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Managing Adblocking Users 3

blocking the advert blockers !, howto

     
7:00 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi www,

I've been off the scene for a little while, and came across the thread "Managing Adblocking Users 2", an thought it needed to be re-opened .

Can we not put the google / any java code , into a mod_rewrite ruleset , to manipulate the URL so that it appears to be called from the local page?

This would have the desired affect of making the advert appear to be simply a piece of script in the local webpage , rendering the blocker useless . That along with some <noscript> tags to deal with people disabling java should give a 100% success rate, and hopefully stop the advert blockers once anf for all .

I have been testing this , and it does appear to be very possible (im about 90% through the mod_rewrite rulebase...)

If there are any mod_rewrite gurus out there that could help , please PM me!

Craig

10:05 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The problem with adblocking users is that if they're going to go to these lengths to block advertisements, they're probably not going to click ads.
11:31 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I do not fully agree with you JDigital ,

There is a high percentage of people who install ad-blockers , just so they dont get the 'annoying' animated adverts offering ring tones , and shooting the bunny , etc.

A well structured advert blended into content can be as relevant as the actual content(sometimes more relevant), and helps subsidises the cost of creating / maintaining content , while not negativly affecting the users browsing experience .

Also , if running any CPM based advertising (which google does blend), or any other vendors CPM based program(s) , then the additional views do make a difference to $ generated from yeild.

12:26 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I finally got so fed up with the dramatic increase bouncing/jiggling/beeping ads designed to force me to look at them, that I finally loaded the Adblocker extension.

Forcing ads down customers throats is just like the pay-toilet: sounds great/profitable on paper, but people got so pissed-off at the idea that they would cause hundreds of dollars of damage to the toilet instead of paying the $.10 user fee.

Design interesting, unique, and appealing websites with tasteful ads and you'll make a good living.

View advertsing like war against the consumer i.e. trying to FORCE them to view your ads, planting web bugs, selling their personal information, etc. might make you a buck in the short term, but you'll eventually only screw yourself.

12:44 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Here's a problem with finding ways of circumventing ad blocking software:

What you are trying to do is to find a way of running a program on my computer without my permission.

That's sneaky, underhand; and, in many, localities quite possibily illegal.

I don't want spam code using my cpu cycles any more than I want spam emails cluttering up my hard drives.

If you want to run part of your website on my computer, then you need my permission first. It's as simple as that.

To try to get my permission you can use various mechanisms.

One would be to simply be honest -- simply say on your website that it requires my computer to run programs on its behalf, and tell me in some detail what safeguards you are offering against your code doing damage on my machine.

If I like your website, and I am satisfied that you have fully indemnified me against all risks involved with running your code - then why not? Maybe I'll fire up my strongest sandbox and give it a whirl.

Otherwise, why on earth should I take any risk on your behalf?

12:59 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The debate over advertising has raged in various media since the 1700s. As a veteran of over 20 years in print and web publishing, here's what works for me. 1/2 content, 1/2 ads, or at least try to approach that.

I used to run newspapers, so formatting was crucial, much the same with web pages. Ads to the left side of copy was the rule, because that's where the eye focused. Also, below, but rarely, if ever, above.

The web is a little different, in that banners/leaders lend themselves to either the top or bottom, and the top is actually quite unobtrusive. I also run ads on both sides of copy and below, so essentially I have the copy surrounded, and the reader focused at the center which hopefully is well written and engaging.

As for annoying ads, FastClick and Casale Media both offer excellent filters, so the really annoying ads can be eliminated. Those are in addition to usually 2 google sets and a house ad or two.

Face it, you're not going to make it without advertising, so get used to having it around, and having it be ubitquitous. I don't see the point in writing scripts to disable adblockers. Those people are cretins using Lynx on dialup likely and aren't what I'd consider useful customers.

Popups, popunders and those floating ads are definitely on the UH, OH, NO WAY! list. They will kill your traffic.

4:28 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you want to run part of your website on my computer, then you need my permission first. It's as simple as that.
No, it's nowhere near that simple. Your browser has requested my web page. You can choose to view it as it has been presented, or you can get a third party software like Norton to scribble all over it before you see it. If you choose the latter I will instruct my server to say NO when your browser requests the page. Other folks, less scrupulous than I, may try to force the ads on you in various ways by including them as part of what your browser asked for.
Those are the risks you take when you try to get something for free.
5:09 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No, my browser has requested that your server provide me with the content of the url I requested.

What I do about any embedded request that you may have put into the response to my request is up to me and my browser to request or not request.

If I choose to not request any of your js, java, or images that is my call. You can do as you wish about deciding to ban me from your server that is your call.

Likewise if I choose to not allow all kinds of helper applications to run on behalf of anything your site may or may not include in any of the requested urls that is my call.

The rule is quite simple, it goes as follows. When invited into my house you best be a good boy, or you will leave.

6:11 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What I do about any embedded request that you may have put into the response to my request is up to me and my browser to request or not request.

That's why 50% of my advertising is embedded server side so your browser can't dictate what it gets or not ;)

6:13 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The rule is quite simple, it goes as follows. When invited into my house you best be a good boy, or you will leave.

