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Thread: Publishing revenue vs. Ad Blockers. What's your opinion?

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    root Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Default Publishing revenue vs. Ad Blockers. What's your opinion?

    Ad Blockers are shaking up the online publishing industry. Publishers who rely on advertising think ad blockers should be done away with, and consumers who are tired of intrusive ads want ways to stop them.

    IMO, everyone knows that ads support "free" media and most people don't mind. However, online publishers have shot themselves in the foot by, in many cases, making the ads more important than the content. Even "reputable" websites have become a nightmare to visit. Most have so many ad scripts loading that even if you can finally access the content, it's a miserable experience that makes you not even want to be on the site, let alone come back. Basically the sites take so long to load that no one can see the ads or the content. So what's the point?

    This actually started a few years back and I mostly blame Google and other ad programs. Google made is easy for anyone to put up a website that had no other purpose than ads, and they had no standards as to how many ads can display on one page. And from there it only got worse with video ads, auto play ads, pop ups, whole page take overs, things sliding in, out, left, right, down and whatever they can do to shove an ad in your face before you actually see anything on the page.

    Personally I don't see that use of ad blockers will end. Even if all of the major publishers got together with some standards, smaller and individual publishers won't follow along and will keep building crap websites and flooding social media with the links, which is now how most people get alerted of information.

    The creator of AdBlocker Plus, one of the most popular programs because it's free, open source, and it works has a system where acceptable ads are let through, while intrusive ads are blocked. But the standard is his alone.
    Wladimir Palant of Eyeo and Adblock Plus Are Winning the Fight over the Future of Online Advertising | MIT Technology Review

    Maybe if publishers and ad blockers got together with feedback from consumers they could come up with a compromise that takes consumers into consideration instead of what it is now, just cram as many ads and scripts on a page as possible.

    What do you think?
    Do any of you publish websites that rely on advertising and do you consider the reader at all?
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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Brian Altenhofel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    system where acceptable ads are let through, while intrusive ads are blocked
    The "system" is "pay to play".

    According to one of the blocker-bypassing services, ~27.6% of US users claim to use adblocking software, but that shows up in traffic analysis as ~16% of users.

    The gimme-gimme generation (18-29) has the most users claiming to use adblocking software (41%) with most of them expressing complete unwillingness to view content that contains any advertising at all, yet only ~16% of those would be willing to pay for an ad-free experience...
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    I have a hard time feeling sorry for the publishers when their video ads eat up my bandwidth (limited to 75G/month with $2/gig overage). I don't see their attitudes changing any time soon either - from chasing every last dollar to ignoring customer experience.
    Brad Miedema
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    I am pretty much with Brad. I don't mind the banner ads but really hate the video ads. They are really a pain in the neck.
    Ray Badger, Turbo Technologies, Inc.
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    root Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    My most hated sites are Huffington Post, Inc, and any local news station. They are completely ridiculous with all of the crap loading. HuffPo is pretty much unusable to me.
    C|net and Mashable are running close to being the same.

    If I just read via a news app on a mobile device, no ads. So what do they do to combat that? They only allow a portion of the article to be available by RSS, and for the full article you have to go to the site...which is slow as frack because of all of the ads.

    A few sites allow full articles to be subscribed by RSS and I read those the most.
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    I personally use uBlock for Chrome on my desktop. Ads for me on desktop are annoying, but I can deal with it. But sites I frequent... Huffington Post, Mashable, SEO Journal, and the like are just over ridden with ads... pop up ads, banner ads, FLASH ads... ugh dont get me started on flash ads... they all just wreak havoc on user experience.

    The place where ads REALLY grind my gears is on mobile. Pop up ads that the close button is too small for touch and you inadvertently tap the add now you have 9,769,367,576,549,867,549,687,564 new windows opening up killing your 3G or LTE speed. I've downloaded an ad blocker on my phone but it requires the use of a VPN which slows down my speeds too.

    I get people need to get conversions, I use a popup on my site for newsletter signups but I've optimized it for mobile and it shows up once every 30 days per the cookie settings I have set. But use ads in moderation... 2 ads max per page... one in a cookie controlled pop up and one on mage... anything more than that I think they should be penalized by someone for poor user experience.
    Jonathon Harrelson
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    I've been using an ad-blocker for years, if thats the only means for someone to monetize on their content then they should look at alternatives. Especially considering the major ISP's push to metered connections which will impact the end users bottom line.
    Jeff Tysco President Cingular, Inc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    If I just read via a news app on a mobile device, no ads. So what do they do to combat that? They only allow a portion of the article to be available by RSS, and for the full article you have to go to the site...which is slow as frack because of all of the ads.
    Or they split the article up into 5+ pages that you have to click next on, each with their own ads, using more bandwidth, loads slowly and causes more frustration. I''ve found myself leaving those sites, sometimes (not all the time) going to google the article from another preferred site.
    Jeff Tysco President Cingular, Inc.
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    Yes, ad blocking is an increasing problem. Personally, besides the spammy implementations mentioned by the OP, I suspect that the creepy behavioral targeting and re-marketing techniques also helps people seek out software to stop it.

    My policy is to not use ad blockers and to support good sites that employ advertising judiciously and to refrain from visiting sites with spammy ads. That's a middle of the road, win-win policy. I know that companies need to survive, and so do webmasters. If I'm going to take the free content, I agree to the ads, just like on TV or in magazines. That's me as a visitor. As far as being a webmaster, spammy ads don't work anyway, so why drive away your traffic?

    I do think a compromise would be great. Perhaps an initiative will begin that will facilitate a compromise. That would be great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboguy View Post
    I am pretty much with Brad. I don't mind the banner ads but really hate the video ads. They are really a pain in the neck.
    Agreed. Mostly I used Adblock to extra windows from popping up. However, videos and sound slow things down, so I did manage to by-pass this, changing the add-on settings of things like shockwave.

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