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Adblock Plus Maker Proposes Change To Help Sites 615

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the next-comes-the-ad-block-blocker dept.
Dotnaught writes "Wladimir Palant, maker of the Firefox extension Adblock Plus, on Monday proposed a change in his software that would allow publishers, with the consent of Adblock Plus users, to prevent their ads from being blocked. Palant suggested altering his software to recognize a specific meta tag as a signal to bring up an in-line dialog box noting the site publisher's desire to prevent ad blocking. The user would then have to choose to respect that wish or not."
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Adblock Plus Maker Proposes Change To Help Sites

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  • I expect to see this meta tags on most sites in the near future.

    • by mrbene (1380531) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:29PM (#27914485)

      Except that, if you read the proposal, you'll notice this section:

      Adblock Plus will then check the browsing history to see whether the user frequents this site (this could be specified for example as âoevisited the site on three days of the last weekâ) and then display a notification

      So you'd only get annoyed once on the sites you revisit.

      • by Fred Ferrigno (122319) on Monday May 11, 2009 @08:37PM (#27916027)

        It's pretty safe to assume that if a site has ads, they want you to see the ads. Every ad provider that knows about the tag will require its use on every site that uses their ads. They might as well just make it a one-time option to enable ads on sites you visit frequently.

        Also, if people really care about encouraging "acceptable" ads, they should create a new subscription list that only bans the obnoxious ones. Then maybe you could use the strict list on one-off visits and the "acceptable" list for sites you visit regularly.

        • by Splab (574204) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @12:37AM (#27917899)

          Want me to see ads? Bloody well host and screen them then. I use adblock because I'm sick and tired of waiting for some adtech.de server when loading a page. Also lately quite a few viruses has been spreading through ads.

          One site I frequent, thedailywtf.com is hosting their ads themselves and are thus not blocked by my ad filter.

        • Or just split the ad list into categories...
          I don't mind text ads, and static graphical banners i can tolerate..

          On the other hand i don't like flash ads, and absolutely detest ads with sound (they interfere with whatever else i might be listening to), any kind of popups are also incredibly annoying. I especially hate the flash ad that plays a repeating buzzing sound, the ad got refreshed into a tab i hadn't looked at for a while, it took me a while to work out where the noise was coming from where i promptly closed that tab and filtered access to the site which served the banner.

          Graphical banners meant to look like a windows dialog box (which looks stupid anyway when your browsing on a mac) but where the dialog is moving are also extremely annoying.

          And as someone else pointed out, ads hosted on external servers which are slow, where the site has finished loading except for the ads and it won't display any content until the ads have loaded...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jmorris42 (1458) *

      > I expect to see this meta tags on most sites in the near future.

      Duh. How many ad networks would continue to do business with a site that lacked that tag if it ever got popular enough to have a measurable impact on ad impressions? Exactly. Thus this is pointless. People really should THINK before putting their mouth in gear. Guy wants to make everybody happy, which is a good intent, but it can't be done. The tension between ads and people not wanting to see the crap can't be solved by any means an

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Flashblock does pretty good. Blocks almost all animation. The remainder of animated stuff on the page is animated gifs, which is becoming increasingly uncommon, and which an be blocked with a quick press of the esc key. I find that with flash block installed, I only see non-animated ads, and I don't even feel the need to have adblock installed.
  • User consent, eh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by courtjester801 (1415457) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:08PM (#27914167)
    Know what my user consent is? Not listing your advert in my filter list. Otherwise, it seems like it's already been denied consent.
  • by soniCron88 (870042) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:08PM (#27914171) Homepage
    Can't it be assumed by virtue of the ads being placed on the site to begin with that the owner wishes they be shown?
    • by KeithIrwin (243301) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:16PM (#27914291)

      Well, maybe there's someone with a shotgun standing behind his chair requiring him to put the ads there. This way, he'll still put the ad in, but people won't have to see it if they've downloaded a Firefox plugin. Unless, of course, the guy with the shotgun knows about the tag too. Then we'll need another newer tag.

    • by meringuoid (568297) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:30PM (#27914511)
      Can't it be assumed by virtue of the ads being placed on the site to begin with that the owner wishes they be shown?

