Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

This is the place to discuss issues with the acceptable ads list like a website no longer complying with the criteria.

Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby Jax2 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:38 pm

First, I'm interested in whether or not the mods here will leave this post up. I'm hoping they do, but not counting on it. Opposing ideas and opinions SHOULD be heard, however.

I would like to take just a few moments to explain a few things about web designing and websites in general. Please bear with me and don't just skip this part, Even if you already know all this, it bears repeating.

1. Websites are difficult to make.
Many websites take weeks or month to design. There is coding, testing, fixing, more testing and then deployment. All of this costs a great deal of time and money.

2. Websites cost money to host.
Webmasters are required to pay many types of fees in order to bring their content to you. This includes hosting, bandwidth if hosted on their own servers, advertising their site and more.

3. You, the end consumer, are getting information for free in most cases. You browse to a site, interact with it, enjoy the content, and then move on. Unless you are paying for a membership, you are not paying a penny out of pocket, other than your internet access.

So, now we have adblock, greasemonkey, and however many other methods there are for disabling advertisements on websites. So, what does this mean to most webmasters? A total loss of revenue.

Webmasters who own sites that do not charge a membership fee are not creating the site that you enjoy so that they can lose money. They have to pay, as I showed above, many different ways to bring this content to you. By disabling the advertisements, you are taking away the means which they use to pay the bills that allow them to keep their site up and keep bringing you that great content!

What do you think will happen when every month they end up losing money? They pay so you can enjoy it, yet they are getting NOTHING in return. Do you honestly think that website will remain active? No. Eventually it will shut down. Perhaps it won't be until their current year of hosting is up, but they will shut it down.

We, as I too am a web designer, depend on our advertisements to offset the costs of bringing you the content you enjoy. By blocking ads on our sites, you are doing nothing more than sending us a message that says you do not value our work, our effort to bring you the contents you're viewing, or you don't appreciate the content itself. Which is it?

If this continues, you will only succeed in making hundreds of thousands of websites vanish. You will also succeed in making more and more webmasters have to choose between shutting down or charging a fee for their content. Do you want to have to pay for almost every website you visit in the future? Is it worth that in the long run?

Please, if you value the websites you're visiting, disable your adblock for that site and support the webmaster. If you see an ad that interests you, click on it! I, nor anyone else, is asking you to click on irrelevant ads, that would not be fair for those who pay to advertise, but I am asking you to at least allow us the opportunity to show you an advertisement that might be relevant to you, in the hopes that you'll actually click something that does interest you and we can make 10 cents to help pay for keeping our site online.

Keep in mind, we're not all google, or ebay, or yahoo, or any giant sites like those, most of us are just hard working web designers that hope we can create something you can enjoy and appreciate, and we count on you to help us to keep our site up and running.

Adblock = anti-internet. Plain and simple. Support your websites, don't take money out of the pockets of webmasters everywhere.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby lewisje » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:14 am

I'll assume for the moment that you're not a troll, but I have my suspicions...

The level of usage of ad-blocking mechanisms isn't large enough to destroy the viability of the ad-supported Web, and Wladimir Palant, developer of ABP for Firefox, the very extension on whose forum you are complaining, has started a program that will lead the inattentive masses to allow non-intrusive advertising through (contact his company, Eyeo GmbH, for more details); this is despite his attitude 4 and a half years ago that people who block ads wouldn't have generated revenue even if they hadn't blocked them: https://adblockplus.org/blog/ads-dont-generate-money


Regardless, there are ways to get through to users who block content by any means, whether ABP or a HOSTS file...

The nice way is to check whether the desired ad content has loaded, or whether the element containing the ad has the proper dimensions, and if not, display a message telling people to turn off their ad-blockers; I won't get into the technical means, but it's probably best to use Javascript and possibly the noscript element.

The mean way is to do those same checks and then make the site break in some way that is difficult to work around if the checks point to content-blocking; if your site is popular enough among ABP users, and your content or service is difficult enough to obtain elsewhere, you might even get the major subscription authors to either whitelist you or make the relevant rules not work on your site, because any attempt to block or even hide your ads will cause a "false positive" (a term normally used for the inadvertent blocking of desirable content by filters meant to block ads or malware).


