By John Potter

The battle against ad blockers is heating up. Last week, Facebook announced it had found a way to circumvent ad blocking technology in what is perhaps the most extreme measure against ad blocking to date. Then, only two days later, the Adblock Plus community found a way to block ads again. Now, Facebook is rolling out new code to disable Adblock’s workaround. It’s only a matter of time before Adblock comes back with another solution. In the long-term though, the fact that Facebook has total control over the advertising environment means that it will almost certainly win this battle.

In particular, Facebook brings several unique advantages to its fight against ad blockers:

  • It serves all its ads from its own domain, so the ad blockers cannot simply block http calls to that domain.
  • Advertisers buy ads on Facebook based on Facebook’s data, not their own or third-party data. Therefore, no non-Facebook sourced pixels or scripts are necessary.
  • Most importantly, Facebook offers a unique service that users running ad blockers cannot easily find a substitute for.

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By Phil Barrett

Ad blocking has forced the publishing industry to rethink its reliance on advertising, and several digital publishers have incorporated ecommerce and affiliate links as a way to diversify their revenue streams. Now, those same ecommerce links, previously considered immune to ad blockers, are the “latest unlikely casualty of ad blocking,” according to a recent article from Digiday.

While Purch’s ecommerce or facilitated ecommerce links haven’t been tangibly impacted, ad blocking – and this particular type – is forcing all publishers to rethink monetization strategy and user experience.

The Digiday article quotes Sean Blanchfield, CEO of PageFair, a startup that sells anti-ad blocking tech to publishers as stating, “There are no privacy or usability implications to e-commerce attribution; it is a simple practice that helps websites get paid for honest recommendations of products….it causes unnecessary financial damage to thousands of independent websites.

There is a valid point here. The impetus behind ad blocking was to prevent disruption and irrelevant noise on a page so the user could focus on the content. Yet, unlike most ads, ecommerce links are often directly correlated to the content provided on the page – and in the best cases enhance the user’s experience. Ad blockers have gone too far with targeting these ecommerce links, but this doesn’t mean digital publishers should panic. It means they should pivot – diversifying even further and providing additional value to users.

Read the full article here:


By George Slefo

Purch has a portfolio that includes Tom’s Hardware, Business News Daily, and Top 10 Reviews, among others. The media company says it has a combined reach of 100 million monthly users.

The company sees an ad block rate from 9% to 25% domestically across its portfolio, said Mike Kisseberth, chief revenue officer at Purch. “The more technically advanced the user, the more likely they are to block. We definitely see that,” Mr. Kisseberth said. “Our block rates are higher on Tom’s Hardware because those users are more tuned in and are more likely to jump at installing an ad blocker.”

In Europe, ad block rates reach as high as 40% for Purch. “That’s a foreshadowing clue of what’s to come here in the U.S.,” Mr. Kisseberth said. “I think it has been more talked about in Europe and people are taking advantage of it.”

Ad block rates have remained flat year-over-year at Purch. Much of that is likely due to the fact consumers are reading content on mobile phones, where ad blocking is still in its infancy, Mr. Kisseberth said. That might change as consumer adoption grows.

“If you are in this business and you are not using ad blockers you’re crazy,” Mr. Kisseberth said regarding his recent install of ad blocking software on his browser. “It is a better experience and that’s scary.”

Read the full article here:


By Antoine Boulin

Whether shopping for shoes or reading up on product reviews, site visitors are there to accomplish a task and expect a seamless, non-disruptive experience. However, if ad placements are disruptive, slow a page’s load time, or are irrelevant to the reason they’re on the site, those users are likely to seek out alternatives.

This is why ad blockers have become such a hot topic and concern.

There are nearly 200 million users of ad-blocking software, which is expected to cost online publishers nearly $22 billion in advertising revenue this year. These numbers are sure to soon skyrocket, with ad blockers becoming available in the next version of Apple’s mobile-operating system, iOS 9, which is set to come out as early as this month.

A major reason behind this adoption is the vicious cycle publishers get stuck in when relying on display advertising for monetization. As CPMs decrease, they publish more ads to their pages, in addition to the dozens of hidden trackers and cookies. That, in turn, violates user trust, detracts from the user experience, decreases the number of visitors, and ultimately lowers ad costs that drives lower quality ads onto a page.

Read the full article here


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