      I imagine it can be so assumed. And can it not also be assumed by virtue of Adblock Plus being loaded into a browser that the owner does not intend to grant that wish?

      I don't see the point of this at all. Adblock Plus asks me if I want it to display ads? Well... no. No I don't. That's why I installed Adblock Plus in the first place. The clue's in the name. My answer will be no, every single time. If it was ever going to be yes, I would have whitelisted the site myself already.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Necroman (61604)

        I think this is a push for people that don't understand you can whitelist sites. I suggest Adblock Plus to a lot of my friends, some of which aren't the most computer literate people. I can understand the need behind this feature.

        But I also understand bribery.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by violet16 (700870)

        How nice to be so binary, but for many of us the situation is not so clear-cut. I do not want to be shown animated ads at all: their usefulness to me is outweighed by their intrusiveness. But I'm perfectly happy for a site to include text links, because they may be relevant, and will help keep this website, which I have found useful enough to visit, operational.

        Currently there is no way for me to express this preference. I have to block everything or nothing.

  • by javelinco (652113) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:09PM (#27914179) Journal
    If I wanted to see ads... I wouldn't block them. This feature seems redundant.

    Next, we are going to see a new feature to our javascript blocker that asks us if we are sure we want to block access to javascript for a given site, "cause they really, really want it!"
    • by Kabuthunk (972557) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <knuhtubak>> on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:14PM (#27914265) Homepage

      Exactly. Now that I've blocked all the ads, I'm not exactly going to be all "Oh hey, now that I have a nice fast web-browsing experience, I need to slow that the hell down again with advertising. After all, if I want a product, clicking on ads is SURELY my first line of thought as opposed to say... searching specifically for it via google or whatever, and researching the best method by which to obtain said product".

      Yeah, I can't forsee even the slightest number of ads being actively re-accepted with this. If it's blocked, it's blocked for a reason. It'll just create more slowdown when loading webpages, since now instead of loading nothing in those spots, it'll have to load their little menu asking if you want to view the ad.

    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:26PM (#27914435)

      If I wanted to see ads... I wouldn't block them. This feature seems redundant.

      A fair point; and one that many comments seem to bring up.

      The blog post, however, explains the rationale. In particular, adblock was intended to be a mechanism to 'restore balance' in online advertising. Not to necessarily block ALL ads, but to give users the power to block excessively annoying ads, so that webmasters would tone back ads to an acceptable level (for fear of users blocking them entirely).

      In practice the way AdBlock currently works, it's just so easy to block everything and forget about it. Users then forget to ever "unblock" pages that they like and would like to support (through advertising).

      Now, if you're a user committed to never seeing any ads at all, then yes this feature is useless for you. You will no doubt turn it off. (Yes, the intent is for an option to be present to never show these little warnings.) But for those of us who do want to support some sites, the reminder will help us make that decision.

      Of course it is entirely possible that webmasters will abuse this meta-tag as much as they abuse the ads themselves. (Why wouldn't a webmaster turn the tag on all the time?) Since the default will still be to block ads until the user says otherwise, at worst this will mean a little bar shows up in the browser the first time they visit a site. Not a huge deal. (And if it annoys you, then you just turn off the behavior.) I like the idea of being able to preview how annoying ads are for a site, and then deciding whether or not to let them through. (As long as the default start-state is "block" then I won't be inundated with crap...) I, for one, want to be able to support sites that are smart enough to have reasonable ads. (Yes, I currently manually unblock sites using the AdBlock context menu... but this would make it easier.)

      Although I like this proposal, I don't understand why it wouldn't be simpler to just have someone do the sorting for those "ad-server lists". What I want is a block-list that blocks the annoying ads (e.g. flash ads that cover the page) but doesn't block un-annoying ads (e.g. demure text-ads). A whole spectrum of lists, depending on people's tastes, could be constructed. Do these kind of "nice blocking" lists already exist?

