|Ad blockers |
Getting around the ad blockers
Frankly, I can't understand for the life of me how ad blockers are legal. It's illegal for someone to remove ads from a newspaper, but not from my website, when I'm paying for the bandwidth, etc?
In my case, it's a substantial loss. By my count, I had 12 million pageviews last month, but Analytics shows 5 million. That's almost a 60% loss!
My question is, can you guys recommend any methods to get around ad blockers? I'm currently using a script to set a JS variable to "true", with the logic that an ad blocker would skip it and not change the value:
Then, where necessary I check for the value of that variable. if it's "false", I can at least show a local alternative.
This worked a few years ago, but not now, so I guess the ad blockers have gotten smarter than that.
Any other suggestions?
Check out how DuckDuckGo does it. They put a nice message up asking the user to make an exception for their ad.
|I can't understand for the life of me how ad blockers are legal |
It may surprise you to learn that it is, and has always been, perfectly legal to mute the advertising which is the lifeblood of commercial television in the US. You can even buy recording devices that skip right past the ads.
|It's illegal for someone to remove ads from a newspaper |
Um, where do you live? Over here, once I have bought a newspaper I am allowed to do anything I like with it, up to and including lining the cat's litter box with the editorial section.
Past experience suggests that it would be an utter waste of time to suggest that site owners should think about how human visitors will respond to their schemes, with particular reference to ways of overriding the user's clear preferences. This is equally true whether we are talking about advertising, animated gifs, popping cursors, scrolling marquees or unannounced background music.
|Over here, once I have bought a newspaper I am allowed to do anything I like with it, up to and including lining the cat's litter box with the editorial section. |
Once you buy it, sure, you can do whatever you want with your copy. However, it would be illegal for you to open the newspaper stand, remove the ads (or other content), and then put them back in (or, for that matter, to keep several for the price of one).
This was originally brought to my attention a few years ago, when "King of the Hill" did something similar (Hank was upset about something in the paper so he went to every stand and removed it). I suddenly can't find the article I'm looking for, but I'm positive that I didn't dream it! LOL
(There are actually a lot of laws in favor of newspapers that should apply to other media, but doesn't. I'll elaborate if anyone's interested.)
Even so, this "crime" doesn't really hurt the newspaper. When they sell ads, they still say that they circulated X number of copies, regardless of whether those copies had ads. And, of course, they get the $0.50 per copy that you presumably paid originally.
When it comes to ad blockers, though, I am paying for the content, server, and bandwidth for someone to view my site for free. And unlike the newspaper, when they block the ads, they also block Analytics, which means that I don't get to sell ads based on the false ad views like newspapers can, which unfairly devalues my site.
(If they paid me $0.50 a day to read, like you do with the newspaper, then I wouldn't have a complaint. But they don't, and won't.)
So ad blockers physically cost me money. How this is different from pirating software or music, or defacing newspapers before they're purchased, etc, I don't understand.
|Past experience suggests that it would be an utter waste of time to suggest that site owners should think about how human visitors will respond to their schemes, with particular reference to ways of overriding the user's clear preferences. |
It's true that a lot of people with an ad blocker are doing so specifically because they don't want to see ads, so anything I can do is going to be fruitless.
But, you're forgetting a very important demographic: the people that really aren't computer literate, and installed an ad blocker to "fix" the symptom of a virus or spyware. Or, just as likely, they took their computer to a friend (or local shop) for repair, and they installed an ad blocker for them without even saying anything.
This is a fairly common scenario that I see all the time. Someone posts on our site that they're getting a lot of pop-up ads. Someone else replies and tells them to install an ad blocker... problem solved. They're not intentionally blocking our ads, and would likely prefer to be kept up to date with new products, movies, etc; they just wanted the spyware to stop giving them pop-ups all the time.
|Check out how DuckDuckGo does it. They put a nice message up asking the user to make an exception for their ad. |
That's really more in line with what I'm hoping to do, too. I had considered just blocking people with ad blockers altogether, but then for the reason I explained above (those that use it as a Band-aid), it's not really fair.