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AdBlock The Good And The Bad Of Something That Has Been Heavily Debated

Code on a laptop screen (unsplash) 

AdBlock has been useful for some but in some cases can be damaging to websites.  It's more than just Adblock though, other tools such as uBlock Origin do the same thing but for different web browsers. There are also many other types of ad-blocking tools available but these are some of the most well known. These tools limit websites from generating revenue by serving ads and can ultimately damage a small business that relies on ads to generate income. A small portion of the community can have a large effect on a website's revenue. However, there is a good reason as to why people started to use ad-blocking tools. This is a dangerous situation that can truly cause a lot of trouble if it's not resolved quickly by taking certain preventative measures.

Ad-blocking can cause websites to lose revenue from a lack of ad impressions actually going through. It seems rather logical to make the connection that not everyone sees ads. The reason that is the case is that of ad-blocking tools. Now, when not every visitor is viewing an ad it can and does have an impact on the overall revenue from a publisher. It's fairly simple if you have ten visitors a day on a website but 8 of them use ad-blocking software, you will be losing out on 80% of the market for those ads. This means that you only got an impressive increase on 20% of those 10 people. Ad-blocking software and use can have a bad impact on a website owners ability t generate revenue. If someone needs those ads to pay a writer's salary and can no longer do that the entire website could be in jeopardy because some people don't want to see a few ads.

According to this article by Money Inc. Ad-blockers have cost websites a lot of money. You can read the full article here, The author wrote, "In fact, the practice of ad blocking is believed to have cost them close to $22 billion in 2015, which should be particularly concerning to them because the practice of ad blocking is also believed to have increased its number of users by 41 percent in the same year."

The quote makes a lot of sense considering you can hear a lot of conversations regarding people not wanting to see ads because of websites jamming it down their throats. This has been called by some as "In your face ads" or just outright annoying. The issue of ads becoming became annoying when website owners essentially tried to abuse their visitors by putting around ten ads on a page. Some website owners also put popunder ads on their website. These ads can annoy people simply because they open up a tab.

Once you were to take all of the above into consideration as a consumer. Ad-blocking technology is looking pretty good. There needs to be a balance between the user and viewable ads. This would show the user that yes, the owner is trying to generate revenue but in a respectful manner that is not irritating anyone. In the consumer's perspective, they're not trying to make money, they're trying to read, watch, or listen to something and in some cases develop an opinion on that content. Two things are going to happen if someone feels that too many ads are being shown to them, (1) they will stop using the website, this situation is bad for both parties since the visitor needs to find another website to get that content from and the website owner now loses a visitor which means no revenue at all. (2) The visitor starts using ad-blocking tech on that website or all websites. The second option would be bad for everyone, this means that no one will make money because of one website that decided to put many ads on their website instead of a few here and there.

Overall, ad-blocking tools have both a positive and negative effect. It really does depend on who's looking at the topic and what category do they fall under. If they're a website owner, they will likely be against ad-blocking technologies but if they're a consumer who has had some bad experiences, they can, unfortunately, use the technologies because they don't want to have another experience that is not a good one. These experiences can be known as times when someone loads up a website and finds it littered with ads. Despite these different points of view, ad-blocking software, and overall technologies have supposedly cost websites a lot of money over the years because of a lack of impressions on ads.

By Michael Normandin

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