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Firefox and Adblock Plus

Losing lots of income

     
11:58 pm on Jun 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Since last year, my earnings have dropped by more than 50%. The popularity of Firefox and Adblock Plus has gone way up. Almost everyone I know is running it.

As a result, my AdSense is not being displayed on my site, thus losing lots of potential clicks.

Any script or code that can be embedded into my pages to bypass the AdBlocker would be a great way around it, but I'm not sure it is possible. Any ideas?
2:05 am on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No way to do it. You can place in a background for the ad unit like in a div or something an image that says, "please whitelist our site from adblock because we need money to be free." Or something.
2:29 am on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I dunno, you probably don't want to call attention to your ads like that.

And it's also just gonna piss off your users. If your userbase is heavy into FF and ad blocking, then you probably need to be looking at another way to monetize. Or a way to get different users.
6:35 am on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Are you assuming that your income loss is because of ad blocking or do your stats indicate it's actually happening. I was worried about this myself recently but when I checked it turned out that maybe 0.5% of my visitors block ads.
8:17 am on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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"please whitelist our site from adblock because we need money to be free."


Might as well just say "Click the Ads" as I think the adblock whitelist request is close enough it could get you banned from AdSense.

If people don't want to see the ads, the best you can do is block them from the website.

I did an experiment a couple of years ago and when I could detect javascript was disabled or ads weren't being displayed I kicked them over to a page telling visitors they had technology disabling the proper execution of the website. I told them they needed to enable javascript for the navigation to function and also disable all content blockers (including ad blockers) which may interfere with the functioning of the site.

Note I had no real emphasis on ad blockers or revenue, just that something was blocking the site from functioning properly and they needed to disable it to gain access ;)

Some did, some didn't, wasn't worth the time to mess with it other than as an interesting experiment to see if it could even be done.

Doesn't matter anyway because people that don't want to see the ads probably won't click them anyway and if they're forced to see them, might click bomb your site just to get even.

Probably best to just leave them alone.
11:22 am on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've learnt through years of testing+studies that my real-world users are interested in the content and they couldn't care less/don't have time/effort to waste on blocking ads. And that those who do block ads will do so no matter how clever my efforts are to discourage them.

So I stopped worrying about ad blockers long time ago. Besides, I've also gradually moved towards heavy client-side scripting and styling, so if anyone's blocking js for example, they're just wasting their time on the sites, and are not the right audience anyway.
11:57 am on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've also gradually moved towards heavy client-side scripting and styling, so if anyone's blocking js for example, they're just wasting their time on the sites, and are not the right audience anyway.


Which I've just started doing as well, especially with Javascript dropdown menus. Sadly, those HTML 5 menus degrade to still work without javascript and work on old browsers so they can still navigate the site although it looks like garbage.

I considered switching to a more javascript intensive code-based menu construction that doesn't have the menu initially in HTML so it doesn't degrade and simply malfunctions without javascript enabled but that makes crawling the site much more difficult so, short of using cloaking, I decided to skip that idea.

The only upside to the above mentioned strategy, which is why I considered it, is scrapers couldn't navigate the site either since I'd only be cloaking the plain menus to whitelisted search engines.
1:48 pm on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Firefox is only one method of many to block or disable AdSence ads.

I'm a consultant and travel to many customers place of business all over the world. I've noticed for many years that organizations block AdSense via firewall and other methods. I'm estimating that 60% of my consulting services customers (companies) block ads.
4:30 pm on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They still don't display on my Kindle (and I can turn them off in one click on my iPhone and iPad) That's the world we live in.
5:37 pm on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The fact is, the people who use adblocker won't click anyway, so it's no real loss.
8:01 pm on June 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The fact is, the people who use adblocker won't click anyway, so it's no real loss.


That might be true for PPC but when you have CPM ads, advertisers pay you to raise awareness, and they're getting a free ride visually by blocking those ads.
1:35 pm on June 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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people who use adblocker won't click anyway


For some, free is not good enough...
4:37 am on June 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What we need is a FF extension to block the "donation" nag screen that the Adblock developer puts up when Adblock is installed.
11:34 pm on June 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well in FF I use "NoScript" and my settings are to NOT load images automatically [with exceptions like WebmasterWorld].

Suits me fine and I see AdSense.
10:33 pm on June 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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super70s, you're a genius.
4:26 am on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Pretty sure you can use Javascript to know is someone is using AdBlock software. Then you can guilt trip them, punish them, show something else there, whatever.

Here's how it was done back in the day. [thepcspy.com...]

Trust me though, if AdBlock software ever gets as popular as you think it is, Google will do something about it.
5:28 am on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Trust me though, if AdBlock software ever gets as popular as you think it is, Google will do something about it.

I'm not so sure about that, a huge part of the adsense value, to Google, is the data it collects from visitors on your site. Correct me if I'm wrong but even if your ads don't display they are still requested from Google as part of the page code so it's not a data loss, the beacon works just fine for them.

