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Do You Block Ads?

I was chatting to a couple of bloggers over the weekend and I thought the discussion was divided and interesting enough to open up to you guys.

As we often do we got around to talking about cool sites we have seen recently. I mentioned “Why Digg is Blocked” and almost immediately regretted it. One individual launched into a rant about ad blockers “sucking the life-blood from the internet” πŸ™‚

When the dust settled there seemed to be the following positions about the situation, let’s see which you agree with?

  1. All ads are evil – Advertising is annoying, distracting, and spoils my enjoyment of the web. I block ads because I don’t like to see them
  2. Information should be free – I disagree with people making money from the web. The web was started free and commercialization is ruining it.
  3. Ad blockers are selfish – People who block ads are spoiling it for the rest of us. Who is going to pay for their “free” information?

Now my own position is that while some ads really are annoying, especially the ones that take over the page, the noisy flash based ones like the smileys and the bug zapper or the ones that take advantage of non-technical users like the “your computer has a virus” or “10,000 visitor prize”. Having said that I do not block ads because I realize people have to monetize their sites. Yes there is a lot of so-called “free” information but I think there is no such thing, what you might think of as free is actually subsidized by the author, the authors employer or by customers.

Consider this blog. The reason I can post “free” information every day while still putting food on the table and paying my mortgage is because by clients pay me. The information is marketing. My content is my ad. Seth Godin can provide free information in the same way, his content advertises his books. Darren on the other hand makes a large percentage of his income from advertisements. Advertisers pay so you can get his information free.

Do You Block Ads?
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So do you block ads? Which opinion do you agree with? Is there a position I have missed? Please tick the poll and share your thoughts in the comments?

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Comments

  1. Just voted.

    Completely offtopic: what do you use for the voting functionality? It’s really neat! WordPress plugin or some kind of web service?

  2. Just voted.

    Completely offtopic: what do you use for the voting functionality? It’s really neat! WordPress plugin or some kind of web service?

  3. I used a fantastic WP plugin called Democracy πŸ™‚

  4. I used a fantastic WP plugin called Democracy πŸ™‚

  5. Hey Chris,

    I’d never blocked ads before (well as an internet marketer it seemed a little counterproductive). However when I first moved out to Russia, I could only get a dial-up connection. By cutting out the ads, my page load times were more than halved.

    This was especially true when sites called external ad serving scripts. Some of these are incredibly slow.

    We’ve finally been able to get ADSL at home now but the speed it still not great. I’ve kept the adblocking on because of that. I can see this being a common reason for blocking, especially outside the high-speed UK/US networks.

    Considering how many people were falling over themselves to tweak FF about:config for speed, I find it strange more haven’t realised they could get a significant performance boost this way. Probably good for us though that they don’t πŸ˜‰

  6. Hey Chris,

    I’d never blocked ads before (well as an internet marketer it seemed a little counterproductive). However when I first moved out to Russia, I could only get a dial-up connection. By cutting out the ads, my page load times were more than halved.

    This was especially true when sites called external ad serving scripts. Some of these are incredibly slow.

    We’ve finally been able to get ADSL at home now but the speed it still not great. I’ve kept the adblocking on because of that. I can see this being a common reason for blocking, especially outside the high-speed UK/US networks.

    Considering how many people were falling over themselves to tweak FF about:config for speed, I find it strange more haven’t realised they could get a significant performance boost this way. Probably good for us though that they don’t πŸ˜‰

  7. I hadn’t considered that Nick. I guess I have been spoiled by broadband πŸ™‚

  8. I hadn’t considered that Nick. I guess I have been spoiled by broadband πŸ™‚

  9. Damn you capitalists and your 8MB connections πŸ˜‰

  10. Damn you capitalists and your 8MB connections πŸ˜‰

  11. I don’t have a problem with ads per se. But, any website owner contemplating them should understand that they do affect the degree to which ads reduce perceived authority (to me anyway).