BTW, for my perspective, I'm primarily concerned about the scourge of malvertising, and I block not only known malicious domains themselves but also third-party ad-servers, which are ripe targets for exploitation to spread malware, possibly from brand-new malicious domains; then again I also regularly browse the seedier corners of the Web, where the more potentially harmful content is found (I also block scripts by default and keep plugins from auto-launching, and this last thing, like blocking ads, also speeds up my Web browsing). It has definitely cut down on the anti-virus warnings! :)

P.S.: The mods probably will leave the post up, because it is germane to the topic of ad-blocking and isn't spam, harassment, or any other major forum no-no; Palant & Co. aren't censorious.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby Jax2 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:31 am

Thank you for the reply and no, I am not a troll. I am a concerned web designer who has counted on adsense for years to procure at least some of what I spend on hosting and other costs involved in running a website, back.

I do not know, and I won't assume one way or the other, if you are , or are in anyway involved with, a web designer or not. If you are not, however, I will tell you this: I have been reading very many horror stories on the adsense forums as well as other places, from webmasters of small websites who have, like me, been counting on the money that is generated by ads. Perhaps the creator of the concept you pointed to (Ads do not make money) had a bad experience? I do not know, and to be honest, I have not read the link yet, but I can assure you, they do make money. It is not enough to live on by any means unless you're incredibly lucky enough to have a massive following on your website, but it is enough to help offset the costs, at least some of them in any case.

Many of these stories I have read all sound the same: I still have all my visitors, but instead of making 5 dollars a day, I'm now making 50 cents.

People may laugh when they hear that figure: $5.00 a day, and say oh, what a loss, but to many people, especially owners of small websites that do not generate income from other sources, that $5.00 a day is very important. It may, in fact, even determine if that person continues to blog, or to update their content, or whether or not they even keep the site active anymore.

Sorry, I will not agree that people who block ads wouldn't click anyhow. That is an excuse to not have to take responsibility for taking money out of the pockets of webmasters.

I fully agree with you on the point of malware and other nasties being transmitted over advertising. REPUTABLE advertising agencies, again, such as adsense, do not have this problem. It is when webmasters decide to go with companies of a lesser caliber. Translation: Webmasters need to be aware of what is on their page and who is providing the content. There is a definite need to make webmasters aware of these problems, point out what companies are allowing malicious ads to go live, and put them out of business. Simply blocking ALL ads is not the way to do it.

As for whitelists, why should webmasters have to ask ANYONE whether or not they can display advertisements on their website? That is simply ridiculous. In order for me to make money now, I need to go to the company that is blocking my ads from showing and ask them to please allow me to show ads to my visitors? What gives them the right to determine what I choose to show my visitors? No, I do understand that I still have the right to show it, but that is meaningless when they're blocked, unless I gain some special form of approval to have them not be. Censorship.

So, again, I still feel this is just as bad as I claimed above. I read the stories every day from people who are losing money, and I, too, am one of them. Frankly, I think it's wrong. If I continue to make less than 50 cents a day because my ads are not being displayed, I will take my site down. Sure, maybe only 500 or 600 people will notice it's gone, the point is that it is still gone. What happens when this begins to happen on a regular basis? Only websites with another income source will survive?

Sorry, but that just isn't right.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby Jax2 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:40 am

Ahh yes, I forgot to address the first topic you mentions -- Blocking adblock users - I have found a few websites now that do offer a javascript to stop people from viewing your site if they have adblock or other ad blocking software installed.

There are two ways it works: 1) You simply, as you said, ask them to disable their blocker. Or, 2) You completely prevent them from interacting with your site, or even seeing the content.

This is a definite workaround, but it will not solve the problem. You can ask people as politely as you would like, please turn off your ad blocking software. They will read that and see the OK button underneath it and click it. They are not going to bother taking the extra steps to disable it. In chrome, you have to go into your settings to get this done. At least in firefox, it's nicely put in the tools menu.

On the other hand, if you completely block them from seeing your site while it's active, chances are, they won't bother turning it off to see your content. They will simply go on their merry way. Hmm, he is blocking me from his site? Ok, I don't want to be here.

That is a very rude way to treat potential guests, is it not?

Either way, it's a lose/lose situation.

