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Adblocker work arounds.

What options are there?

     
2:34 pm on Oct 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Here in the threads it's be talked about how serving your own ads rather than Adsense can defeat ad blocking.

I don't know how ad blockers work and identify ads. So how are people doing this? What does that entail? What type of coding?

Are the ads just hard coded using basic HTML? (i.e. image that links to the advertisers URL)
Or can you use an adserving service, script, or whatever to serve the ads?
If so, then they're sold CPM? If not, how do you document impressions?

Thanks.
8:21 pm on Oct 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Here in the threads it's be talked about how serving your own ads rather than Adsense can defeat ad blocking

The reality is very few of us could even put together an Ad inventory to serve our own Ads.

In any event, it is likely you could no more defeat AdBlockers than the professionals such as AdSense and other networks could. Unless you fondly imagine you are smarter than them.

In short, I believe it's a complete non-starter.
8:39 pm on Oct 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't know how ad blockers work and identify ads.

Depends on who's coding them, where and when.

Two false positives I've personally seen (as a user, not an advertiser):
-- older version of Safari wouldn't display smileys whose physical filename was "sad" "mad" etc
-- early version of Camino suppressing display of publisher's ads in ebooks when the whole thing is wrapped in a div called "ads"

Sooner or later I will have an image that is coincidentally one of the standard AdSense sizes, and then my browser will display a mysterious empty space.
9:52 pm on Oct 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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ianCP and lucy24 have between them hit the nail on the head quite nicely, however i can elaborate briefly.

it is very straightforward to bypass the adblockers ... essentially don't do Anything that one of the ad-networks is doing. eg....
don't serve ads the same size - either iframes, divs, images etc
don't name anything in such a way as to trip a filter looking for ads ... eg. ad, advert etc.
if you have a network and are serving ads from a central source, obviously don't serve them from a domain or filepath that even hints of the name of an ad server.
and finally stay under the radar ... in other words if your network is small enough such that the ad blocker makers don't notice you, then all will be well .. the dilemma being that if you are that small you are unlikely to attract advertisers.

if you want to use a traditional method of serving effectively banner ads or blocks then you are stuck using a network and just have to swallow the adblockers - but don't worry you get lots of extra impressions and even clciks from botnets and suchlike that can fool the adservers into thinking they are real users ... so you gain some and lose some. (i'm not suggesting one uses a botnet, far from it, but i believe some people who let bots out in the wild (for whatever reason) cause them to 'click' ads and go through sites like a 'normal' person - i'm not sure why, i guess they have their own reasons, but if you serve ads you get some of the benefit every now and then)
1:38 am on Oct 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just think about it, if you could own a "work around" would people who take the time to install adblock addons onclick your ad?
2:02 am on Oct 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just think about it, if you could own a "work around" would people who take the time to install adblock addons onclick your ad?


Depends on your "work around". If YOU are serving the ads (ie. went out and found advertisers that match your site/theme without going through an ad service) and tastefully displayed on your own system emanating at your domain level, you'll see what the strength of real ad marketing and publisher can do.

Of course, you have to be a nifty keen publisher to start off with, that is, not a site that was built just to hang ads on.

Not many of those out there.
9:38 am on Oct 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It entails checking whether ads have been loaded; if not, dynamically insert a different ad into that slot, making sure to avoid common patterns that ad blockers look for (e.g. "ads" in the request URI). Since all major advertising networks are likely to be blocked, you're pretty much stuck with locally served ads. How you sell and track those is largely irrelevant so long as you can get them to display. Once you have found a solution that works with most ad blockers, make sure you frequently verify that they're still, in fact, working, since these filters change often and users can write and submit a filter specifically for your site. It can easily turn into a game of whack-a-mole, but if you have the time you can usually stay a step ahead.
6:01 pm on Oct 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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SEOPTI said "would people who take the time to install adblock addons onclick your ad?"

With Tangor's occasional exception ["Not many of those out there"], this is the point. Sites as a whole have gone way too far into surfer abuse over the recent past, and finally there's an easy solution to avoid a lot of it. Good sites [aka your site, of course] surviving on ads are caught in the backdraft caused by your colleagues.

This has similarities to the general digital media piracy problem. Media organizations' marketing, and of course therefore a lot of people who should know better, believe a pirated download is a lost sale.