      • by javelinco (652113) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:35PM (#27914587) Journal
        This is a well thought out reply, and I particularly appreciate the last paragraph - I think that is an actual thoughtful response - can we block types of ads? That would certainly solve my grievance with the things. However, I can't say I agree with your response - regardless of the amount of effort you put into it. You brought up the primary reason - the tag will get copied, and it will become a race between modifying the "law and the hacker" - and as always, the hacker will win. That means we've got a potentially useful tool (one I don't use - I don't think it's the best for the purpose) that is suddenly completely useless. Additionally - while I take your point regarding the "extra reminder" for those who forget to unblock ads at sites where they would be happy to fork over bandwidth in order to give the site some revenue - it still seems damn silly. In order to fix what is really a discipline problem, we now invalidate the purpose of the original program. I'd suggest that, again, your solution in the last paragraph of your response is massively more appropriate - and that other solutions can be arrived at that are better conceived as well. This one stinks.
      • Unsafe Ads! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by arthurh3535 (447288)
        Actually, until ads quit infecting my computer, I'm going to be blocking everything I possibly can. My virus/malware infection per month ratio dropped dramatically with the addition of Adblock Plus.

        Perhaps the advertisers should be going after the reason most people are blocking ads these days.
    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:41PM (#27914673)

      I'm happy to view, and sometimes click on, a few reasonably inoffensive ads per site. Where I get annoyed is when they're unfriendly to readers. Either they plaster the site so densely that the real content is taking up an unreasonably small proportion of the screen; or they try to slip in ads where you'll accidentally click on them thinking they were navigation elements; or they have obnoxious animated graphics, video, or sound.

      I've personally made some effort to resist just throwing in the towel and blocking everything, because I really want to punish specifically the annoying purveyors of ads, not everyone with ad-supported content. For a few years I managed it just by refusing to visit sites with annoying ads; I can do without cnn.com, and can visit news.bbc.co.uk instead (better news, too). But it's gotten progressively worse, so I recently installed AdBlock, but without a default filterset; I add rules for particularly egregious ads as I encounter them. This is tedious, though.

      I personally would welcome some easier way to say that I'm okay with a few text ads in the sidebar, but I'm going to block anything that goes beyond that. I don't think this particular proposal is the solution, though--- nothing prevents site owners here from asking for an exemption even though they do have egregiously annoying ads.

  • Extortion racket (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:12PM (#27914225) Homepage Journal

    Wanna pay me some protection money? Just a buck a week will keep you safe. If you don't pay it, I'll break your legs.

    This is just like the time the phone company got you to pay to have your number unlisted. Then they turned around and sold their unlisted numbers to people. Then they came to you to sell you caller ID, so you could screen your calls. Then they started charging telemarketers money to have their caller ID's blocked from displaying.

    Fuck them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rrohbeck (944847)

      Wanna keep me looking at your ads? Just a buck a week will do. Here's my PayPal account...

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:12PM (#27914227) Homepage

    I'm fine with that, as long as there's a setting to control whether or not to honor the flag. I want the option of saying "No, if I want ads to not be blocked I'll add an exception for that site myself so don't bother bringing up the dialog.". I note that there's already an option to disable ad blocking for the page or the whole site in the right-click menu of ABP's icon, so an easy way to add an exception's already in place.

    • by GMFTatsujin (239569) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:26PM (#27914425) Homepage

      "I'm fine with that, as long as there's a setting to control whether or not to honor the flag."

      If you don't honor that flag, you night as well be burnin' it, and mister, that's just unamerican.

      How many adwriters fought and died for that flag? Who will tell the sons and daughters of this great nation the heroic stories of our pop-up heritage? Will the anthems still ring across the wiggling fields of flash and the home of the blink? WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA, SIR?

  • Another extension (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:12PM (#27914229) Journal

    Maybe there should be an extension that blocks extensions from being automatically updated just because it's listed with others to be updated. That should solve the updated with new "features" problem.

  • by Bloater (12932) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:13PM (#27914243) Homepage Journal

    And just install "NagBlock Plus".

  • Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:13PM (#27914245)
    Um, don't most ad-based companies only pay the site whenever a user clicks on an ad? Most of the time, unless its some really amazing ad (like buy a Core i7 Desktop for $330 from Newegg), most technical users know never to click on the ads. So its really a moot point if they aren't viewing them or not clicking on them.