You'd be surprised how fast adblock and others are growing. People do not realize there could be consequences later down the line.
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Postby lewisje » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:35 am

^I'm not referring to a solution that includes an "OK" button or any other easy means to do away with the notice, but rather a solution that keeps the notice there unless the user actually does what you ask; the "mean solution" just makes the website not work unless the requested action is done.
Also, those solutions don't refer to going back to any company, they're all on your end; the only thing that does refer to going to any company is getting your site on the whitelist mentioned here, which would only work for users of Adblock Plus for Firefox (and soon for Chrome), an opt-out whitelist for non-intrusive advertising as described here: https://adblockplus.org/en/acceptable-ads#info
Jax2 wrote:I do not know, and I won't assume one way or the other, if you are, or are in anyway involved with, a web designer or not.
I currently maintain a couple e-commerce websites that themselves do not contain third-party ads, but do run trackers for Adwords and Google Analytics and are also the subjects of Adwords campaigns; I suspect that my particular audience is less well-versed in the ways of content-blocking, because we do get plenty of clicks and end up spending plenty of money on our campaigns. I also run a small website devoted to, among other things, hosting experimental Tracking Protection Lists based on the popular Adblock Plus lists; I currently spend a small amount of money per month to host the site, and although I don't run ads, I do run Google Analytics, and plenty of visitors haven't blocked it. Basically, I am a Webmaster of sorts (not on a large scale, and I only did a small amount of design on my own site and one of the e-commerce sites), but I do not rely on ads; however, I understand the needs of people who go that route.
Jax2 wrote:however, I will tell you this: I have been reading very many horror stories on the adsense forums as well as other places, from webmasters of small websites who have, like me, been counting on the money that is generated by ads. Perhaps the creator of the concept you pointed to (Ads do not make money) had a bad experience? I do not know, and to be honest, I have not read the link yet, but I can assure you, they do make money. It is not enough to live on by any means unless you're incredibly lucky enough to have a massive following on your website, but it is enough to help offset the costs, at least some of them in any case.
This is the heart of that blog post:
Wladimir Palant wrote:There is no rich Uncle Goo who gives everybody a penny for each ad just for the fun of it. The money comes from somewhere else and it is important to keep this in mind.

So, where does the money come from? Basically, there are two possibilities. One is purchases done on the Internet. The other is investments by companies who usually hope that these investments will help their products sell better.


Jax2 wrote:Many of these stories I have read all sound the same: I still have all my visitors, but instead of making 5 dollars a day, I'm now making 50 cents.

People may laugh when they hear that figure: $5.00 a day, and say oh, what a loss, but to many people, especially owners of small websites that do not generate income from other sources, that $5.00 a day is very important. It may, in fact, even determine if that person continues to blog, or to update their content, or whether or not they even keep the site active anymore.
That's actually a major figure: For small websites, that more than covers the hosting costs; I am interested in the time-frame over which this happens, the demographics of the visitors, and the usage of annoying animated "Ads by Gooooooogle" rather than text-based AdSense ads.
Jax2 wrote:Sorry, I will not agree that people who block ads wouldn't click anyhow. That is an excuse to not have to take responsibility for taking money out of the pockets of webmasters.
So all visitors must pay tribute? This depressingly common mentality may lead to the rise of micropayments, which I have been warning about on this very forum whenever the ad-blocking hardliners have complained about Palant's Acceptable Ads initiative (I can send you some forum links to lol about).