DRM which thrashes devices is merely a more serious form of abuse compared to ads which auto-launch sound or video, cause browser freeze etc. Recent practices suggest digital media is learning the lesson "don't make life more difficult for people who want to support you". Let's hope it won't take too long for websites to learn too.
11:22 pm on Oct 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Here in the threads it's be talked about how serving your own ads rather than Adsense can defeat ad blocking.

I wouldn't call it defeat. You can display ads even if people have ad blockers, you can also beat the earnings of those gone-ads with other options (including your own ads) but it's not easy.

I don't know how ad blockers work and identify ads.

They look for key strings, including urls. So, anything hosted at any server named adserver, ad-server etc (just examples) will be blocked. Some have their own list of strings that get updated from time to time and also allow you to add your own. I've been seeing posts talking about some apps that identify the SIZE of the block displayed (including images), so anything with the standard ad sizes get blocked. As suggested (as a test) you can wrap anything on your page with a div named adserver or something like that and you will see it gone (like wrapping it on "adsense"). Enough said, they hit anything related to adsense and their servers.

So how are people doing this? What does that entail? What type of coding?

There are ways, like detecting the content of your div (inner HTML), then replacing it with any ad you want (sure, hosted on something non-red-alarm. Also, you can display ads directly with random names. Top-slot-720x10-ad.jpg will probably get blocked while brown-bear.jpg will not (except if image size is being detected).
10:13 pm on Oct 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Don't underestimate the power of a nag screen

I am always loathe to annoy my visitors.

You could try a pleasant message which reminds visitors that the site is supported by advertising and enlist their support. However, I suspect first time visitors would tell you to "take a jump". If your site has compelling content - then returning visitors would be more understanding.

Actually I have no idea how many of my visitors use an AdBlocker - but I bet AdSense does. If I lose money, so do AdSense. I figure they're much smarter and better resourced than me, and I also don't have nagging shareholders to answer to.

AdBlockers must be as much of a problem for AdSense as it is for us. I still make money though to cover my costs.

[ADDED] If they comply with your nag screen, and then your site reveals itself as a disgusting, even misleading ADFEST?

Toast!
10:35 pm on Oct 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You could try a pleasant message which reminds visitors that the site is supported by advertising and enlist their support.

I wonder if that would violate the "Don't draw attention to the ads" AdSense policy?
.

.
10:45 pm on Oct 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Good point Ken - I forgot to mention that. Meanwhile elsewhere, I find this hilarious.
Hide My AdBlocker
This extension hides your AdBlocker from Anti-AdBlock scripts on websites such as putlocker.com, watchfreeinhd.com and more.
This is an anti-anti-adblock extension, which removes time penalties and popups/warnings about your activated AdBlocker.

Which site?

[chrome.google.com ]

I'm becoming far too cynical.
11:34 pm on Oct 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Which site?

Going by the names I recognized in that list, we are a long way into "people who deserve each other" territory.
1:19 am on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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By my analytics tests I recaptured over 30% of adblockers. Not a full recovery, but not bad.

Mine is hovering around 60%. I suspect that's down to a lot of my content not being widely available elsewhere, outside textbooks. Plus my 'nag screen' does not really nag but is very polite and carefully worded.

I wonder if that would violate the "Don't draw attention to the ads" AdSense policy?

I wondered that myself. My tech says as long as there's no inducement to click the ads, it should be fine. He suggested focusing the wording on the adblocker rather than the ads.

If they comply with your nag screen, and then your site reveals itself as a disgusting, even misleading ADFEST?

Then you're a prize goose and the users should/will vote with their feet.

Hide My AdBlocker

Sounds like a certain group of people, going in ever decreasing circles and disappearing up each other's backsides.
If anyone's so desperate that they load up their browser with plug ins just to view my content ad free, good luck to them.
6:07 am on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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"You could try a pleasant message which reminds visitors that the site is supported by advertising and enlist their support. However, I suspect first time visitors would tell you to "take a jump". If your site has compelling content - then returning visitors would be more understanding."



Very true. That's actually how they define a "nag" screen. They differentiate between a "block screen" being a "Turn it off or go away" screen, vs. a "nag screen" which is a one time request to please disable adblockers.

I tried both of their options, and you're right.

The block screen didn't really work well. It resulted in lower traffic (probably not a good idea for most of us ... but maybe in some circumstances). But the 1-time nag screen worked very well. I had no loss in traffic, a decrease in adblockers and a measurable rise in revenue.

