Adblock Plus and (a little) more

And who comes to visit your web site? · 2008-08-07 01:49 by Wladimir Palant

I often see people complaining that the page impressions on their site don’t match their ad impressions. Apparently, a large percentage of their visitors (you see numbers like 50% mentioned) don’t see their ads. And it is easy enough to find the guilty party — ad blocking software. The enemy is found, the world makes sense again, and the energy can be spent on solving the “issue”.

Only that something doesn’t make sense: judging by numbers of active daily users, no more than 5% of Firefox users have Adblock Plus installed. And I doubt that other ad blockers have a significantly larger user base. Also, I could join the ranks of complainers — despite the fact that my site is free of ads, around 30% of the visitors choose a radical approach to browsing and download neither images, nor JavaScript, nor CSS. If I look at yesterday’s logs, those users made up 21% of unique IP addresses accounting for 29% of page impressions and 35% of the total traffic. Isn’t that incredible?

Well, it is, at least until you look more closely. What these “users” really are:

  • Search engine spiders (37%)
  • RSS readers (22%)
  • Prefetching coming from Google (4.9%)
  • Confirmed vulnerability scanners (2.5%)
  • Confirmed forum spammers (2.5%)
  • Confirmed blog spammer (0.7%)
  • Confirmed email harvester (0.2%)

And the rest of them? Hard to tell, probably also bots, likely of the malicious variety. What happened to the nice times when everybody hitting your site was a human that you could show advertisements to?


Comment [10]

  1. Giorgio Maone · 2008-08-07 02:49 · #

    Bots, or bears ;)

  2. Alan Baxter · 2008-08-07 07:23 · #

    Confirmed email harvester (0.2%)

    Never did get any spam on my gmail account until I exposed it on and Not really a problem though since gmail’s spam filters seem to be effective.

  3. ecjs · 2008-08-07 11:42 · #

    That is disappointing, I hope the visitors of my website are much human than yours !

  4. rick752 · 2008-08-07 16:26 · #

    Wow. I guess I never realized how much search engine bots impact a sites stats. I also never even though of the RSS factor either. So out of all the hits to adblockplus (sans filters), almost 60% of the hits are composed of just those 2 items? Amazing!

    (I guess I will ponder this info while relaxing with a nice “Leg of Palant a’la Giorgio” smothered in maple syrup … yum! :)

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    That’s 60% of all bot hits, meaning something like 15% of all hits (I am not counting

  5. макс · 2008-08-10 22:06 · #

    Полный оффтоп, пардон. О резке баннеров с точки зрения компутерры

    Автор заметки обходит ABP прямо-таки абсолютным молчанием, нет такого софта!
    А уж предложение обязательно вайтлистить компутерру, это полный пэ.
    Как Вам такое?

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    А чего следовало ожидать? Они живут за счет рекламы.

  6. Eli · 2008-08-21 01:35 · #

    On our sites, we get a ton of bot traffic. And an increasing number of bots load & run JavaScript so even Google Analytics counts them as a hit.

  7. Jan Koekepan · 2008-08-22 10:01 · #

    Could we please see the linkcheck option back, or something of equivalent nature? I keep seeing banners which link back to doubleclick (or somewhere equally identifiably undesirable, and marked as such) but where the banner itself came from some other site entirely.

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    Element hiding is your friend. I also want to add a feature in the next version of Element Hiding Helper to allow hiding by link via context menu.

  8. curious about add block · 2008-08-26 15:04 · #

    can people see my viewing their page if I have add block plus on my page??

    Reply from Wladimir Palant:

    You have to connect to the web server in order to download the page you are viewing, so – yes, the owner of that server can always “see” you (or at least your IP address), no matter what. However, Adblock Plus can help preventing that other parties know what you are viewing by blocking so-called web bugs. ABP Tracking Filter subscription at is meant for that.

  9. Sebastian · 2008-09-03 17:39 · #

    I have tons of traffic from all kinds of garbage bots (and probably also some legitimate ones). Since I have no ads on my page I couldn’t care less about if people use AdBlock Plus or not – however –

    I want to say BIG times THANK YOU for your wonderful plug-in. I hate ads and you spare me a lot of those. Again, thank you!

  10. Lord Byron · 2008-09-08 01:25 · #

    Thank you. For those of use on limited Bandwidth, IE, Satellite Internet users limited to expensive, slow, and FAPed connections.

    Thanks to Adblock plus

    I freed p 30% of my bandwidth.
    Saving me HUNDREDS of dollars!

    Thank you, keep up the excellent work!

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