Jax2 wrote:I fully agree with you on the point of malware and other nasties being transmitted over advertising. REPUTABLE advertising agencies, again, such as adsense, do not have this problem. It is when webmasters decide to go with companies of a lesser caliber. Translation: Webmasters need to be aware of what is on their page and who is providing the content. There is a definite need to make webmasters aware of these problems, point out what companies are allowing malicious ads to go live, and put them out of business. Simply blocking ALL ads is not the way to do it.
It's not always the scummier sites and advertising agencies; look below at notable examples of major sites infected with malvertising...
March 2007, rogue antivirus was reported to be spread via malicious advertisement: http://www.mikeonads.com/what-is-errors ... e-stop-it/
December 2007, such malvertising was reported in a series of ads claiming to come from eMusic: http://msmvps.com/blogs/spywaresucks/ar ... 83504.aspx
September 2009, cybercriminals posed as a provider of ad content for Vonage to the New York Times, actually ran safe content for a couple weeks, then swapped it with content that caused a popup for rogue antivirus to appear: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10351460-83.html
Based on that scare and similar events, Microsoft filed suit that month against similar cybercriminals: https://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_o ... ected=true
March 2010, malvertising sneaked onto ValueClick Fastclick, Google DoubleClick, and YieldManager, leading to such above-board sites as the Drudge Report (for the second time) and whitepages.com to inadvertently serve malware to visitors, notably hitting computers used by the United States Senate: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10466044-245.html
Tech Crunch was also hit around then, and malvertising also ended up on the Fimserve network of Fox Audience Network (now part of Rubicon): http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20000898-245.html
February 2011, the LSE was hit by malvertising: http://www.highseverity.com/2011/02/lon ... lware.html
Later that month, AutoTrader UK and MyVue were hit by malvertising: http://community.websense.com/blogs/sec ... izing.aspx
March 2011, Mary Landesman from ScanSafe/Cisco notes the substantial number of domains that had been hit in recent years: http://www.darkreading.com/blog/2293007 ... ising.html
Later that month, a malvertiser made it inside the Spotify Free client, which uses Webkit components and can therefore render Web content; because Spotify has no mechanism for content-blocking, only a well-constructed HOSTS file or filtering proxy could have prevented the load, but more likely the user had to count on the virus-scanner catching the payload of the Blackhole Exploit Kit: http://community.websense.com/blogs/sec ... s-ads.aspx
Facebook (which you need an account on in order to use Spotify) was also hit: http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/03 ... -facebook/
Notably, most of the domains from which the malicious content was eventually loaded were subdomains of co.cc and cz.cc (which are actual websites and not mere domain suffixes in the sense that co.uk is a suffix), which later that year were removed entirely from Google's index because of the related problem of malicious SEO.
Last month, Windows Secure Kit 2012 was delivered via Yahoo's Advertising Network: http://stopmalvertising.com/malvertisem ... twork.html

This problem has been known in the information-security community for a while now: http://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/1 ... lware.html

The advertising industry is also taking steps to deal with the problem, including a set of guidelines: https://otalliance.org/resources/malvertising.html
There is also a sort of "advertising background check" that owners of ad networks or other purchasers of ads should rely on: http://www.anti-malvertising.com/

Still, the way I see it, the risks are so great, and the rewards so paltry, that I personally stamp out ads as a rule: Before I learned about malvertising, I just didn't bother blocking ads and malicious domains, although I did wonder why Java and my PDF reader would occasionally pop up with no warning and then my computer would act strange...

Jak2 wrote:As for whitelists, why should webmasters have to ask ANYONE whether or not they can display advertisements on their website? That is simply ridiculous. In order for me to make money now, I need to go to the company that is blocking my ads from showing and ask them to please allow me to show ads to my visitors? What gives them the right to determine what I choose to show my visitors? No, I do understand that I still have the right to show it, but that is meaningless when they're blocked, unless I gain some special form of approval to have them not be. Censorship.
The only time you would need to directly ask anyone is if you want to join Palant's "Acceptable Ads" initiative; the automatic mechanisms to either ask people to turn off their ad-blockers or make your site break unless ads are allowed will instead indirectly lead to the subscription authors whitelisting you, with no interaction between you and them.
Just look around these forums for examples of filters being removed, exceptions carved out from those filters for various sites, and outright whitelist rules being made for certain URL patterns on certain domains; you can also read the contents of the common ABP subscriptions (rules starting with @@ are whitelisting rules, and ~ before a domain means "not on this domain or its subdomains") from EasyList, Fanboy, and Adversity.

Jak2 wrote:So, again, I still feel this is just as bad as I claimed above. I read the stories every day from people who are losing money, and I, too, am one of them. Frankly, I think it's wrong. If I continue to make less than 50 cents a day because my ads are not being displayed, I will take my site down. Sure, maybe only 500 or 600 people will notice it's gone, the point is that it is still gone. What happens when this begins to happen on a regular basis? Only websites with another income source will survive?

Sorry, but that just isn't right.
That is indeed what could happen, which is why Wladimir Palant is deliberately softening the impact of his own extension; he does not want to end the viability of the free, ad-supported Web and see a system of micropayments or similar direct extraction of money from visitors.


I am curious about what your site is; in case you want to see the sites I have something to do with, they are below...
I have a small role in maintaining http://fabframes.com/ but am mostly waiting for the design and dev team to finish building the new site, and also a separate site at http://charleyharper.com/ that is currently just a CNAME for fabframes.com
I have a somewhat larger role in maintaining https://charleyharperartstudio.com/ and actually did a minor redesign about a year ago.
Both of those sites make money by selling products, and as of yet we have not decided to run ads, although many small and large e-commerce sites do run ads.
My personal site is http://jansal.net/ and I've been lazy about actually building it up.