Interestingly, the largest publisher in Germany (which just acquired Business Insider) just added with a full-on "block screen", which kicks ad-blockers out completely. So maybe this approach is on the rise. Worth watching...
9:57 am on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Why do you say "they" ?
Very true. That's actually how they define a "nag" screen. They differentiate between a "block screen" being a "Turn it off or go away" screen, vs. a "nag screen" which is a one time request to please disable adblockers.

I tried both of their options, and you're right.

The block screen didn't really work well. It resulted in lower traffic (probably not a good idea for most of us ... but maybe in some circumstances). But the 1-time nag screen worked very well. I had no loss in traffic, a decrease in adblockers and a measurable rise in revenue.

The site that you linked to above would appear to be your own..( any site linked out to from a brand new poster which asks for an email address on the front page always piques my "interest" )and it would , and the ad network, whose interests you are protecting, appear to be owned by yourself..So ..30% more of your ad networks ads get through nowadays ?..Let us hope that they are not all singing all dancing kinds of ads that contributed to the rise of adblockers..
8:35 pm on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Why do you say "they" ?

Because he's a non-native speaker of English and therefore lacks the native speaker's sense of when to say "they do suchandsuch" vs. when to say, in the passive voice, "suchandsuch is done".
8:55 pm on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Nope.. the poster is quite definitely an native English speaker..( American ) I've researched before posting that comment above..and is the owner of the site that he linked to, and a major ad and media network..TOS here prohibits linking to one's own site..and ad media company owners promoting their own product normally declare themselves as such..
6:33 am on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just want to say that anyone that thinks they can bypass ad blockers is wrong. Take a look at Ghostery. It not only blocks ads, but even your own Analytics tools. Unless you are scouring web logs for traffic data, you won't even SEE these users in packages like Google Analytics, Adobe, etc. The only way you could really actually stop ad blocking is server side validation that the ad was loaded (your web server talks to the the ad server and makes sure that the client actually loaded the ad). Even then there is no guarantee it was displayed. Food for thought...
11:19 am on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Server-side? Sounds like a hassle. Just check the DOM.

I installed Ghostery and while it blocks Adsense and Analytics, my proprietary analytics script loads just fine, along with the ads I've set up to replace Adsense when blocked. You can't bypass ad blockers in the sense that you can still get Adsense to load somehow (or can you?), but you can in the sense that you can still get other ads to show.
11:27 am on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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And that's the point. :)

Serve your ads, not third party blindingly complex and absurd ads that drag down the site and make users skittish.
12:19 pm on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Not all third-party ads are absurd. The majority isn't, in my experience, but the bigger issue is that most publishers cannot make nearly as much money selling their own ads as through a network, regardless of absurdity. I can on a few niche sites, but not on other "mainstream" ones. I suspect ad blockers may, in fact, make publishers more desperate to squeeze revenue out of any remaining pageviews, leading to even more obnoxious ads.

So far, the % of ad blockers doesn't seem to be growing all that fast, but the fact that companies like Apple seem to be backing the blockers has me worried a bit. It's Google's Achilles' heel, and I'm sure they're loving that. But I digress.

I wonder if third-party ads can be proxied somehow to slip through the ad blocking filters.
12:32 pm on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just want to say that anyone that thinks they can bypass ad blockers is wrong. Take a look at Ghostery.

Ghostery's probably not a plug in for Mr Joe Average though. You need at least some basic know-how to understand what it does and how it works. And it does have a habit of breaking stuff, stopping media players, email forms, etc. Joe might not like that much. Where Joe's privacy clashes with functionality, I suspect the latter will win.
7:19 pm on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's impressive how as a code one learns to read between the lines, that means code and other stuff too, and that's why I see lots and lots of threads and lots of posts realizing nobody wants to talk about this:
And that's the point. :)

Serve your ads, not third party blindingly complex and absurd ads that drag down the site and make users skittish.

