use the web all day, every day Adblock is a boon. It vastly speeds up your browsing experience, eliminates distractions (think flashing blinking ads) and cleans up the content on the page.
For ad publishers, Adblock makes you site far more palatable to the small demographic of users who know how to deploy it. This demographic wouldn’t click on the ads on your site in any case. And this user, is far more likely to promote your site for you, thereby driving traffic to it.
What do you think?