Adblocker Blockers Fighting Back


adblocking blockerThe old adage that nothing is really free certainly applies to the internet where, in most cases, the quid pro quo is putting up with advertising. Even though not too many users would be happy with ads displaying on pages, can you imagine the alternative? The free content we all take for granted and enjoy relies heavily on advertising revenue without which the internet would very quickly transform into a pay-for-view medium.

It’s funny how things work out; what once was thought of as the users’ savior could very well end up being the users’ downfall. Yes, ads can be annoying but they also play a critical role in maintaining a free and open internet. And individuals should not kid themselves that their contribution to ad blocking is unlikely to have any serious impact. Collectively, ad blocking software is costing site owners huge amounts of potential revenue. To put things in perspective; it is estimated that ad blocking was responsible for a staggering $22 billion (yes, that’s 22 BILLION dollars) in lost revenue during 2015 alone. And the worrying part is that the use of ad blockers is on the increase.

And So the Fightback Has Begun!

BlockIQ-fighting back

As the trend toward ad blocking continues unabated we are now seeing the emergence of more and more adblocker blocking systems, which eventually can only disadvantage users. One such system, provided by California based company BlockIQ, has taken the fightback a step further, currently offering site owners three options for dealing with ad blockers:

  1. Display a welcome message that explains the value of the website and the damage to the website and community inflicted by ad blocking.
  2. Protect your content behind the BlockIQ Passwall system that refuses to serve content until your site is white listed (meaning they configure their AdBlock to allow ads from your website).
  3. Lastly, the patented BlockIQ BlockBypass system can defeat ad blocking to serve ads to the visitor.

While I believe that the first two options are quite reasonable, I do have serious reservations about the third. Force feeding ads per medium of tricking the browser into displaying them, clearly against the user’s wishes, is not really the way to go about it.


AdBlocker_Logo

Personally, I don’t necessarily see ad blockers as the evil incarnate here. Apart from providing a useful security feature by blocking malvertising, most do include a white listing feature which users can employ to selectively block or allow ads. The bigger problem is those users who ignore these white listing features and simply block everything across the board, regardless.

One thing for certain, this is going to prove an interesting battle, as ad blocking software developers employ measures to overcome adblocker blockers and adblocker blocker developers then find other avenues to overcome ad blocking. There’s a heck of a lot of “block” words in there but I hope you get the gist. Bottom line, seems we’re in for a right old game of cat and mouse.

 

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

15 Comments

  1. I have no problem with adds being included when I download web pages. But, when the adds become intrusive, in your face, blocking the content you originally downloaded, then I flip and block adds for that site.
    Advertisers for the Internet, and for other media like television, fail miserably when it comes to their adds. They are boring and unattractive. People watch advertisements where they get something out of it such as enjoyment or good information. A good advertisement will stick with a person and they are more likely to consider the product when they are shopping.
    Poor ads are ignored even if they are in your face and repeated endlessly.
    Put a little effort in the adds they provide and reap the rewards of people actually watching them and possibly purchasing their product or service. If I owned a company, I would drop kick most of the add companies out there today. NO IMAGINATION!

  2. It’s more of the placement of ads than the actual ad. Believe I once read that sire owners have no or little control where ads get placed. For this reason I typically use a browser which is set to block all ads. When and if the time comes that I cannot access the internet, then so be it. I prefer to live my life AD FREE (as much as possible), Mindblower!

  3. It’s a bit of a catch-22 Jim, for web browsing and for TV watching. Advertising pays for what we see/watch/read much of the time. If we blow them off, we may end up having to pay for that luxury via subscription services or giving up some of our privacy in the end.

    For me, commercials on TV are the time to get up, stretch, get something to eat, clean something around the house. Ads on the internet are mostly annoying to me, although I do get the occasional sales blurb from a site I’ve visited previously – which can be helpful. On average, I don’t see any real value to the consumer for advertising and if we all go the subscription route for our Television services, you can be sure they’ll go up in price over time.

    If advertising could be neat and simple on the Internet page for us to view if we choose to, it might be useful. Right now, it’s gaudy, in-your-face, and tends to interrupt the flow of reading a page. On TV advertisers have managed to operate with extremely loud volume over the initial volume of your show and the length of ads are horrendous.

    But, and this is a big BUT, without advertising, businesses don’t flourish. Whether its a big nationwide store or a mom n pop down the street, businesses have to flourish or our economy won’t succeed. In my neighborhood alone, Penny’s closed last year and Macy’s is closing this year, never mind all the smaller franchises. True, advertising is just a “piece” of that economic problem pie, but its there nonetheless. It will all have to evolve and change. Who comes out the winners in the end? No idea.

    I personally use AdBlock Plus with my web browsers. I have only whitelisted a few sites.

    • An erudite and eloquent response Karen.

      The trend is clear, a significant number of sites (such as Forbes) are already blocking users who have adblockers enabled, and this will only spread in tune with the increasing use of ad blocking software.