  12. I don’t have a problem with ads per se. But, any website owner contemplating them should understand that they do affect the degree to which ads reduce perceived authority (to me anyway).

  13. I don’t block ads but I rarely click on them. Websites are designed to include ads and some of them would look pretty bare without them.

  14. I don’t block ads but I rarely click on them. Websites are designed to include ads and some of them would look pretty bare without them.

  15. I don’t block ads, but not because I think its selfish, but because I don’t mind strategically placed, relevant ads. If they aren’t strategic and relevant, I just don’t revisit the site. And if they threaten to give me a seizure from blinking and sparkling too much, I *ain’t* going back either. πŸ˜‰

  16. I don’t block ads, but not because I think its selfish, but because I don’t mind strategically placed, relevant ads. If they aren’t strategic and relevant, I just don’t revisit the site. And if they threaten to give me a seizure from blinking and sparkling too much, I *ain’t* going back either. πŸ˜‰

  17. I don’t block them, but I do sometimes judge a site by them. If they dominate the page or flash or scroll, the quality of the content would need to be extraordinarily high for me to stick around. Too much advertising does reduce credibility somewhat.

  18. I don’t block them, but I do sometimes judge a site by them. If they dominate the page or flash or scroll, the quality of the content would need to be extraordinarily high for me to stick around. Too much advertising does reduce credibility somewhat.

  19. I think you need another option “Only the annoying ones”. I have an ad-blocker installed and I use it to selectively block ads that annoy me. Pop ups, pop unders, the awful flash adverts that appear over the content, ads that try to exploit less savvy users etc.

    The way I see it, if you care so little about your content that you are willing to spread an advert over the top of it, then you don’t deserve my click anyway.

  20. I think you need another option “Only the annoying ones”. I have an ad-blocker installed and I use it to selectively block ads that annoy me. Pop ups, pop unders, the awful flash adverts that appear over the content, ads that try to exploit less savvy users etc.

    The way I see it, if you care so little about your content that you are willing to spread an advert over the top of it, then you don’t deserve my click anyway.

  21. Ads are annoying for some but they are for here to stay. You don’t like war but they happen everyday because there are some people out there feels that there is a need for it.

    Some webmasters don’t have other source of income and they depend on their creativity and their flair in writing or blogging to earn through ads.

    Anyway, I don’t block ads and to be honest, I do give out love clicks if I think a content on a blog is good. 😈

  22. Ads are annoying for some but they are for here to stay. You don’t like war but they happen everyday because there are some people out there feels that there is a need for it.

    Some webmasters don’t have other source of income and they depend on their creativity and their flair in writing or blogging to earn through ads.

    Anyway, I don’t block ads and to be honest, I do give out love clicks if I think a content on a blog is good. 😈

  23. I don’t block ads, and I don’t think ad blockers are selfish. Probably they’re just ignorant.

    I run a Malaysian ad (by Nuffnang) on my blog, and I opted for the space to be used for charity ads whenever I do not have any ad campaigns on my blogs. I do not get paid if anybody clicks on the charity ads, but at least it increases the exposure to these sites.

  24. I don’t block ads, and I don’t think ad blockers are selfish. Probably they’re just ignorant.

    I run a Malaysian ad (by Nuffnang) on my blog, and I opted for the space to be used for charity ads whenever I do not have any ad campaigns on my blogs. I do not get paid if anybody clicks on the charity ads, but at least it increases the exposure to these sites.

  25. I don’t block ads and I hardly ever click on them unless one catches my eye.
    I dislike ads that pop up and take over the screen when your mouse pointer accidently goes over it.
    However people have to make money, me included.
    Regards.

  26. I don’t block ads and I hardly ever click on them unless one catches my eye.
    I dislike ads that pop up and take over the screen when your mouse pointer accidently goes over it.
    However people have to make money, me included.
    Regards.

