Ad-Block. Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It.

Just when we feel we have worked out a way to bypass Ad blockers, there’s another roadblock to attend to and publishers are essentially back to square one. I’m starting to feel like ad blocking is going to be as ever present as the sun, for example, how many of us are reading this blog with their ad-block enabled? Granted, ads are annoying and they’re loud, and there’s absolutely nothing worse than that pop up video advert interrupting your article and you having to circumvent the video – sigh!

But the ads drive revenue so they must stay but publishers don’t want to deter readers so, how does one approach this paradox? Instead of trying to fight ad-blockers, why not compromise, and in turn try and work with them? There are a few techniques for keeping adverts and tackling ad blockers simultaneously.



Google and Facebook- have had a lot of media attention recently in the publishing world, more notably for saturating the market and leaving crumbs for the rest of the publishers. Google have begun testing a built-in Ad-Blocker for chrome. They have realised that bright annoying ads hamper user experience and therefore turns traffic away, so instead of keeping intrusive ads and losing valuable footfall, they’ve chosen to compromise.

Google have had a history with innovation when it comes to ad blocking technology, today the users of their latest browser Chrome Canary, Ad-blocking technology is already enabled as soon as users open up the browser.

The tactic however won’t completely remove ads, only those of which Google deem to be particularly intrusive. The question you may have now is; well what’s considered as intrusive? The Ad-Blocker is programmed to follow the Coalition for Better Ads standard, and according to this, are auto-playing video ads with sound, pop-up ads, and large sticky ads are deemed to be unacceptable and intrusive.



Facebook ads have long been a controversial topic when talking about Ad -blocking. To put it simply, if a user had ad-block enabled and was browsing on Facebook, then the ad-blocking wouldn’t work. You would still be able to see adverts on Facebook, and this in turn ended up driving away some users. The new ad-block update allows sponsored Facebook ads on the Newsfeed to be hidden, improving the overall user experience for users.



Personalisation could very well be the biggest Band-Aid when it comes to Ad-Blocking. If you as a publisher aren’t willing to let go of your ad revenue, then that’s absolutely fine, however don’t jeopardise yourself by placing intrusive ads across your digital properties. Your user base will discover you care more about your ad revenue than them. The way to successfully combat this is by making ads smaller, and personalising ads to your readers. This allows a more user-friendly navigation as well as confirming the ad dollars. Personalised ads are far more likely to be clicked on by a reader compared to generic ones, simply because they are tailored for each individual. With Evolok’s framework, you can personalised and segment readers in real time, meaning that readers are shown person-specific ads in the present moment.

What I find interesting here is how stances evolve. Adblock was seen as a godsend by users, and the root of all evil for publishers, however due to the standoff and impasse that followed, both parties have moved to reach a collective agreement. The more astonishing factor for me is the fact the the duopoly have both bought into this compromise, showing that maybe they can't just bully everyone in the playground.

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