Google also knows that if they issue a statement after having made changes to bypass adblockers that the ad blocking community will devise methods to block them again.

As a webmaster you need to detect the blocking and offer alternative ads. Easier said than done.

ADBLOCK HIDES ADS, IT DOES NOT BLOCK THEM
1:44 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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is the data it collects from visitors on your site.


Right...to give better targeted ads so that people will click them. If no one is clicking ads, publishers remove the ads and advertisers stop paying for ads. Ads that are blocked behave like badly targeted ads, and if advertisers caught on to the fact that they are paying for ads that people aren't even seeing, they will pull them. As of now though, it isn't bad.

Google also knows that if they issue a statement after having made changes to bypass adblockers that the ad blocking community will devise methods to block them again.


Google knows to not piss off adblockers and have them promote adblock software to the mass media. Currently, it's a very small number of people that do it, so they don't bother. If it gets big enough though, Google will have to do something. 97% of their money comes from AdSense / AdWords. They will not sit on the sidelines and let adblock software destroy their business model.
5:40 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Actually I still don't have many FF users on my sites. IE is still #1; if I count mobile, Safari is #2 and Chrome has made a pretty big surge.
12:26 am on June 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Currently, it's a very small number of people that do it, so they don't bother.


I case you didn't read my first post, 60% of my brick and mortar customers block AdSense.
2:42 am on June 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Adblock is #1 in Safari Extensions list and #6/#7 for Chrome. 8% of my visitors block ads, and they get nice and static referral ads.
6:09 am on June 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This is not confined to the internet. Dish Network offers a service now I believe called HOP which automatically skips commercials. And let us not forget those people who DVR a show and fast forward through commercials. All of these things generate revenue to help operate the site or produce a show, but the general public does not see it that way. Ads are an intrusion in their eyes and their belief is all these things should be free. Of course, no one thinks of the consequences until it is too late. As we all know, nothing [worthwhile] in life is free.

Marshall
5:31 am on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I case you didn't read my first post, 60% of my brick and mortar customers block AdSense.


How do you know there are that many? And of how many visitors daily? I would estimate that less than 10% of the internet is using ad block plugins, and coming close to 10% is being generous.
10:36 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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with javascript, you can detect if adsense is loaded. just as you can prevent visitors with disabled javascript from viewing your content. i had a self-coded adblocker-blocker script for a few years on my website. so getting numbers is possible.

secondly, in central europe and especially with my kind of users, firefox is prevalent (around 50%). needless to say that adblock plus is the most popular addon.

we all have different stats. but maybe some webmasters are a bit sloppy with checking their logs and try to deny the issue.
12:26 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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especially with my kind of users


Who are your kind of users? If you're coming in to the argument running a techie outlier site, then sure, you'll have over 50% blocking ads.

I stand by my statement that less than 10% of the internet as a whole is using adblocker plugins, and the total % will likely decrease further as tablet/smartphone browsing becomes more prevalent.
4:23 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Regardless of widespread, or not, ad blockers are we should have tools to offer alternative ads if an ad-blocker blocks adsense(example).

- is the method described in the link above effective if you replace the "alert" with another image or link ?
4:42 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Collect leads and email market. Contact businesses with your users interest to get special discounts for them with aff codes. Adapt or die. To h*ll with all the theory, get in action.
5:16 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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How do you know there are that many? And of how many visitors daily? I would estimate that less than 10% of the internet is using ad block plugins, and coming close to 10% is being generous.


Because - I visit (physically present) my customers place of business and access my website using their internet connection doing demo's etc. I can see whether my ads are showing or not...

Your 10% estimate may be correct however the internet is composed of many types of users. Home, business, academic, pc, laptop, mobile phone…

Modified statement: 60% of my BUSINESS (brick and mortar) originating customers/visitors are not seeing my AdSense ads.

My web resource is accessed primarily by business/organizational users.

Moreover, ads from most (if not all) major ad networks are being blocked by these same customers intranet/internet I’m referencing here. I have never seen AdSense ads placed on Google search blocked at any of my customer’s internet.

I do have my own custom PPC scripts running – not blocked

Ad blocking is a bigger challenge then most of us appreciate.
6:42 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google will have to do something. 97% of their money comes from AdSense / AdWords


Is that true? I thought Adsense / Adwords was only a very small part of Google's income. Can anyone clarify how much?
8:12 pm on June 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Seems like I saw a number once and it wasn't anywhere near 97% of their income (don't forget search ads, d'oh) but I don't remember what it was.

Google is NEVER repeat NEVER going to force ads on users who don't want to see them (particularly not in Firefox or IE) Put that thought right out of your head. That's not how they work.

How Google works is, they'll try to push more and more people into using Chrome and figure out a way to slip the ads in somehow that way. May not be on a web property at all.
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