I actually work for the company behind fabframes.com and notably, in about 3 cases, the computers at various locations had been compromised by malware before I joined, one case involving a malicious Java program that clearly came from a compromised website; after I cleaned them up, I decided to fortify them using the principles of passive security that I would later write about here: https://code.google.com/p/jansal/wiki/PassiveSecurity
The employees had already practiced safe surfing and safe usage of e-mail (or at least I didn't feel the need to educate them), and I have had no malware issues since then.


In closing, as the author of one article that Wladimir Palant linked to said, adapt, or die: http://www.serviceassurancedaily.com/20 ... pt-or-die/
That article was more about alternative revenue models to using the major ad networks, but the way I interpret it is to join in the cat-and-mouse game by either irritating or punishing users of content-blocking software, because we have very good reasons for blocking ads, and we won't stop any time soon: http://www.serviceassurancedaily.com/20 ... lock-plus/
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby NEP » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:30 pm

Though this 'argument' has been repeated for years, I have yet to see the vast number of websites going dark across the internet as has been predicted. Far from ruining the internet, ABP has drastically improved my browsing experience because I'm not constantly assaulted by ugly, irrelevant ads. If a few websites actually have failed because their owners weren't more creative, so much the better.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby lewisje » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:32 am

I just saw yet another malvertising campaign, spewed all across the Web, from earlier this month: http://stopmalvertising.com/malvertisem ... ue-ad.html
Kimberly from StopMalvertising wrote:List of known affected websites as of Tuesday, 10 April 2012
As of today we now know that several major advertising networks such as Google / DoubleClick, Yahoo / Right Media, Zedo are plagued by this rogue ad which is distributed around the globe as seen below by a huge amount of fake advertisers.

amazon.co.uk
avia.org.uk
bighealthtree.com
bloglovin.com
cnn.com
en.paperblog.com
entertainment.salon.com
feeds.gearlive.com
foxnews.com
galadarling.com
glassvisage.hubpages.com
grooveshark.com
grubstreet.com
hitfix.com
hosted.ap.org
huffingtonpost.com
letsbytecode.com
michiganstate.247sports.com
msn.foxsports.com
nextag.com
nymag.com
rottentomatoes.com
skinnyms.com
start.funmoods.com
thetechnologycafe.com
usnewsstories.com
http://www.4shared.com
http://www.allfiberarts.com
http://www.batoto.net
http://www.bellalimento.com
http://www.charliesheen.com
http://www.chevelles.com
http://www.cookingmanager.com
http://www.dailomo.com
http://www.dailyfreeman.com
http://www.delcotimes.com
http://www.designsponge.com
http://www.ebay.co.uk
http://www.education.com
http://www.experienceproject.com
http://www.explosm.net
http://www.familywatchdog.us
http://www.formspring.me
http://www.freegamewall.com
http://www.fyidriving.com
http://www.howdini.com
http://www.imdb.com
http://www.iphone3gsystem.fr
http://www.kearneyhub.com
http://www.keenspot.com
http://www.mediafire.com
http://www.myfitnesspal.com
http://www.nhregister.com
http://www.overclock.net
http://www.peoplefinders.com
http://www.ryanair.com
http://www.takingonmagazines.com
http://www.teamliquid.net
http://www.technodisco.net
http://www.terezowens.com
http://www.thagodz.net
http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk
http://www.tigerdroppings.com
http://www.vidiload.com
http://www.warcraftmovies.com
http://www.whosay.com
http://www.wishafriend.com
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com
http://www.zoopla.co.uk
youtube.com
The vast majority of those sites are absolutely legitimate and trusted by all Web surfers; only 4shared is really questionable, as a one-click file-hoster commonly used for piracy.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby GrammaDeb » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:53 pm

The web developers are ruining for themselves!!!! You know, everyone will LAUGH at me right this minute- when I will tell you where I am surfing and posting right now- with an OLD windows ME PC. A while back- I blew my motherboard using it in the heat, and put in a big processor for that time, and since then, this machine ZIPS along as fast as anything. Anytime I have had issues with it- I run scan/re fix and I'm back like new.
The biggest complaint I have right now is NO one will let me get anti-virus updates anymore!! I have my Norton in, but I can't get the virus defs anymore unless I do the .exe ones daily... and I miss days, so I'm not as protected anymore!

