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Firefox ad-blocker extension causes angst

10:17 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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InfoWorld via Yahoo! News: Firefox ad-blocker extension causes angst [news.yahoo.com]

A Web site owner has blocked Firefox users from accessing his site in protest of a popular browser extension that blocks text and display ads.

Firefox users who go to [a certain blog] are redirected to Why Firefox is Blocked, which says the Adblock Plus extension undercuts Web sites dependant on advertising revenue.


"As I wrote down earlier, there is only one reliable way to make sure your ads aren't blocked -- make sure the users don't want to block them," [Adblock Plus developer Wladimir] Palant wrote.

This has been going on years (blocking the blockers). I'm curious as to why this time the story is newsworthy...

10:47 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's to enable us FireFox ad blockers to check his site and come away reassured that our browser is doing its job.

I'm a publisher, and I'm obviously upset that people choose to block ads - but as a visitor, I recognise that this situation has grown out of ad abuse; many sites you cannot read a para before having an ad thrust up your nose - not to mention the pop-ups that already needed blocking.

I have to say, I have absolute sympathy with adblockers - but I wish they hadn't been forced into that particular corner.

And I fully respect that man's right to ban us from his site - though I suspect he's cutting off his nose to spite his face

BTW - why is it that none of my pop-up blockers block full screen pop-ups on IMDB, while blocking all others?

12:32 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> why is it that none of my pop-up blockers block full screen pop-ups on IMDB, while blocking all others?

Dunno, but if you use the "Live HTTP Headers" extension to see what IMDB is sending to your browser, I'll bet you can figure it out... ;)

I fully agree, BTW. Popups are dead because of pop-up abuse, and ad-blockers are popular because too many ads are too 'in your face.' It's the same lesson that T.V. had to learn -- make the ads worth watching, or people will mute them or channel-surf away. And on the Web, the viewer already has the 'remote' --the mouse-- ready to hand and ready to click away at the slightest offense...


3:30 am on Aug 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately there's not much you can do - it sucks, but blocking people just means less visitors to your site - they'll simply go elsewhere. At least if you allow them on your site, the chances of them emailing your site to somebody else, or posting about it somewhere else is still there.

I can't blame adblockers - ads were abused by too many sites (and many sites still do, including big-name).

6:40 pm on Sept 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think that's rather extreme to ban FireFox users altogether just because some of them use AdBlock.

However there's a way to detect ad blockers, and I am going to implement this on my website. At first I just want to keep track of statistics to see what sort of percentage I'm looking at. Since early August I've noticed that my AdSense page views are often 10% to 20% lower than web server page view stats. I'm going to track ad blocker usage for a few weeks to see if it's worth doing anything about it.

But I still have no idea what to do about it, anyway. What's a reasonable reaction? I definitely would not redirect the visitor, and I would not berate them with a nasty message. But there are two things I would consider doing:

1) Beg. Display a PayPal button along with a message saying that the site runs on donations (since they can't see the ads, how would they know I get advertising revenue?)

2) Join an affiliate program for a different ad blocker, and then display a text message that says "If you had a better ad blocker, you wouldn't see this ad. Click here to download a better blocker"

Any other ideas?

3:03 am on Sept 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well, AdBlockPlus is a plugin for firefox and it literally made me begin using the internet again as in not just going to the sites I always visit on a regular basis which I know doesn't just serve me a 3 x huge adsense and affiliate whatever....

I actually began surfing around for some new ideas and entertainment and such..... no more people trying to always sell me something I didn't want to buy anyways and I get a chance to actually review the contents and make an estimate of its perceived quality to me (which is what makes me bookmark and return at some point)

It's not bad. It's just a counter move against the advertising business since it became too aggressive and too much "in your face" :)

StumbleUpon is the next hit... google is history :D (1200 visitors on my site pr day from that as of now)

Sincerely, and have fun


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