I use an ad blocker in general, and add exceptions if ads are not onerous and I want to subscribe to help fund sources. The impact on AB is not large but helps keep AB on a non-profit level instead of using personal funds. Contributors are volunteers. But I would like to hear from readers on notions on their own experience…AB is glad to share links to content almost anywhere.
The impact of ad blockers on the Internet
In the short run – before sites have a chance to change their investment – ad blocking should just increase traffic. Sites haven’t had a chance, or the need, to adjust their quality, so users employing ad blockers can access the same quality content without the nuisance of ads. Users of ad blockers, some of whom had been unwilling to visit the sites without an ad blocker, would now find the site more attractive and might now visit. In the short run, we would therefore expect sites with a greater share of potential users employing ad blockers to experience increased traffic. In the longer run, by contrast, sites deprived of revenue would decrease their investment along the lines outlined above. While we find a worsening in traffic for sites with more ad blocking users over the three-year period, we find no such worsening during 2013. Rather, sites with higher shares of eventual ad blocking users experience increases in traffic during 2013, a pattern that reverses in the longer-run period of 2013-2016. This provides some assurance that the site degradation that we document is caused by ad blocking.
The content-threatening problems created by ad blocking have a number of possible remedies. Sites can move from ad support to paywalls, although this transition has been difficult for all but the most popular information sources (Chiou and Tucker 2013). Sites can also prevent users with ad blockers engaged from visiting their sites. This strategy is challenging for sites to undertake unilaterally when other sites offer similar content, and losing any visitors – including those who block ads – lowers a site’s visibility and search engine rank. While they oppose ad blockers, advertisers themselves recognise that excesses in web advertising – long load times, privacy-invading cookies, and even malware – have driven users to protect themselves with ad blockers. Advertising associations are now exploring advertising best practices in order not to sour users on all advertising.3 Finally, regulators might consider whether coordination among sites in preventing access by users with ad blockers engaged necessarily runs afoul of antitrust rule.
I’m not offended by ads, as long as they’re static, don’t play video or make noise (sound now off at the mixer level for browsers too), don’t masquerade as content, and don’t obscure page layout (don’t pop up, overlay text, or both). I’d also prefer ads don’t track me around the internet reminding me of the last thing I shopped for (probably the most worthless feature I’ve ever seen).
Unfortunately, that’s not what google and yahoo and the other ad giants are serving up.
The noise is a pain.
I use an ad blocker and a Java script blocker. I just disabled the ad blocker for Angry Bear and still got no ads, so I chose “temporarily allow all this page” on the Java script blocker and still got no ads. The problem with “turning the Java script blocker off” for a site in this way is that when the page reloads, there are additional calls to Java script – there are more than a dozen sites blocked now. This is sometimes a problem for me – if content on a page is missing because of the Java script blocker, it is sometimes difficult to figure out how to get it to display, and I sometimes resort to turning the blocker completely off (especially if I’m making a financial transaction, when sometimes the blocker blocks it in the middle even though I allowed all of the beginning page).