But AdBlock Plus isn't the villain here. At least, I don't see it that way. In some cases, the problem is the publisher themselves. They have too many ads on a page from too many different ad providers. Or, the ads they use are intrusive, cutting into a person's ability to read content without being interrupted by advertising. Intrusive and annoying ads will create a poor user experience, and may actually lose you visitors, especially if you are begging them to turn it off.
AdBlock Plus has a feature called "Acceptable Ads", and the criteria for acceptable ads isn't hard to understand, even for users who are less web-savvy. You can turn on, or turn off the Acceptable Ads feature. Some will just leave it off and see no ads, either because they just simply hate ads period, or because they aren't sure how to use it, or how to change it.
|Is it any wonder people use adblockers when|
faced with this sort of assault?
And note that ABP has the same criteria as Adsense does for being able to tell the difference between ads, and content. Ads should clearly be different than the content so visitors aren't fooled into thinking the ad is content. There are other criteria on ABPs acceptable ads list, such as the size of ads used, on what type of pages ads should be displayed, the colours and styles of ads allowed for acceptability. If your site qualifies, you can apply at ABP's site to be added to the acceptable ads list.
I'm guessing a bunch of you will go running off to the site to apply, without meeting the qualifications for inclusion on the list so, prepare to be disappointed.
It's interesting to note that ABP also uses the requirement of having lots of content on a page. If there is no primary content, or not enough primary content, you shouldn't have ads on the page.
The problem here is that advertising providers (including AdSense) produce these types of ads. In some cases, publishers have the option of not using some of those ad types on their sites. But the ad providers really are the ones who need to adjust the types of ads they serve if they don't want people blocking their ads. With their efforts to entice visitors to have some interest in the advertising, they've stepped over the bounds of what many people consider acceptable.
Publishers need to take note as well, because with too many ads and too many things moving on your site, people will simply block everything, they won't just pick and choose which ads to block.
Even if your site makes it onto the AcceptableAds list, you may still have lots of adblocking visitors. Part of that is because visitors may not understand how adblockers can be customized to their own needs, so instead of notices begging people to turn off their adblockers, try educating them instead. Explain the ease of making the adblocker work to block overloaded sites, or intrusive ads, or specific ad urls and how they whitelist sites they trust.
With so many publishers complaining about adblockers, everyone is looking for a solution. The solution isn't to badger visitors because no matter how great your content is, similar content can be found on dozens of other sites. Sites that are ad-free, or that don't care if people use adblockers. By using the wrong solution, you could be driving your would-be visitors onto another site that doesn't hassle them about their adblocker.
Of course, in the end the decision is yours to make but if you aren't going to be part of solution, there's no point in complaining about the problem. Complainers don't help fix things. Bold turn-off notices don't help. More ads doesn't help. I'm no expert, and like many others, I don't really know how to fix it.
What I do know is how not to annoy my visitors even further.
posted by J. Gracey Stinson