Some keep talking about the problem, that's fine, some ask for solutions, that's fine, some expect somebody takes care of this (google, the whatever bureau of advertisers, etc) that's fine, but hey, what's quoted above holds devastating reasons and solves a lot of things but nobody is quoting or even talking about it. Don't take offense or try to find satanic intentions on such posts, it's not about that, it's far simple:

Years ago you built sites, built traffic and monetize, sell, etc. It has never been easy, specially selling and placing your own ads. Then ad options appeared and suddenly a lot of people refuse to go back to basics and expect third party companies to solve it, it's not like that.
9:44 pm on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's Google's Achilles' heel, and I'm sure they're loving that.


fwiw, ......while using an adblocker, their ads still show on google.com search results pages.
7:45 am on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, they're paying for that. "Acceptable ads" they're called. You can still disable them in most ad blockers that support this, if you prefer. Anyway, Google Network Members' websites rake in over a billion dollars a month. That's a lot of money at risk.
8:02 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Only for 1 adblocker, there are many others that don't show any ads.
8:12 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Note: I know that this is the AdSense Forum. And that much of what follows is not NOT an AdSense solution to the thread topic Adblocker work arounds. What options are there? because only Google can provide an AdSense work around to ad blockers. Sometimes things are simply not ours to fix. Sometimes alternatives to supplement/replace the cracked/blocked, especially in mindset, are the best we can do/offer.

Until third party ad networks provide an API or other process allowing publishers to deliver network ads directly from their own servers third party ads will be particularly susceptible to client side blocking. However, such a move means networks giving up a significant amount of control and would require far more publisher quality control, oversight than now exists, which would be costly.

But even if they do that it is but one side of the blocking coin. All the major browsers now have some variation of Reader Mode/View that strips far more than just third party ads. It used to take a bit of user knowledge to choose 'no page style' on annoying/cluttered pages; the browsers simply made it obvious and simple and restrictive and not quite so bare bones.

Plus never forget Google Web Light [support.google.com] the on the fly site (currently) Android/Chrome transcoder that strips, among other things, 'unapproved' ads to speed up delivery over slow mobile connections in 'selected' countries. Not a serious developed world webdev concern at the moment... While the idea has merit once again it is a third party stepping in the middle with their rules and if it works? odds on scope creep?

And iOS9 with it's baked in ad blocking. The most profitable segment of mobile users no longer have to go out and get a third party blocker.

We (except for me and thee and I'm not so sure about thee... :)) all (from networks to publishers - speaking generally not specifically) have had a part in getting the browsing public to the point that they are not just complaining about the ad tsunami but starting to search out raise barricades. That it has got bad enough for mainstream media to take notice is telling. As is the browser and now an OS decision to enable.

IMO, the IAB initiative [webmasterworld.com] is a decade late, and, being without teeth, DOA before the mindless rush after perceived revenue; if one ad doesn't make us rich, ad infinitum.

Back in the day aka before AdSense (my goodness but time flies) webdevs worked their buns off getting traffic from wherever however and revenue from there too. Along came Google and it became for many such an easy simple traffic solution that the hard relentless work of traffic sourcing was put aside; along came AdSense and it seemed revenue manna unending. Truly a web of milk and honey. Those of us who posted about diversification, about third party AND direct ad sales, about third party AND direct affiliate marketing et al were and are still largely ignored.

The web has become largely a web of the less technically interested/inclined and the more lazy (not necessarily both at once) with the simplicity of WordPress and AdSense and their ilk. I am not against WP per se as churn and burn and MFA existed prior; however, it means that the majority on many/most webdev fora are one horse fixated/limited as that is all they know and while it (and similar platforms) are surprisingly deep and capable that too is not something they have bothered/needed to investigate/learn. They are used to someone else providing the 'fix' via an upgrade or add-on/extension. They are mostly drivers not driver/mechanics without a clue about what is under the hood.

One can wait for solutions to be given or be pro active. Yes, I know that there is little/nothing that can be done directly with current third party offerings - including AdSense - without (most likely) contravening their ToS and being banned. But there have always been alternatives. It's just that most/all take work and time to develop, require more hands on effort than copy and paste. And, it is pretty late in the ad::ad-blocker, reader mode, switch to mobile time line to be starting but perhaps better late than never?

If you are trying to make money via a site it is a business. Perhaps it is time to treat it as one. Preferably not one in a company town.
3:25 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Whenever I see "work around" I think "ultimately not sustainable"

Can't help it, that's how my mind works.
7:22 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Whenever I see "work around" I think "ultimately not sustainable"

Work around all too often suggests to me a defective model in the first place.

Yep, always treat the symptom - never address the underlying cause.
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