  27. I agree with Christina about relevant ads being OK, but on giving it some thought, I don’t even see them. I know Darren and Yaro have them and I was watching Yaro’s video yesterday about monetizing his site and how much he gets from the ads, but I have never looked at any of them, let alone clicked through. I wouldn’t use an ad blocker though – it’s like buying a magazine and not expecting lavish ads for stuff I would never buy.

  28. I agree with Christina about relevant ads being OK, but on giving it some thought, I don’t even see them. I know Darren and Yaro have them and I was watching Yaro’s video yesterday about monetizing his site and how much he gets from the ads, but I have never looked at any of them, let alone clicked through. I wouldn’t use an ad blocker though – it’s like buying a magazine and not expecting lavish ads for stuff I would never buy.

  29. No, I don’t block ads but I don’t think that ad blockers are selfish: everyone has the right to block ads. Though, as a webmaster, I don’t really like people blocking ads.

  30. It’s not worth it to me to deal with another piece of software. There is just too much already. It is easier for me to just ignore the ads. Once in a while once will grab my attention and I’ll go there.

  31. No, I don’t block ads but I don’t think that ad blockers are selfish: everyone has the right to block ads. Though, as a webmaster, I don’t really like people blocking ads.

  32. It’s not worth it to me to deal with another piece of software. There is just too much already. It is easier for me to just ignore the ads. Once in a while once will grab my attention and I’ll go there.

  33. Relevancy is definitely the key. I welcome the ads if they have some relationship with the information I’m there for.

  34. Relevancy is definitely the key. I welcome the ads if they have some relationship with the information I’m there for.

  35. What you seem to be missing is an option that would allow for people to pay for content that was ad free. It seems we all like faster page loads, and fewer distractions, but seem hesitant when asked to pay for information. Only the truly selfish would complain loudly at a sites attempt to monetize their efforts. [With the possible exception of those 3 remaining people who have dialup accounts.]

  36. What you seem to be missing is an option that would allow for people to pay for content that was ad free. It seems we all like faster page loads, and fewer distractions, but seem hesitant when asked to pay for information. Only the truly selfish would complain loudly at a sites attempt to monetize their efforts. [With the possible exception of those 3 remaining people who have dialup accounts.]

  37. I don’t block ads, but I can understand people who do. If I see an interesting ad, I will click on it (of course, if it isn’t on my blog).

  38. I don’t block ads, but I can understand people who do. If I see an interesting ad, I will click on it (of course, if it isn’t on my blog).

  39. Hi,

    I think that blocking ads is selfish… Well alright, you might not like some ads, especially when they annoy you – all those pop-ups, pop-ins, auto expandable media when you accidenly move your mouse over the banner, etc. They are annoying and actually gets me really angry. I hate those websites. But anyway, I fully understand that each website webmaster or blogger also wants to earn some more at least so they could pay off their Internet provider bills not mentioning their valuable time spent. Yes, the free information is very good and I really like it, but I completely understand that there would be no such information without the ads. So ads are ok, as long as they don’t interrupt/pop-up or disturb me in any other way.

    Sincerely,
    Egidijus

  40. Hi,

    I think that blocking ads is selfish… Well alright, you might not like some ads, especially when they annoy you – all those pop-ups, pop-ins, auto expandable media when you accidenly move your mouse over the banner, etc. They are annoying and actually gets me really angry. I hate those websites. But anyway, I fully understand that each website webmaster or blogger also wants to earn some more at least so they could pay off their Internet provider bills not mentioning their valuable time spent. Yes, the free information is very good and I really like it, but I completely understand that there would be no such information without the ads. So ads are ok, as long as they don’t interrupt/pop-up or disturb me in any other way.

    Sincerely,
    Egidijus

  41. I think the argument that if you make money from ads then you should not block ads is interesting. It is hypocritical to block ads from others while expecting that others would not block yours. Still, not all ads are equal. As has been pointed out, some overlay, or over-do-it to the point of annoyance. Some are distasteful or inappropriate. Most ad blockers have a means to allow ads on certain sites. If you need people to see your ads, ask them to unblock your site. If you can’t make it happen, then you go away; the loss is to the readers who did not want to support you.

