The way we advertisers promote products on websites might be considered a little outdated. Web savvy consumers are finding ways to block ads by using AdBlock. If you are not familiar with AdBlock, it blocks major advertisers on all websites. Most of the websites that you visit everyday are fully funded by traditional ads including Baltimore Post-Examiner. This should come as no surprise, but the startling thing is that this may not always be the case. Advertisers and tons of websites are going to need to start getting creative with the ways that they advertise or find a way to combat AdBlock.
Some websites block users from accessing their website until AdBlock is turned off on their browser. This is one way to stop users from using AdBlock, but this could just anger readers.
In the United States 3.5 percent of all Internet users have AdBlock In Germany, where use of the Firefox browser is higher, it is 12 percent.
To understand how AdBlock might impact websites from generating revenue, let’s look at how websites earn revenue. This does not include non profit websites that often are funded by grants.
Websites are paid by advertisers three different ways:
- The first and most popular way is pay-per-click, which means websites are paid by advertisers every time a reader clicks on an ad. If your browser is blocking the ads, you can’t see them and in turn you will not click on them.
- The second way is pay-per-view. This means that when a reader visits a website displaying ads, the advertiser will pay the website owner. Every time an ad is displayed it is called an impression. Just like in the first case, if a reader can not see the ad because the browser blocked it then the website will not earn any money for those visits.
- The third way is with advertisers sponsoring a websites’ content. This usually means that they will pay the site a monthly flat rate to show their add on the site for the month. The advertiser will use this method to advertise because they have seen the sites monthly number of visitors and they know that their ad will be seen by those people, this will not be the case if users use AdBlock.
Quickly you can see how this could turn into quite a problem if everybody (or a good portion of us) used AdBlock.
I have heard two main arguments about AdBlock:
- The first argument is using AdBlock is the same as stealing content.
- The second is that such a small group of users are using AdBlock and we should be able to browse the Internet any way we chose to.
In many ways I agree with both sides, but I do feel that the traditional way to advertise is in many ways making the Internet ugly and in some ways obtrusive. I have chose to use AdBlock on a select number of websites that take advantage of ads and put way too many on each page and in some cases have a lot of pop-ups. For all other sites though, I turn off my AdBlock and and make sure to support the websites that I love.
New ways of advertising
Here are two of my favorites ways to advertise online:
Internal links: Many websites have included internal links into their stories to advertisers sites or sponsored articles.
Personal reviews from writers: Some readers are more willing to buy something when the person whose blog they are reading recommend it. This has happened on a bunch of really cool sites. The one that I love is Uncrate.
And, of course, we hope that our readers at Baltimore Post-Examiner don’t use AdBlock and support our advertisers that help us run this website.
Erik Hoffman is a web designer and computer consultant. He has run a computer consulting company for the past four years where he enhanced businesses by designing and developing user-friendly websites that have helped companies reach targeted revenues.