We killed your Adblocker!

Adblocking cost digital content creators millions of dollars every year. The way publishers and news-sites make money on their websites is by delivering ads and banner commercials.

One could argue that the business have become greedy and as a result, the number of digital ads have exploded. This imposes digital noise in the news reading experience and it is no wonder end users consider installing an adblocker.

Well, don’t consider anymore – they are no good!

If software can supply logic that either automatically identifies ads or assist the user in identifying them, it is of course also possible to bypass that same logic by throwing in parameters and variables not known to the adblockers into the equation. And also a large amount of dynamic code.

We have for some time now analyzed various adblockers trying to see what triggers them and bypass their logic. And it is indeed possible to regain control of ads on your website and deliver them to users, even if they have an adblocker installed.

We will not commit hubris here and promise that it works 100%. But we have not yet met an adblocker that could perfectly block a given ad on our test-site. A user could still manually try to identify the ad-code, but it changes on each pageload (or if using caching: each session).

Is it worth it?

The business model today is that a website gets paid for adviews. Bypassing an adblocker would mean that more ads are shown without increasing the number of sessions. But could this change in the future? Will the market switch and instead only pay for actual clicks on an ad? If this is so, we may not gain anything at all bypassing adblockers – the audience here will most likely not click on any commercial content anyway. That is the intent they showed when installing the adblocker.

However, not all ads are considered bad. A large part of the people installing adblockers are not merely doing it because they hate ads per se. They do it for their own privacy. Ad networks today are very aggressive and profile users to a large degree, and all this data is off course used when suggesting new ads and products. Although data is handled anonymously, people experience it differently. They feel identified as persons, individuals. Not just numbers in a stored cookie on the computer they use.

In recent time, there have been many discussions on adblockers. Especially when the ‘Peace’ adblocker got pulled from Apples app store. And there’s still a lot of confusion in the publishing business on how to handle the adblocker problem. 

Some have introduced a wall that urges users to disable their adblocker. This exposes the problem very openly to the users as our problem.

Our method is backwards. If a user tries to block an ad manually identifying the surrounding HTML-container of the ad, he may end up destroying his own experience of the whole site. It will not work when reloading the page – the ad will be there again. This exposes the problem to the users, as their own fault.

We find this to be a very strong argument to communicate, leaving the users questioning the quality of their adblocker software, rather than the value of your content.