    I have ads on my blog. Due to the fact that I almost never see ads, let alone click on them, I do not rely on ad money to make my living. I have ad blocker installed on all of my home computers because I have children and I try to:
    A) Reduce the chance they see inappropriate ads
    B) Reduce bandwidth consumption so I can work
    C) Reduce the chance I have a virus on my network

    I think that the answer is this: everyone who wants something has to figure out how they pay for it. If it is not worth what you pay (time, effort, money annoyance) then stop going there. If it is not worth it to the provider, then they will stop providing it. That’s capitalism for you.

  42. I think the argument that if you make money from ads then you should not block ads is interesting. It is hypocritical to block ads from others while expecting that others would not block yours. Still, not all ads are equal. As has been pointed out, some overlay, or over-do-it to the point of annoyance. Some are distasteful or inappropriate. Most ad blockers have a means to allow ads on certain sites. If you need people to see your ads, ask them to unblock your site. If you can’t make it happen, then you go away; the loss is to the readers who did not want to support you.

    I have ads on my blog. Due to the fact that I almost never see ads, let alone click on them, I do not rely on ad money to make my living. I have ad blocker installed on all of my home computers because I have children and I try to:
    A) Reduce the chance they see inappropriate ads
    B) Reduce bandwidth consumption so I can work
    C) Reduce the chance I have a virus on my network

    I think that the answer is this: everyone who wants something has to figure out how they pay for it. If it is not worth what you pay (time, effort, money annoyance) then stop going there. If it is not worth it to the provider, then they will stop providing it. That’s capitalism for you.

  43. I don’t mind ads on the site, but I rarely look at them. Cracks me up when various members of the family ask me about something on the screen that has completely not registered with me. Lol. I’m all about the content. I do block pop-up ads, because I don’t like how they clutter up my screen and require me to close them. If they’re on timers and just go away, I’m fine with that. I also have a slightly paranoid concern about things appearing on my screen that I didn’t invite. Like bugs and viruses, and so on. The blocking software stops downloads that I haven’t permitted and contributes to my (possibly unfounded) sense of security.

  44. I don’t mind ads on the site, but I rarely look at them. Cracks me up when various members of the family ask me about something on the screen that has completely not registered with me. Lol. I’m all about the content. I do block pop-up ads, because I don’t like how they clutter up my screen and require me to close them. If they’re on timers and just go away, I’m fine with that. I also have a slightly paranoid concern about things appearing on my screen that I didn’t invite. Like bugs and viruses, and so on. The blocking software stops downloads that I haven’t permitted and contributes to my (possibly unfounded) sense of security.

  45. I voted against ad blocking, although I hate pop-ups and have used pop-up blockers for some time.

    There would be a lot less free information on the net if it weren’t for ads. You would have to pay to get news from CNN or ESPN or wherever, just like you have to pay to get those channels on TV.

    Nice idea for a poll…

  46. I voted against ad blocking, although I hate pop-ups and have used pop-up blockers for some time.

    There would be a lot less free information on the net if it weren’t for ads. You would have to pay to get news from CNN or ESPN or wherever, just like you have to pay to get those channels on TV.

    Nice idea for a poll…

  47. I don’t block ads, in part because I know that publishers need to make money somehow, and partly because, while a lot of ads (most?) are annoying, I occasionally find ads that genuinely interest me, and I will click-through on this ads.

    Still, it doesn’t really bother me too much if other people choose to use ad blockers.

  48. I don’t block ads, in part because I know that publishers need to make money somehow, and partly because, while a lot of ads (most?) are annoying, I occasionally find ads that genuinely interest me, and I will click-through on this ads.

    Still, it doesn’t really bother me too much if other people choose to use ad blockers.