And sure, a lot of stuff I can't do cause I can't put in the newest flash, etc...but you know I can surf emails and 97% of sites JUST FINE. I can turn off javascripting if it give this system fits....\

Okay but I bought a brand-new BIG bad, Lenovo Thinkpad with the newest, latest, fastest system to date. Because I do not desire to do any banking or buying, etc with the ME system and thought I would see what I was missing...plus I wanted to have the webcam, skype now with family, wi fi everywhere I go......

And lo and behold... SOME SITES STILL CAUSE the computer very small delays... like the blogs.. oh my gosh! INTENSE graphics, billions of ads, facebook, meebo bars... whatever............. the raffelcopter forms lagging... NOT THE COMPUTERS PROBLEM.

I just laugh- all the "new and improved" seem to me to be "bloated" to put more and more ads in front of you and to track you more. That is all. Not too much improved for mere surfing and chatting. Or listening to music while I surf.

The most laughable thing is that I have friends and family who constantly have me come to help get their XP systems back running smoothly- their XP systems are far more slow and frustrating than this old ME system. My gosh, this computer is so old, yet it just hums along so much faster than my sister's just four year old XP one.

Too bad we could not have just kept it simple....

Don't blame the adblockers for ruining things.... even with my big, bad MOST newest system- when I added adblock plus- it still speeded up pages!! That just ought not be!
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby lewisje » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:21 pm

It's sad but true: Many aspects of poor website design can cause any browser to lock up; fast multi-core processors, loads of RAM, high-performance SSDs, and ultra-fast broadband with gigabit Ethernet won't always prevent a poorly designed script from causing the browser to hang.

It's like the old joke that some processor can "execute an infinite loop in 5 seconds"; in reality, an infinite loop just runs forever unless interrupted.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:37 am

Your premise is flawed.

First off, AdSense is CPC. The hardcore ad blocking users (not consumers) who hate your ad pollution enough to block it do not click on ads. If an ad gets through, they don't interact with it, and are skeptical of whatever claims it makes.

One school of thought holds that advertising is, at best, an price-raising boondoggle, and at worst, a sophisticated form of lying. In practice, advertising is both a price raiser and a worthless source of unobjective information.

You could advertise a brand new Ferrari for $1, and honestly mean it, and the die hard ad blockers will not interact with the ad, assuming it to be a scam.

Even with a CPM metric, ad blocking users lower the CTR and lower campaign performance. In the long run, that lowers the CPM.

You need to accept the fact that a significant number of users are not profitable customers, and never will be. What you want is to have your cake and eat it too.

If a user has already made the decision to ignore advertising, then blocking it is of no consequence, just as a person who has resolved not to fund Hollywood is not a lost sale when they pirate entertainment.

Advertising is ruining the Internet. The most visible sign of the contagion is the complete garbage which passes for search engine results these days. That garbage would not exist were it not for the advertising incentive allowing the creation of quantity content, rather than quality content. Advertising is responsible for the proliferation of low-content photo galleries of one item per page, and the completely unnecessary practice of page breaks in articles. HTML was designed to make NEXT PAGE links unnecessary, yet they persist to push up ad impressions. The concept of a page is not an innovation, it is an inherent limitation of the legacy technology known as paper.

Advertising intrudes into people's private lives. Advertisers have no need to know who I am, what I read, or what I prefer. The only reason they get away with it is because of the massive technical divide between those who peddle the advertising and those exposed to it. Ordinary people don't know what advertisers are doing to them or how they can stop it.

Advertising has become so aggressive, so intrusive, and so widespread, that ABP, the tool you consider heavy handed, has become a secondary line of defense of mine against first-party tracking and advertising. I've had to install RequestPolicy to nuke all third party requests not on a whitelist because people like you are so intent on ramming garbage down my throat, wasting my screen real estate, slowing my browsing, and squandering my resources, all spent delivering a bunch of crap I reflexively ignore anyway.

I really could care less if a bunch of low content or rather purposeless sites don't get built because people stop feeding the vampire of consumerism by taking back control of their browsers on their hardware.

A user's computer belongs to that user, not to you, and not to your advertisers. Unwanted advertising is digital trespassing. If advertisers truly respected users, there would be a universally honored X-No-Advertising header to make after-the-fact ad blockers unnecessary. A no soliciting sign means stay off my property, and don't ring my doorbell to pitch your crap. There is no digital equivalent.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:43 am

lewisje wrote:It's sad but true: Many aspects of poor website design can cause any browser to lock up; fast multi-core processors, loads of RAM, high-performance SSDs, and ultra-fast broadband with gigabit Ethernet won't always prevent a poorly designed script from causing the browser to hang.