I see it differently, you are inviting yourself into our house and having a look around. If you choose to rearrange the layout of my rooms I would not be very happy about it.

Although I would like the income from adblocking surfers, I do not try to stop them at all. When js or adblocking is turned on my pages still look fairly neat. (without holes and such in the content)

Maybe these Adblocking customers will forward the URL on to their non-adblocking friends.

8:46 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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marcel, i agree 100%. I would prefer to block adblockers, and have in the past. But the fact is, my site requires a good bit of goodwill online just to survive (and my posting habits can wear that thin ;)), and my adblocking methods did not help that so they ended. It wasn't so much that I was pissing people off. That doesn't bother me so much. It's just that it was the wrong people. The ones whom I invited to see my site. They weren't expected to buy stuff, but I was hoping they would provide content and inbound links.
At this point, people with adblockers are a cost of doing business that is bearable. But definitely watch the issue and have a plan. Not to fight the trend, but to ride the wave. Even if adblockers catch on to the point of pop up blockers, there still will be money to be made online, and those that figure out where it is first will have a field day.
10:27 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Those are the risks you take when you try to get something for free.

The risks you want me to take are to run unproven code on my computer on your behalf.

Let me put a deal to you: I will run your unproven code on my computer if, in exchange, you run some unproven code of mine on your server.....My browser will supply the code as part of the URL request. If you run it, I'll run your javascript or java.

That way, you pay for my cpu cycles with a few of your own.

Otherwise, I'll just visit another website that isn't using cpu cycle freeloading as part of its business model.

That's the risk you run when you cpu cycle freeload.

And I won't care if I'm banned by you -- that's like being told by a spammer I've upset them so much they won't send me free emails any more.

2:57 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The funny thing about adblockers is, if people really want to get rid of Internet Advertising, then they should click on every ad they see. Sooner or later publishers will stop showing them because it will no longer be worth it.
3:06 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Okay then.... then an animated GIF advertisement is acceptable to you, since its not executable code on your system but rather only a graphic image, right?
4:40 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That way, you pay for my cpu cycles with a few of your own.
Just by accessing my website you have already done that. I am providing you with content for which merely I request you view the pages as they were intended to be viewed. Only now I have stopped asking that you do that because I know it's a waste of time. Now I just want to stop the companies that profit by serving my copyrighted material in an altered format.
There really is not much difference from someone scraping my content and presenting in a different format that then outranks me in the serps.
6:55 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It is no point in debating this issue with folks who think everything on the Internet should be free for them to take; it is like talking to houseplants.
11:04 am on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Maxgoldie -- that issue hasn't even been touched upon in this thread.

The two issues are:

1. Should advertising be the method by which web content is paid for? Some say yes, some say no.

2. Should an advertising model assume it has free use of cpu cycles on a client's computer? Again, some say yes and some say no.

5:44 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Those are the issues from your point of view.
From ours the issue is
Should a company (like symantec) be allowed to profit by taking our copyrighted material and republishing it in a different format which interferes with our ability to conduct business.
9:54 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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2. Should an advertising model assume it has free use of cpu cycles on a client's computer? Again, some say yes and some say no.

That's not an issue, that's an idiocy.

If you download a page you should be required to take everything on the page or not download it at all. It's my content and not yours to edit so the only right you have it to not view it, period. A happy compromise for me would be browsers just telling you "page has ads, view page or not?" and if you clicked NOT then you wouldn't see 99% of the net which is fine with me.

11:21 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From ours the issue is
Should a company (like symantec) be allowed to profit by taking our copyrighted material....

I think you may have your issues in the wrong thread in that case....because that does not seem to relate to circumventing ad blocking software. Can you explain the connection?

Incredibill: I'd appreciate a reference to the RFCs that mandate user agents to act the way you suggest. Thanks.

11:35 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Symantec first came out with ad blocking software as the default setting with the 2005 version of it's personal firewall, which ships with NIS. Their ad blocking software takes the code of a webpage and rewites it for your browser to render.
11:59 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Incredibill: I'd appreciate a reference to the RFCs that mandate user agents to act the way you suggest.

The RFCs don't pay my mortgage, AdSense does, therefore I have no problem stopping anyone from visiting that doesn't want to see my ads. I'm not forcing them to do anything with the ads but it's an integrated part of my content and editting them out simply doesn't set well.

This is a business, not an ecommerce site, but a site in the information business like a newspaper or magazine that relies on advertisers to survive, so if you're blocking the ads that pay for the information business it will dry up and blow away.

Many scraping leeches are being booted off my server, but so far that's only the scrapers that have been ejected and not ad blockers. In the process of identifying and booting scrapers I have tracking now in place that can detect ad blockers too as scrapers also don't download ads either.

If I wake up in a bad mood next week I just might flip the switch and see what happens when the ad blockers get booted off the site with a nice message like "This site requires javascript and content delivery from 3rd party servers to function properly, please enable these technologies in order to visit this web site."

I haven't had the courage to do it yet, but I'm very tempted to flip the switch and let it run for a week and see how much screaming happens as a result.