  49. I block banner ads, flash ads and pop-up/pop-under ads. I don’t touch text ads. Text ads are unobtrusive and don’t bug me like flashing banners do. =)

  50. I block banner ads, flash ads and pop-up/pop-under ads. I don’t touch text ads. Text ads are unobtrusive and don’t bug me like flashing banners do. =)

  51. I don’t block ads, and if I had the room, I would place relevant ads on my site. I think ads from parties you patron or recommend are ok.

    I disagree with Heather’s comparison to a magazine, although I know she isn’t making a direct comparison. But the key difference, and I hope bloggers who have ads on their sites follow this, is that a print magazine needs ads to survive. A print magazine is not used as a marketing tool for the publisher. It is meant to make money, therefore, the ads could and do dictate content.

    Bloggers should stick to their guns and write what they please without influence from advertisers.

  52. I don’t block ads, and if I had the room, I would place relevant ads on my site. I think ads from parties you patron or recommend are ok.

    I disagree with Heather’s comparison to a magazine, although I know she isn’t making a direct comparison. But the key difference, and I hope bloggers who have ads on their sites follow this, is that a print magazine needs ads to survive. A print magazine is not used as a marketing tool for the publisher. It is meant to make money, therefore, the ads could and do dictate content.

    Bloggers should stick to their guns and write what they please without influence from advertisers.

  53. I don’t block adverts, what I block is all java/javascript I visit 100’s of different site and some are safe while others are not so safe and I find turning javascript completely off is the safest way to do that.

  54. I don’t block adverts, what I block is all java/javascript I visit 100’s of different site and some are safe while others are not so safe and I find turning javascript completely off is the safest way to do that.

  55. I generally don’t mind ads and have found some great stuff via ads (products, services, other websites). I think if the ads related to the content of the website it’s probably okay. For example, my own blog is very literary oriented, so you won’t find ads for lawnmowers and tractors peppering my website.

    I draw the line, however, at annoying pop-ups (not a problem anymore ’cause I block them), and ads that force you to click on “skip this ad” to proceed to the website you want to go to.

  56. I generally don’t mind ads and have found some great stuff via ads (products, services, other websites). I think if the ads related to the content of the website it’s probably okay. For example, my own blog is very literary oriented, so you won’t find ads for lawnmowers and tractors peppering my website.

    I draw the line, however, at annoying pop-ups (not a problem anymore ’cause I block them), and ads that force you to click on “skip this ad” to proceed to the website you want to go to.

  57. Hey, your choices “ad blockers are selfish” and “ads are evil” seek to reframe the discussion. The issue is that there are a handful of abusive and agressive companies that do plant software on your computer, to track your browsing and create a customized selection of pop-ups that show up when you are visiting non abusive sites. The problem is issues of privacy and abuse. It is one thing to have an anoying or offensive billboard, just take another route home, quite another to have a company place advertising stickers on your windshield every .10 mile no matter what road you are on so that you have to physically stop the car and remove the stickers. This is also unfair to the people who paid for bilboard space on the road you are traveling.

  58. Hey, your choices “ad blockers are selfish” and “ads are evil” seek to reframe the discussion. The issue is that there are a handful of abusive and agressive companies that do plant software on your computer, to track your browsing and create a customized selection of pop-ups that show up when you are visiting non abusive sites. The problem is issues of privacy and abuse. It is one thing to have an anoying or offensive billboard, just take another route home, quite another to have a company place advertising stickers on your windshield every .10 mile no matter what road you are on so that you have to physically stop the car and remove the stickers. This is also unfair to the people who paid for bilboard space on the road you are traveling.

  59. I don’t block ads, and don’t mind them. But, I can’t think of a time when I actually clicked on one, either.

  60. I don’t block ads, and don’t mind them. But, I can’t think of a time when I actually clicked on one, either.

  61. I think people who get mad at adblockers are silly. It is your job to make money on your site (if that is what you want) and my job to make my internet experience something that I like. Getting mad at me for doing my job is silly, just like it would be silly for me to get mad at you for putting ads on your site.