It's like the old joke that some processor can "execute an infinite loop in 5 seconds"; in reality, an infinite loop just runs forever unless interrupted.


Sadly, the proliferation of scripts which serve no user function (like advertising and tracking) along with the proliferation of clueless coders using cut and paste toolkits has made NoScript more and more of a necessity.

I was discussing this with another ancient Internet user the other day, who also feels the same way. We both found it ironic that the more the web "develops", the less and less of it we wish to use. We recall a time where Javascript, Java, Flash, and popup windows were used primarily to enhance the user's experience. Popups were abused, so they were blocked. Next was Java. Flash became a major nuisance vector, with advertising, unnecessary menus/fluff, and screaming loud autoplayers making a nightmare of tabbed browsing. Now Javascript is in that gray zone of being a questionable benefit.

One thing is for certain: most of what JS is used for nowadays is either a totally unnecessary use of JS, such as page navigation, or of no benefit to the user, such as advertising/tracking.

My browser is back to pure HTML, no referrers, and no third party requests not on a whitelist. The more and more they develop, the less and less tolerable it becomes.

We both find some solace in the mobile versions of sites, even on desktops. The mobile version is usually sans cruft.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:54 am

Jax2 wrote:Sorry, I will not agree that people who block ads wouldn't click anyhow. That is an excuse to not have to take responsibility for taking money out of the pockets of webmasters.


So you're telling me you know me better than I know myself?

Sorry, buddy, I had a don't respond to ads policy long before advertising polluted the Internet. I'm also skeptical of other edifices of BS, such as religion, government, faith healers, ghost hunters, kooky diets, etc.

Are you old enough to remember the cola wars? While everybody else was busy responding to the marketing, the intelligent skeptics watched as something as simple as a personal preference became the subject of billions and billions of dollars in extra and unnecessary costs passed along to name brand soda drinkers. The Pepsi vs. Coke debate could be settled if each person bought one can of each. Instead, collective stupidity flushed billions down the toilet and lowered the SNR of many media outlets in the process.

Rational people understand that, the more a product is advertised, the more advertising expense must be passed along to the purchaser, and therefore, the better opportunity exists in finding a competitor with less or no marketing expense.

This group becomes less likely to buy anything the more they see it advertised. This group also becomes less likely to buy something stuck in a promotion cycle, such as with the games department stores play with marking up then marking down new, name brand designer clothing.

Your fundamental mistake is in believing that everyone behaves like a consumer.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby lewisje » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:30 am

Enough people do act like consumers for advertising to be worthwhile; also, increasingly, ABP and similar technologies are either imposed on various environments, or installed on friends' and family members' browsers not at their own initiative, for reasons of security, bandwidth conservation, and clarification of the Web, so that an increasing number of users who block ads actually are the type who would occasionally click and respond to ads.

Here I stand with Wladimir Palant, empathize with the OP, and oppose the anti-advertising hardliners ITT: Adblock and similar technologies really do now pose a threat to the free, ad-supported Web.
There's a buzzin' in my brain I really can't explain; I think about it before they make me go to bed.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:38 pm

I will give you a practical example. As of several years ago, in the United States, more than $1000 was spent, on average, to advertise and market a new passenger vehicle.

Think about what $1000 represents for a working family, then tell me how advertising assists anybody in, or adds any value to, the car buying process.

Where should car buying begin? Research. How should the final decision be made? With reasoned research. The rational and efficient way to conduct this process is for the buyer to first decide on a make and model which fits his or her needs, then identify the best source for that specific make and model.

Concepts like branding and the various advertising fallacies only work because people are not rational and do not act to optimize their behavior.

There is no reason why a bunch of feelings and mistruths concerning vehicles should be pushed out to the general public. Rather, those in the market for a new vehicle should pull the information and use it to make an educated decision.

Situations like this demonstrate why advertising is more than a mere annoyance; it is also a social ill. When a third of a typical television program's timeslot is dedicated to advertising, that goes beyond informing the public and becomes a method for normalizing an irrational consumer culture.
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Re: Adblock, and others like it will ruin the internet for all.

Postby lewisje » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:35 pm

Think about how $1000 compares to the price of that new passenger vehicle.
There's a buzzin' in my brain I really can't explain; I think about it before they make me go to bed.
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