      It is, as you so rightly say, a catch-22 situation, and I am in a position to see both sides of the equation. As a user who doesn’t like ads, and as a site admin who sees our only source of revenue rapidly diminishing.

      I don’t know what the answer is. At the moment, Google pretty much sets the standard for advertising. Perhaps what’s needed is an independent body, which shows no bias or favor, to create a set of parameters which is acceptable to both parties.

      What frustrates me most is users’ shortsightedness. In the long run, tolerating the relatively minor irritation of online advertising may well prove to be the lesser evil.

  4. Jim, Bob, and casual readers:
    I know nothing (zero) about web sites, how to set one up, costs involved, management, nor legal concerns, but this story line has me puzzled and sort of angry (sort of).

    While there obviously are (hidden) expenses in running a site, does an owner have no ‘say’ over the appearance, structure and functioning of the site? Aren’t the Dave Hartlocks of the internet allowed any say?

    It seems (in my uneducated, or under-educated mind) that web sites should have the option to keep a sort of ‘gated’ community, and be able to charge consumers, as they see fit. Sort of a pay-as-we-view schema. If the announced cost of the site is too dear than the viewer had seek elsewhere for something they can ‘afford’ within their budget.

    Hoping this analogy will serve to illustrate my point: when I take my car in for an oil change, the costs are all posted. If they’re too dear, than I can go to another garage and check out their rates. Fine, but once my car is on the rack (while I’m in the waiting room) I don’t want to be hit with any dancing banners coming across the floor at me promoting Brand-X oil, or Mechanix-best wiping rags (those small costs that’s passed to the customer for the mechanics use to wipe their oily hands with. What?… you’re not aware or familiar with those? LoL

    Summation: I, personally, would pay directly for the privilege of using a web site, just as I have to pay for Netflix movies, etc. However, IF Netflix starts jabbing me with their own subscribed ads or commercials… well… time for me to change services.

    • I appreciate your point of view Dane but your analogy is flawed. When you take a car in for an oil change, the expectation is that you will have to pay. On the other hand, when visiting one of the hundreds of available online tech sites, the expectation is that it will be free.

      DCT is a very small fish in a very large ocean, but we still have overheads that need to be met, and our ONLY source of revenue comes from advertising.

      Yes, we have the choice to charge consumers, but your analogy also describes perfectly what would happen if we opted for a pay-for-view system. There are so many tech blogs, all free, that most people would simply move on to another tech blog which doesn’t charge a fee. That approach would only be viable if every site charged a fee, in the same way that all mechanics charge a fee for their services, but that simply is not the case.

      This then is the conundrum; if advertising revenue is not covering operating costs, what alternative system of generating revenue can be put into place which won’t turn people away?

  5. Well Jim, you old fossil, guess I didn’t make one point clear. If you serve good food then I, for one of many, will pay to eat at your diner.

    (I’m a young fossil of 76, and ever once in awhile I get lucky and think I know what I’m saying. LoL)

  6. I agree with the companies imposing an adblock blocker.

    The company has advertising as a source of revenue and it helps.
    I would gladly turn off my adblocker.

    Yeah, I understand that issues like malware and annoying ads are sure to happen, but how can we support them if we have the adblocker on and don’t want to cough-up a dime to their cause?

    If I had cash, after bills/expenses, I would be donating to this great cause called Dave’s Computer Tips, yet I don’t.

    This is a diner that I like to frequent, good brain food. Highly recommended, just not to the zombies since they can’t read.(Brains as a “food” thing)

  7. I agree the whole advertising/adblocker thing has become a mess. You did say that, didn’t you?

    I understand why websites need to display ads. I really do.

    I don’t mind ads. Really, I do not. Except for the ones that flash, and blink, and dance. My little brain cannot concentrate on what I’m reading with an evil, jouncing light show in my peripheral vision.

    Here is another problem. I have turned off my adblocker for a couple of sites I visit regularly. One is a tech site, the other a software site. I have no trouble with the tech site. However, the software site has so many ads loading that it takes forever for my browser to open the page. If I click on a link, it is wait, and wait, and wait some more.

    A while back, the tech site owner was considering the pay-per-view option to keep his site viable. I don’t blame him. But I will not pay per view. Not there, not anywhere. I am retired and living on a limited income. I pay $67/month for my internet connection. To me, that is a big chunk out of my food and housing $. I am not willing to pay more. $1 here, $1 there adds up quickly.

    Yes, I see the internet that was once free, will soon be UNfree . . . like everything else. I can’t stop it.

    I will do this one little thing. I like this site. I will turn off my adblocker. If I see flashing, I’m turning it back on again. 🙂

      • I have to wonder but out of respect I will not voice an opinion as to what “ad flashing” you might be referring to?

      • Since I clean my cookies every time, I keep seeing that pop-up to subscribe, it can get annoying at times. Other than that, the ads aren’t intrusive.

        Another problem I have is that when I input information on the Daily Giveaway and get an error, it asks me to go to SharewareOnSale’s site, and have to input my information, again.