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Sep 28 / kkrizka

AdBlock is Not Evil

The well renowned Firefox plugin, AdBlock, has been receiving quite a lot of negative attention from big companies. They claim that AdBlock robs them of revenue, and should be ruled illegal. While that is an interesting view on the topic, I believe it to be totally wrong. Since I also make money from ads displayed on this site, I know how important revenue from advertising is, but I support AdBlock and I personally use it in one of my browsers. I don’t mind visitors to this blog with AdBlock enabled for one reason: they are not going to click my ads without it anyways. Let’s face it, the majority of AdBlock users has some technical knowledge, and they exhibit more ad blindness than others. This means that they subconsciously ignore all ads, and barely ever click them. So if you’re not going to click the ads, I don’t really care if they are going to be displayed to you or not; I rather that you have a comfortable ad-less experience, because readership is more important than direct revenue.

The official AdSense Plus blog has a nice write up talking about other views why AdBlock isn’t problematic. They also link to a few more detailed articles on AdBlock that also talk more about the economic impacts.


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  1. Ian Mansfield / Sep 29 2007

    “I don’t mind visitors to this blog with AdBlock enabled for one reason: they are not going to click my ads without it anyways.”

    The websites that rely on Google (etc) pay per click adverts may not worry about adblcker, but the use of it on websites which run quality CPM based branding adverts is harming the sites – they ARE losing money.

    I used to work for a publishing website which got a large percentage of its income from major brandnames advertising on their websites – but over time adblock grew, and they estimated that about 15% of their traffic was zero-revenue.

    That was the equivalent of 3 more journalists writing content that couldn’t be hired.

    That meant that you, the reader of the websites were also losing out, as the website you read wasn’t as good as it could be – if only you would switch off the adblock and let them earn the money to recruit more staff.

    I hate flashing ads as much as the next person, but why block quality adverts on quality websites as well? That is just “cutting your nose off to spite your face” as the quality websites will either cease to exist, or switch to subscription only models. Then where will we be?

    • Karol Krizka / Oct 7 2007

      You might also look at it this way. If I am an advertiser that is using a CPM program, wouldn’t I want all my impressions to be useful? For example, if someone visits a site and subconciosuly ignores the ad, I rather that the ad was not shown to him. Since those people that hate ads(and don’t click them) tend to the ones using AdBlock, this is a win for the advertiser. Also this way he saves money that he can use to increase the “bid” or rate on different sites.

      The only problem with AdBlock is when eithe of the two following scenarios occurs:
      1) AdBlock comes installed by default, then everyone (even the clickees) will not see the ads.
      2) You are advertising with a flat montly rate banner. I do not do this, instead I sell links (that can’t be blocked as far as I know) in my sidebar.

  2. CHESSNOID / Sep 30 2007

    I use firefox but don’t have adblock installed, but I imagine it to be the same thing as fast forwarding through commercials with my tivo. Wouldn’t you agree?

  3. mlankton / Oct 6 2007

    I am ad-blind. Not even in-link text ads phase me. I look at it this way. Some guy out there has a site, like me, and monetized it, like me. I don’t have to notice his ads if I don’t want to, but I show my appreciation of sites I think have good content by clicking.

  4. belly fat / Nov 11 2011

    I couldnt agree with you more…

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