Without a doubt, websites need to have the ability to display ads if they are going to exist. If a site provides you with useful information and you do not want to pay for a subscription, you should allow them to display ads.
But, to be honest, some websites go just a little too far. Not just with the unprecedented number of ads used but the way they handle them. Believe me, there is also a big difference in the way some sites post their ads.
Using intrusive third-party popups, self-promoting pop-up videos, and unnecessary ad insertions in text, particularly multiple inserts, makes using some sites more trouble than the value they add.
Using the sides of a webpage or posting most ads at the bottom of an article is a much more refined way to support a site. Even a onetime popup can be considered OK on some sites offering valuable information.
With the introduction of ad blockers, the power quickly shifted to users. Unfortunately, it came at the cost of hurting many valid websites whose ability to provide you with useful information at no cost quickly came into jeopardy. The only defense was to plead with the consumer to turn off their ad blocker for their website or at lease consider whitelisting their site.
Ad Blocker Crazy
There are over 200 million monthly users using adblockers. A simple search in the Google Store will bring up over 200 versions of ad blockers. Seriously? What can possibly be their goal? The money of course.
Adblock Plus for one has pledged to provide greater transparency by showing how they generate revenue. The process is simple. By using their “Acceptable Ads Program” they allow certain advertisers to bypass their adblocking by paying them a fee. The larger the fee the more they allow.
This can provide users with a “less-ads” view of some sites while allowing some advertisers to show ads and Ad blocking programs to make money.
Some Ad Blockers Are Better Than Others
Like anything else when you have over 200 options of a product some are going to be better than others. Popular adblockers can charge advertisers more and therefore can afford to block more than others. Some lesser-knowns need the revenue and can provide discounted prices for advertisers allowing more to be displayed per-site. When I use an adblocker I use “Stands Ad Blocker” because it does a good job of trying to be fair to all parties. I am not saying there are none better, to be honest, I do not have the time to try out 200 adblockers. I am saying that Stands is a nice balance. That being said, for particularly abusive sites, I don’t use an adblocker simply because there is a better way.
The method is similar in all browsers. I used Edge for the following examples. Click on the three dots at the top right of your browser window and select settings
Each of the images is meant to show how they compare. All are shown in three ways. The first is standard viewing, the second is with an ad blocker and the third with JS disabled. This left image clearly shows the advertising at the top and side of the articles The middle image shows that most of the ads have been removed but not all. Finally, the right image deletes all ads and sponsored images. The material can still be viewed by clicking on them.
In this next example of a CNN website, differences are stark. The left shows top and middle ads, the middle with an ad blocker looks better but requires you to whitelist this site or turn off your ad blocker. In the last frame, all the images are removed and you are only presented with a menu of items to select. Clicking on them will still open the article or section but continues to block all ads.