    Plus doesn't this effectively break some ad companies EULAs? Because I know a lot of them forbid you from enticing users to click the ads by saying "Please click the ads" or something.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by twidarkling (1537077)

      Actually, there's a number of advertising... schemes? Structures. Let's go with that. There's advertising structures that pay for "eyeballs" or "impressions." They don't promise click-throughs, they just want the ad displayed to X# of visitors. They usually get bonuses on click-throughs though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dynamo (6127)

      > don't most ad companies only pay the site whenever a user clicks on an ad?

      It varies. But they almost always have to pay when you do click. So if you see an ad you hate, click on it and don't buy. Do your small part to lower their conversion ration (purchases over clicks) and their business case for paying money to waste your browser screen space will be reduced.

      If just a few million people would spend just 10-20 clicks a day making crappy internet advertising unprofitable, it would decline a lot.

  • Time for a fork (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrMista_B (891430) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:15PM (#27914273)

    Time for a fork. If he's serious about this, Wladimir Palant should /not/ be allowed to control this project. The whole /point/ of Adblock Plus, is to, y'know, BLOCK ADS.

    Seriously. He's already being courted by advertizers like this, and is apparantly willing to work with them - he can't be trusted. Who's to say they won't convince him to sneak in some code that 'accidentally' fails to block a certain set of ads?

    Take it out of Wladimir Palant's control, and we'll all be better off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chabo (880571)

      As someone said above: if you wish to block all ads forever, then you might consider a fork of ABP. However, the extension was originally started to put the balance of power between webmasters and users back in the middle, and to encourage advertisers to use less annoying ads that users would be less likely to block.

      IMO, this would be along the lines of the reasoning that led him to start the extension in the first place.

    • Re:Time for a fork (Score:5, Informative)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday May 11, 2009 @07:25PM (#27915297) Homepage Journal

      Time for a fork. If he's serious about this, Wladimir Palant should /not/ be allowed to control this project. The whole /point/ of Adblock Plus, is to, y'know, BLOCK ADS.
      Seriously. He's already being courted by advertizers like this, and is apparantly willing to work with them - he can't be trusted.

      Take a breather there, buddy. I don't know why the /. overlords FAILed to include a link to the adblockplus page relevant to the discussion, but here it is: http://adblockplus.org/blog/an-approach-to-fair-ad-blocking [adblockplus.org]

      Then, the part of that page that covers your fears: The user should have the final decision. If we allow webmasters to specify which ads the user should view or whether users with Adblock Plus should be allowed to visit their sites, they will try to maximize their profits â" and very soon users will be confronted with intrusive ads everywhere or locked out of all sites. At which point somebody will fork Adblock Plus to âoemake it work againâ and we are back at square one.

      And finally, a reminder to the /. people that their fucking unicode parser is broken.

  • by gun26 (151620) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:16PM (#27914287)

    ...they had no Flash, no animated GIF, or any other obnoxious animations to attract attention to themselves. I wouldn't block ads as a matter of course if I could be sure they all stuck to my "nothing moving" requirement. And it only takes one offender to ruin things. If Palant carries through with his unblock idea, I hope he imposes similar requirements on sites and ads wishing to be unblocked. Otherwise, I hope someone forks Adblock Plus and does away with the unblock free pass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Russellkhan (570824)

      I'll agree with all your requirements and add this: No ads served by advertising companies. I have no desire to allow companies like Doubleclick or Yahoo to track my movements across the web.

      If a site hosts their own ads and they don't blink or move, then I will consider turning ads on on their site.

      Also, the ad should be text or a simple image, no scripts. unnecessary scripts slow the browser down too much

  • Also (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tomun (144651) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:16PM (#27914295)

    In other (related) news, Slashdot today allowed me to disable all the ads on the site, simply for occasionally moderating an not posting stupid crap all the time. I was using adblock anyway but this removes the blank space and allows the content to expand into the areas the ads used to occupy.

    Thank you Slashdot.

    • Re:Also (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Weedhopper (168515) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:22PM (#27914383)

      I've the option of blocking ads on Slashdot offered to me as well but I choose to keep it enabled.