    If you find that enough people block ads that you aren’t making as much money as you’d like, then you need to do something else to make money. Sell an ebook for example.

  62. I think people who get mad at adblockers are silly. It is your job to make money on your site (if that is what you want) and my job to make my internet experience something that I like. Getting mad at me for doing my job is silly, just like it would be silly for me to get mad at you for putting ads on your site.

    If you find that enough people block ads that you aren’t making as much money as you’d like, then you need to do something else to make money. Sell an ebook for example.

  63. I have been following this Advertiser vs. Advert blockers debate for sometime. While I can agree that some websites rely on some form of advertising to help fund them, I have never click on any advertisement I have seen, and I will never buy a product through clicking on any website advert or spam email.

    A few years ago I never used an Adblocker on any website and could not be bothered on working out how to do it. Then 3 types of adverts started appearing more and more that seriously pissed me off and it was because of those that I switched to Firefox and installed an Ad blocker.

    1. Flash adverts. This is any form of flash advert; from the annoying buzzing mosquitoes to the ones that suddenly take over you webpage and you have to close them in order to carry on surfing.
    2. Intellitxt advertising. This is just plain wrong, I should be able to scroll down a website using my scroll button with out the cursor causing a pop-up window that I then had to manually close.
    3. Badly written java script based advertising that causes the website to freeze/crash.

    It is because of those types of adverts that I decided to use Adblocker. The advertisers themselves caused this, and increased the popularity of ad blockers.

    I also do not buy that crap about Ad blockers stealing the content/bandwidth on the websites by not viewing these adverts. What about my Bandwidth been used up by displaying adverts I will never click on? If I got paid for my wasted bandwidth then quite happily I would remove my Adblocker and earn a living by viewing online adverts, I could most likely quit my day job.

  64. I have been following this Advertiser vs. Advert blockers debate for sometime. While I can agree that some websites rely on some form of advertising to help fund them, I have never click on any advertisement I have seen, and I will never buy a product through clicking on any website advert or spam email.

    A few years ago I never used an Adblocker on any website and could not be bothered on working out how to do it. Then 3 types of adverts started appearing more and more that seriously pissed me off and it was because of those that I switched to Firefox and installed an Ad blocker.

    1. Flash adverts. This is any form of flash advert; from the annoying buzzing mosquitoes to the ones that suddenly take over you webpage and you have to close them in order to carry on surfing.
    2. Intellitxt advertising. This is just plain wrong, I should be able to scroll down a website using my scroll button with out the cursor causing a pop-up window that I then had to manually close.
    3. Badly written java script based advertising that causes the website to freeze/crash.

    It is because of those types of adverts that I decided to use Adblocker. The advertisers themselves caused this, and increased the popularity of ad blockers.

    I also do not buy that crap about Ad blockers stealing the content/bandwidth on the websites by not viewing these adverts. What about my Bandwidth been used up by displaying adverts I will never click on? If I got paid for my wasted bandwidth then quite happily I would remove my Adblocker and earn a living by viewing online adverts, I could most likely quit my day job.

  65. Hi Chris,

    interesting piece. I worte some time ago about something on a slightly similar tack.

    I ALWAYS CLICK on the ads of the companies I hate most – mainly Microsoft really. I never find anything interesting at the other end, but at least I know I’ve cost them something πŸ˜‰

  66. Hi Chris,

    interesting piece. I worte some time ago about something on a slightly similar tack.

    I ALWAYS CLICK on the ads of the companies I hate most – mainly Microsoft really. I never find anything interesting at the other end, but at least I know I’ve cost them something πŸ˜‰

  67. Hi, I don’t block ads, but what I don’t like are popups and flash. I do use firefox, and that has a popup blocker in it, and there are extensions for blocking flash. Otherwise, most ads are fine with me.

  68. Hi, I don’t block ads, but what I don’t like are popups and flash. I do use firefox, and that has a popup blocker in it, and there are extensions for blocking flash. Otherwise, most ads are fine with me.