There was a time when visitors using some ad blocking software was just under 18-19%. This was a few years back. But then the percentage started growing gradually and soon crossed 25%. Still, I was unfazed as I was able to meet my expenses and make some money from my passion. Yes – I am one of those few who was able to monetize my passion successfully thanks to Google AdSense and some Affiliates. I found my web traffic rising, but my revenue remaining near stagnant, thereby reducing the margin that was being left to me.
I am aware that we bloggers spend money on paying authors, hosting charges, a CDN network, a web firewall service and so on and all this costs money. But this logic does not wash with the Internet user who is used to surfing the net free; his logic being “what appears on my computer is my business”.
But I think ad blockers are about to change the Internet. They will be responsible for killing the free web as we know it today! It may take time, but change it will. People will have to pay a subscription if they don’t want to see the ads. This has started but will soon go mainstream someday not too far in the future.
According to reports, adblocking is expected to cross 50% within a few years, so how you as a blogger, a website owner or an online publisher decide to deal with it is totally up to you.
Curious again, I checked a few months again back using the BlockAlyzer Adblock Counter WordPress plugin, and I was shocked to see that the ad-block users had crossed 35%! Now the alarm bells started ringing. I had to do something. Requesting users for Donations to meet expenses was not my style – and I had seen some blogs do it – rather unsuccessfully.
Block Adblock users
Many such Anti-Adblock scripts are freely available on the net including several good free WordPress plugins. I used the Adblock Notify Lite plugin for WordPress that displays a sign to add block users requesting them to disable adblockers and whitelist my site, but that didn’t cut any ice and the percentage of users with ad-blocking software remained more or less the same. If you want to check out the plugin, do go ahead – I recommend it as it does what it says nicely.
I then tried an ad network that showed ads even to those users using adblocking software. How this works is that they had got their advertising account whitelisted with Adblock Plus by paying an amount. I am not clear or aware of the details, but it is something like paying an upfront fee and/or a percentage of the income that the whitelisted account makes.
But I discontinued them as I realized that on the one hand an adblocker was blocking my ads, and at the same time earning a cut from my ads, for allowing to display ads on my sites. I found this a bit unethical and did not want to indirectly finance a service that blocked ads on my site to earn from ads on my site. I felt I was paying ransom money to allow ads on my site and I did not like the feeling honestly. Some ad-blocking companies today have become a business that charges ad networks and publishers to unblock the ads of their networks and sites.
That is when I started looking around and came across GetAdmiral.com to work with my Ezoic ads – which I use currently. GetAdmiral.com not only offers analytics that shows you how many of your visitors are blocking ads but using its screens, it also shows you how many folks using adblockers disabled them on your site.
GetAdmiral offers a very comprehensive anti-Adblock platform on the market, including Measure, Engage, Recover and Transact modules. On this site. I use Admiral’s free Measure module for Adblock analytics and subscribe to Admiral’s Adblock blocker called Engage that offers multiple options:
- It just displays a strip on the top where you display your request message
- The Gated or the Nag approach where a screen popup for users using adblockers. The user is offered two buttons: Show how to disable the ads and a button that lets him/her proceed as it is. This is the soft gated approach, and it may or may not give you good results.
- And then there is the last option called the Hard or the Block option where the user has no choice but to whitelist your site to proceed. Now this approach shows the best results IF your content is good, else people will just go away.
Now when visitors start whitelisting your site, you will soon see a gradual drop in the adblocking software users.
Consequently, your ad impressions increase, your clicks increase and your revenue increases. Now, this may not be proportionate, but there is some revenue increase that occurs gradually. In my case, the revenue increase has been by over 20%!
This has been working for me. I have been using GetAdmiral.com on my site for the last few months and have seen the Adblock users percentage fall from over 35% gradually to 25% to 20% to 15% to now around 7%. I guess I have been lucky and users have been cooperating with me, and I am grateful for that. If you can get your message across in the proper manner most will agree to whitelist your website.
Like GetAdmiral, you also have BlockAdblock.com.
You can just visit BlockAdblock and configure your defense with a basic script.
There are several other anti-Adblock vendors like Pagefair.com, SourcePoint.com, ReviveAds.com, SecretMedia.com, Yavli.com, and so on that can help you recover lost advertising revenue.
You have to remember a few things when you use an Adblock blocker screen:
- How is it affecting your Session duration? The Bounce rate?
- Is web traffic going down? Are people just abandoning your site?
- Have social shares reduced?
Fortunately, I have not been really affected.
All the best! :)
Also read: Surfers vs. Website owners vs. Ad blockers vs. Anti-Ad Blockers.