    • Re:Also (Score:4, Informative)

      by meringuoid (568297) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:35PM (#27914581)
      I was using adblock anyway but this removes the blank space

      What blank space? Just to test, I went back to the front page, found that I had the same option available, and clicked it. Then refreshed to see what changed. Result? Nothing. The layout is identical, both before and after. ABP was tidying away any blank space just fine.

    • Re:Also (Score:5, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:46PM (#27914739) Homepage Journal

      You don't even have to moderate; I'm marked unwilling. I suspect that the metric has to do either with achievement points or with the number of positive comments. (I have moderated in the past, but that was a long time ago; if there are any applicable achievements, they aren't retroactive.)

    • Re:Also (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday May 11, 2009 @07:01PM (#27914967) Homepage

      I noticed that, too. I left the ads enabled. Slashdot is one of the few sites where I feel like it's worth supporting, and also where I occasionally see something interesting in the ads. Not that I like ads, but if anything, the fact that they're valuing my contributions enough to offer me the ability to block the ads makes me want to support them more. Weird, huh?

      And no, I'm not a plant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by KefabiMe (730997)

      What really surprised me was that I saw the options to block ads, and I thought to myself, "Slashdot has provided me with much thoughtful discussion for years. Meh, I'll leave the ads. Hell, even I click on some random thinkgeek advertisement every blue moon."

      "WTF? I just decided to KEEP ads? WTF is wrong with me?!?"

      And now as I'm typing this I'm thinking I STILL have left the ads here. And all I gotta do is check a damn box! >.<

  • by TheRequiem13 (978749) <<therequiem> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:17PM (#27914309)
    I don't mind Text Only ads in out of the way places on a page. Gmails right-side ads don't bother me at all, and often include actually helpful links.

    What I do mind, is Graphic Ads that disrupt the layout of the page, or the flow as I am scrolling to read. Completely unacceptable.

    I would be willing to allow select pages to display text ads that are carefully placed to minimize interference if I only want the content while at the same time providing helpful suggestions when I might want them. Is that too much to ask? I think it might be...
  • by not5150 (732114) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:17PM (#27914311)
    And the cycle begins, Stop the Ad Blocker with the Ad Blocker Blocker, Ad Blocker fights back with the Ad Blocker Blocker Blocker.
  • by squoozer (730327) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:19PM (#27914337)

    If they implement it like flash block so that the ad is replaced with a button to click to show the ad then I might consider turning the option on. If it pops up a dialog every time it blocks an ad then it goes in the bin!

    Oh yeah, it will only show this pop up requesting the ad be displayed when there is a special meta-tag. I wonder how many seconds it will take for every ad service to include that tag.

  • by Xaedalus (1192463) <Xaedalys@@@yahoo...com> on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:20PM (#27914353)
    are TOO successful. You're a webmaster running a site that's partially (or completely) paid for by advertising. You see in your analytics report of hits that a significant percentage of viewers are running AdBlock. So not only are you NOT getting clicks, but your advertisers aren't even being seen to begin with. And let's assume you're honest (and that your advertisers are too), and that your ads aren't malicious and in fact serve a normal purpose: to advertise a legitimate product. Given this, I can see why AdBlock might be considering this option. If they've gotten enough complaints from legitimate companies/websites with legitimate ads saying essentially "hey, your product is costing me a substantial amount of revenue loss", then its understandable that AdBlock would consider this. Since AdBlock's an open source/freeware product(hi Stallman!/Stallman's acolytes! Please do ignore my semi-ignorant malapropism... there's plenty of room for you in my colon!), basically AdBlock (and NoScript) are allowing users to get something for nothing... for free! We are cheating the system in a way. So I say let AdBlock look at doing it. I'll admit, sometimes it's good to see advertising, especially if it's a product/service I'm interested in. I run AB/NS simply because I've been burned one too many time by a scriptkiddie, but I do allow websites I trust to show ads.
    • by PhxBlue (562201) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:32PM (#27914521) Homepage Journal

      If they've gotten enough complaints from legitimate companies/websites with legitimate ads saying essentially "hey, your product is costing me a substantial amount of revenue loss", then its understandable that AdBlock would consider this.