Maybe after a wild night of drinking I'll bump ad blockers overnight until I wake and realize what I've done ;)

7:31 am on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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can I buy you a beer?
7:43 am on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You can't afford how much beer I need but yes, you can buy me one ;)
9:19 am on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This used to be my redirect page. Feel free to use it and modify it to meet todays adblockers instructions.
Users of Norton Internet Security and other Ad Blocking Software

You arrived at this page because your Internet Security settings do not allow you to see our site as intended, usually as a result of Norton's Personal Firewall included with Norton Internet Security, but also possibly because of another ad blocker. NIS is bundled with ad-blocking software which removes not only advertisements, but images that happen to be the same size as many ads. On your end, you may be missing out on special Lake Tahoe deals and discounts. From our end, we view Norton as a cable company views someone with a stolen cable box. The amazing amount of free information available on the web is largely funded by the same ads Norton (and others) is blocking in it's default settings. To continue viewing our site (and others) follow these simple steps.

1) Open your Norton Internet Security settings dialog.
2) Select the "Ad Blocking" Feature in the lower portion of the dialog.
3) Then click the Configure button in the bottom right side of the dialog.
4) Uncheck the "Turn on Ad Blocking" option and press OK.

To leave a comment with Symantec, the owners of Norton, please follow this link.(was a link to NIS feedback page)


I should add that the navigation bar from this page to the rest of the site worked and you were fine after that even with the ad blocker on. Virtually noone tried though (and I didn't tell them). You should also include instructions on how to allow ads specifically on your site (that would be the most proactive approach).

Also, be careful what you do. Banning ad blockers can have unintended consequences. At the very least I lost link partners as a result of this but also potentially lost free content providers, long term users, and other goodwill type things. Earlier in this thread I mentioned riding the wave rather than fighting the trend. Your redirect could just as easily go to a paid registration page for those wishing to see your site as intended with no "Ads".

5:49 am on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Incredibill said: "This is a business, not an ecommerce site, but a site in the information business like a newspaper or magazine that relies on advertisers to survive, so if you're blocking the ads that pay for the information business it will dry up and blow away.

Many scraping leeches are being booted off my server, but so far that's only the scrapers that have been ejected and not ad blockers. In the process of identifying and booting scrapers I have tracking now in place that can detect ad blockers too as scrapers also don't download ads either. "

If you think the content at your site is so unique that people will pay to see it, then by all means set up a paid access only site.

The fact is that your content is out there competing with other content for viewership--without viewership to your site you have NOTHING.

It always kills me to hear the techies here whining about adblockers.....you utilize new technologies (i.e. tracking, web bugs, etc.) to place yourself at an advantage to your customers (i.e quietly gather data about them without their knowledge) but then you get huffy when your customers use technology to limit their exposure to your unwanted advertising?

I stopped all of my magazine subscriptions several years ago because they were little more than ad delivery systems--about 65% ads 35% content. Newspapers and other print medias are also in decline for similar reasons. Movie theatre ticket sales are down, in large part because they started showing commercials before the movies, and they really crossed a line in doing so. In short, GREED is what forces consumers to rebel against marketing/advertising.

Do you use TIVO, and if so do you watch all of the ads?

Do you use your real name address and phone number for coupons, rebates, frequent shopper cards, and other data-mining efforts by B&M's?

Do you open all of your junk mail?

Do you run a scriptblocker on your browser, or do you allow javascript globally?

Most of my friends in the "web game" know full well the lengths that web marketers will go to sell ads and information and thus THEY are some of the most diligent ad/script blockers that I know.

The bottom-line is that web technologies allow you to treat your customers/visitors in a way that other technologies do not allow. Tracking, geo-location, web bugs, etc. are all very sneaky yet profitable ways to exploit your customers--so don't get all huffy when they use similar technologies to stymie your efforts!

7:03 am on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't even own a site that sets cookies. The only info i use is their screen resolution so I can resize the text and some ads to make it more legible at higher screen resolutions. Additionally I use phpAdsnew to rotate the ads. All of these things that I do for the user are lost when they disable javascript and most are lost when they use an adblocker. Snippets of text are removed from my site just because they are served by phpadsnew. I should add that not all ad blockers catch my ads because I have renamed some of the stuff within phpadsnew and all my banners are homegrown and not IAB banner sizes. I try to make them as interesting as possible because I want people to find the ads as compelling as the content. The magazines I buy are 65% advertising too. I typically choose the magazine as much for the ads as for the content.
8:59 am on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I tend to flip my ad blocker on and off (as it's easy to do so), so any manual block would either make me look elsewhere or disable ad blocking for a short period so I could get what I want and then leave.

As a rule though I don't click on Google or any other kinds of adverts. Maybe that's just the kind of web surfer I am or the sites that I visit (which don't tend to be article ore review based).

9:53 am on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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so don't get all huffy when they use similar technologies to stymie your efforts!

I do nothing but provide the same service for 9 years now and THEY got techie, NOT ME!

I don't intend to make them subscribe but I have no more pause to block them than a FLASH site does if you don't have flash installed.

If they want what I have they are one FREE click away from getting it.

If they don't, TOO BAD.

Guess I'm just getting old and cranky and don't care.