Igor's Blog
Programming, DIY, Games, Hacks, and Tech

A new release of iOS always brings in new features and its share of troubles and this time it hasn't been any different. Since the iOS 9 release date on the 16th of September, Apple made available its content blocker API to developers. This brought out a deluge of ad blocker apps on the App Store, with some topping the charts within moments of release. This may be a welcome addition to many people, but something that many miss is how this hurts those sites and blogs that rely on advertising revenue to pay for their hosting fees.

In fact, the developer of one of the very first ad blocking Apps, Marco Arment, has pulled his app from the App Store and offered refunds for anyone who may have purchased it. He even states the following -
Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.


Now this is a developer with a conscience! I equate using ad blockers to movie piracy in many ways and if you are using one, you are stealing from the content provider, it's as simple as that. Call it coincidence but looking at my AdSense performance reports, I see a notable sharp drop following the dates that the ad blockers became available (a large part of my traffic does come from iOS devices).
adblock2.png


So I got to thinking about how to deal with this. I've seen comments stating that content providers should just suck it up and find alternative ways of generating revenue. I'm sorry, but this is the kind of argument that a zealot preacher would sermonise - all talk about how it should be without solid examples or direction about the 'better ways'. I would argue that for a casual blog, ads are the only real viable source of revenue.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to deal with this situation. The only thing I could come up with was to appeal the the readers' sense of decency by supplying a message when an ad does not load.



I played around a little with this idea and with some CSS I got the following to work. It displays the message 'This blog relies on advertising revenue to pay for web hosting. Please show your support by not using ad blockers.' in the area where an ad would usually be. The ad loads over the top, which covers this text, but if the ad was blocked, the message is there for everyone to see.

The result is something like this (with the ad, then without the ad)...

adblock3.png adblock4.png


The HTML and CSS is something like this...
 HTML
<div class="adsense_article">
<div class="no_ads">
This blog relies on advertising revenue to pay for web hosting. Please show your support by not using ad blockers.
</div>
</div>

 CSS
.adsense_article {
position:relative;
float:right;
width:125px;
height:125px;
margin:-left:16px;
margin-bottom:12px;
padding:2px;
border:1px solid silver;
}
.no_ads {
position: absolute;
top:0;
left:0;
padding:5px;
text-align:center;
font-size:14px;
font-weight:bold;
line-height:110%;
}



This approach may not work for everyone and it depends on the kind of ads you are showing, as well as the advertising provider. I found that if I used Google AdSense text ads, the background message text would still show underneath the ad, messing up the display, switching to display ads only solved that.

After making this change on my blog, I actually reevaluated the value of some of the ad boxes, and their placement. In the end I removed the very box I've shown in the screenshots above to give the reader a better experience.

I don't think that all ad blockers are bad and evil, but the ones that block every single ad outright should not be allowed on the App Store. Personally I do not mind seeing ads on web sites, but the thing that does annoy me is when sites use those video ads that start playing automatically or ads for Cialis and similar. Those are the ads that should be blocked and quite frankly if you rely on advertising like that, your site is not worth visiting. So I stand by my statement, blocking all ads is stealing from content providers so the general message is if you want to keep seeing good content free of charge, leave the non-intrusive ads alone because they are what sustains the very content you crave!

-i

Please leave your comments or feedback below!
comments powered by Disqus
Other posts you may like...

Recent Blog Posts

How to enable the full stack trace in Maven's Surefire plugin for JUnit testing

Twelve elements of the Burst Mining Pool interface explained

TPG FTTB settings for the Billion BiPAC 8700AXL 1600 modem router

Protecting old Atari Lynx game boxes with snug fit plastic sleeves

How to fix SoapUI javax.net.ssl.SSLHandshakeException calling WebLogic 12.2 web services on Java 8

Woolworths (WOW) shares disappeared from Computer Share Investor Centre

Connecting the Dell UltraSharp U3415W monitor to a MacBookPro via USB-C

How to add/change PHP versions appearing in MAMP preferences

Fix the ORA-00904: ORA_ROWSCN: invalid identifier error in SQLDeveloper with a few easy steps

G Suite Gmail is broken on Safari due to new Google Content Security Policy settings

Recent Galleries

Protecting old Atari Lynx game boxes with snug fit plastic sleeves

Monument Valley 2 is released and does not disappoint

Space Food - Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Legeod Star Wars AT-DP kit

DIY spare parts computer build with a RAIDMAX Anura case

Fake 'Lepin' brand Lego packaging

Hardwood garden bench with clear resin void filler

Fixing a 3D printer extruder that stopped heating up

Easily increase disk space in a Lenovo Ideapad 100S 14" laptop with an M.2 SSD

Making a multi-piece 3D printed solder spool holder stand

My Other Web Sites

Igor and Elise's Travels
Riverside Expressway Cam
300 George St Blogumentary

My Online Tools

UUID to OID Converter
Guru JSON-RPC Tester
Extrudifier Object Designer
Travel µBlog

Blogs and Friends

Matt Moores Blog
Georgi's FlatPress Guide
Perplexing Permutations
The Security Sleuth
Ilia Rogatchevski
Travelling Fairy

Blog Activity

Blog Activity
Don't forget to
my Facebook page for more great articles!
Don't show this again