Why Block Ad Blockers?

I browse with Google Chrome.  On my laptop and desktop computers, I always install ad blocking software.  I’d install it on my mobile version if I could do so without having to root the device.  It always amuses me when I come across a site that will block ad blockers.  The site refuses entry when it detects that you are running ad blocking software.  Instead of loading the requested content, you get a page refusing you entry until you disable to ad blocking software.  Or disable it for their site, anyway.

The Case For Blocking Ad Blockers

Many sites exist only by selling advertising.  I get that.  Without placing ads that generate revenues, the site couldn’t exist.  So the case for ad blockers is easy: More revenue.  Without revenue, the site wouldn’t exist, so it makes sense to maximize ad value, right?

It’s not that simple.

The Flawed Strategy of Blocking Ad Blockers

A site that refuses to allow users running ad blocking software wants every viewer to see ads.  They are basically asking for 100% conversion.  This never happens.

This would be like a retail store turning away any customer who walked through the door and said they were ‘just looking’.  Would a retail store ever do that?  Of course not.  So, it’s completely flawed that a site insists the same thing, isn’t it?

What kills me even more about the sites that I typically see is that they’re all news site.  A few sites that I’ve seen that block ad blockers are CNBC, Forbes, and Business Insider.  These are all sites that report on the news in some fashion.

Here’s the thing.  When it comes to the news, none of these are running truly unique content.  If I click in to try to read a news article and it doesn’t let me, I’ll just type in the keywords and will be on a site that will let me read their content, ad blocker and all, in no time at all.

I’m Not A Freeloader, Really

Some might suggest that I’m taking advantage of the system by running ad blocking software.  To that I say: Baloney.  I’m exposed to advertising throughout the day.  I get it on TV, on the radio, through Facebook, billboard, and for some sites that somehow manage to write code that the blockers haven’t picked up yet.  I’d maybe feel a touch guilty if I managed to get rid of all advertising from my existence, but that’s never going to happen.   There are places that get their share of my advertising pie, they just aren’t getting their piece.

I guess the owners of the sites in question don’t feel guilty about keeping me out, so I don’t feel guilty about not kowtowing to their very short sighted demand.

Readers, do you use ad blocking software on your browser?  What do you do when you come across a site that won’t let you in?  Have you ever made an exception and whitelisted a site?  Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Why Block Ad Blockers?

  1. Having worked for many years as a magazine journalist,I understand the reasoning. Of course, news is not produced for free, and if it is to be produced for the Internet, we must find a mechanism for publishers to make a living.

    However, there’s a qualitative difference between a magazine or newspaper ad and a website ad. A print ad does not flash and bounce around. It does not yak and jingle. It does not pop up in your face. It does not override the column of copy you’re trying to read. And it does not soak up bandwidth.

    If a site’s ads were arrayed in the sidebars — without flashing, without bouncing, without making any kind of noise, and without containing offensive content (at one point, AdSense was serving girlie ads at FaM!) — then I would feel no need to install an ad-blocker.

    But as long as ads are intrusive and cost me bandwidth and annoyance, I ain’t havin’ it. Block my ad-blocker, and I go somewhere else. When every site on the Internet blocks ad-blockers, I’ll find something else to do with my spare time.

    This may explain why the popularity of print books is rebounding…

    Besides — as an afterthought — marketers fork over crazy amounts of money for paid posts. I make more in the 30 seconds it takes to post one of those things than AdSense paid in a year. Quite a few news sites are now running advertorial, often unmarked and styled as clickbait. Possibly that is the solution.

    • You’re 100% correct. Still, even with a magazine you can read the magazine and not even glance at the ad, yet you still get to read it. That model has worked for decades and yet magazines still attract advertisers.

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