Ad Blockers have declared an all out war on automated ads in blogs, websites and anything that works in your browser. In fact, Firefox and the Apple OS now have default ad blockers. Most new web browser alternatives also have ad blockers by default and anyone can easily download free ad blockers online.
Small and medium sized publishers who have been using Adsense are beginning to see declines in ad engagement on their sites. As the trend in using ad blockers increases and becomes more ubiquitous, publishers and online ad networks will have to become more clever and creative in the way they get their ads shown to website visitors.
All web browsers will eventually have ad block installed and active automatically in the near future, this will include all pc based browsers and smartphone based browsers as well. For now, with the exception of mobile apps, all online ads served through a third party network will be rendered invisible by ad blockers.
One of the reasons and one of the places Adsense and online ad networks are thriving is in Google Play and Apple Apps. The reason for this is that apps are a closed environment separate from the browser and at this point in time, developers have not found a way to work around this. But ad blockers that block Android ad on the device level (not the browser level) do exist. In fact, not too long ago, one was removed from the Google Play store for obvious reasons, since most Android Apps have Google ad network(s) ads in them.
Eventually, technology will find a way to hide obtrusive ads on all devices. It’s just a matter of time. For now it’s a cat and mouse game with the ad networks, ad blockers and the end user a.k.a. consumer (that’s us).
As a side note, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many Google employees have ad blockers in use on their personal devices? Since Google’s financial and market dominance is ultimately from selling ads, would it be hypocritical for a Google employee to use an ad blocker? Or, does the company have a general policy for their employees to not to view or to click on on any Google ads to prevent a conflict of interest? With nearly 100,000 employees it would be easy for them to get millions of impressions and clicks just from their employees personal use of the internet. Of course, it’s not even a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of ads Google serves daily, but it is a significant amount of impressions and clicks to a small business. In no way are we bashing Google, nor are we implying that they are shady. It’s just a philosophical question and possibly a HR dilemma.
In any case, the ad blockers are beginning to crush Adsense ads and this is only the beginning of the war.
Eventually publishers and/or Advertisers will revert to “old school” advertising on their blogs and websites by personally contacting each other and agreeing to advertising terms and costs mutually, which would improve the overall quality and relevance of ads displayed on sites. And that wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all because that would benefit the publishers, advertisers and in the end, the consumer.