Adblock – love it or hate it?

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

and

I’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 it’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?

12 thoughts on “Adblock – love it or hate it?”

  1. in IE if you disable all javascript you can block most ads as well. I prefer to see ads, just because you never know if there will be a good one. But I understand that some prefer the privacy offered by blocking ads that track users.

    BeachBum

  2. Along with Quicksilver and having a mousewheel click configured to show all windows in Expose, AdBlock is one of the things I miss most when using computers other than my own.

  3. I have a website in geocities.com, and Ads are a big promblem for my users because they can’t see my pages correctly.With Firefox AdBlockPlus EasyList my users does not have problems anymore, I love AdBlock Plus!

    (sorry for my bad english)

  4. i think who created adblock is actually wanna wipe out this free content internet web service provided by world-wide webmasters.. if webmasters dont earn a cent from their website do you think in the future we still have free web content or any free web services like myspace and friendster ..etc. firefox thinks that he is so wise. actually firefox is a real dumb as* when no more free web servic and free content everyone stop using web then automatically no one will ever need firefox again the f*cking brilliant firefox will just die too.. i hope firefox will die coz firefox is another evil just same like google.

  5. I don’t mind advertising on webpages, and I honestly do understand the concerns along the lines of “if you want free content, then look at my ads.” However, advertising on the web has been so incredibly distracting visually that my overall experience is ruined. When I am reading CNN.com, the last thing I want to see are dancing space aliens or a man riding a giant spider. If the advertisements are professional looking, I don’t mind disabling AdBlock, but as long as the most intrusive ads remain the amateurish trash they are, AdBlock remains.

    Good advertising attracts my business, likewise, it’s appropriate that poor advertising loses my business.

  6. I’m one of those surfers who stumbled upon your site when googling for some articles on what developers actually think of AdBlock.

    Personally, I’m a huge fan. I hate ads, whether they’re on my TV, in my newspaper or on the Internet. As society gets more and more digitalised, I can see a future where capitalism, through its technological advances shoots itself in the foot.

    It’s pretty much happening already, but imagine a future where filter-based ad screening can also be applied to your TV, to text ads in Gmail, to your (digital) newspaper, and so on. Soon, we’ll only have to put up with it in the Luas!

  7. As mentioned by one poster above I do not like any advertising. Has anyone ever actually thought about all the time we spend just ridding our daily lives of it? My mailbox is full of it, my inbox is full of it and thank goodness for the National Do Not Call Registry that put a damper on the telemarketers who called daily and even several times a day. You delete and trash and hang up constantly, it is never ending and you know tomorrow will always bring another load. Adblock Plus is my best friend on the net. For anyone who tries to take it away from me, may you be plagued with that freakin Flash buzzing mosquito ad every time you click a link. Used a friends (IE user) computer and about jumped out of my skin when it popped up.

  8. I use an ad blocker and I love it. I also understand the irritation of sites that are relying on an ad-based business model. Frankly, until they started loading bandwidth intensive ads I didn’t care. It was when ads began to significantly slow my browsing that I installed an ad blocker. It’s basically self-defense.

  9. Fuck yeah, Adblock! I once googled a script for blocking those ‘mochiads’, and it took me to mochimedia.com. The butt-hurt people on the thread were asking for a script to put on their website that would “block adblock”. Gawd.

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