      Okay, but here's the thing: No one has the right to make money using a bad business model. We're seeing that with newspapers, so why should other Web sites be immune?

      ... basically AdBlock (and NoScript) are allowing users to get something for nothing... for free! We are cheating the system in a way.

      I don't know about you, but I pay for my Internet access, and I rather like the idea of controlling what gets downloaded onto my computer and what doesn't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:30PM (#27914491)

    Why not sending first a Pop-Up on the publisher's computer to ask whether he is certain he wants to advertise?!?

  • by Yossarian45793 (617611) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:33PM (#27914541)
    I wouldn't mind spending some of my bandwidth to download the ads as long as they weren't displayed. This would help some websites that get revenue based on number of impressions.
  • by CharonX (522492) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:34PM (#27914559) Journal
    Long ago I did not mind ads. Sure, I did not click any significant number of them, but I did neither mind those banners and whatnot being displayed. This changed as they became more and more intrusive and obnoxious. Blinking in bright colors; pop-up; pop-under; pop-in-front-of-the-actual-webpage; punch-the-monkey; you-are-the-100000000st-visitor; *brrrring**brrriiing*-now-with-sound. So I decided to to what I had to do; these "guests" had outstayed their welcome, and now I showed them the door.
  • by Sarusa (104047) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:34PM (#27914569)

    I know some of you would say that any ads are annoying, but I would be willing to load and view reasonably sized banner/side ads that were:
        - not animated
        - didn't popup or popunder in any way
        - didn't play sounds

    I'd subscribe to an adblock plus list set which didn't block sites which would play by those rules. Every time I decide to play nice and view ads to show support I get hit (within 24 hours) with one that's so annoying I give it up.

    Of course I also think this will never happen, so it's a bit of an empty promise - as soon as I got hit with an ad that violated those rules I'd instantly go back to the nuke it from orbit list.

    • by mdmkolbe (944892)

      Personally, I start with an empty list. If an ad annoys or offends me, then I add the ad-server's entire domain to my list of blocked sites. My list of blocks is around 30 long accumulated over ~2 years. It doesn't take much to eliminate the really bad ones out there.

      It's perfect tit-for-tat. Evil ads get punished. Good ads get rewarded. (Then again maybe I only surf sites that use good ads, it's hard to tell.)

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:45PM (#27914715) Homepage

    They're talking about the wrong type of choice. I'm not interested in choosing whether to allow all ads on foo.com or block all ads on foo.com. First off, it would be a pain, because every time I hit some new web site, I'd have to make this choice. In many cases, this would be my first and last visit to the site: it's just a google hit, and it turns out it's not relevant to me. Why do I want to add extra effort to this quick, pointless visit to foo.com? And even if it was a site I thought I might be coming back to, how would I make an informed decision? I'm not yet familiar enough with the site to know whether their ads are annoying or not. I don't know if their ads are animated or static; I don't know if they load flash; I don't know if they lock up my cpu with heavy javascript.

    What I want is a way to control the type of ad that's shown. I don't mind text-based ads. I just don't want ads with graphics, flash, or javascript (beyond the basic javascript that's required in order to load a text-based adsense ad).

    The sites that think this is a good idea also need to do a reality check. The reason I use adblock plus is that I don't click on internet ads. I never have, and I never will. If, as TFA says, 5% of internet users use adblock plus, and if most of us never would click on an ad even if we selectively turned off filtering, then what is the point of showing us ads? The number of impressions would go up by 5%, but the number of click-throughs would go down by 5%. Advertisers would see that click-through rates were down 5%, so they would be willing to pay 5% less for ads. So sites that ran ads would get exactly the same revenue, and all they'd gain would be the happy knowledge that they were annoying 5% of their users and making them more likely to stop visiting.

  • I've always wondered (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rm999 (775449) on Monday May 11, 2009 @06:56PM (#27914877)

    Why haven't ad providers tried to go to war with adblock? The rules in the main ABP filterset are generally pretty simple, like ad1.* ad2.* etc.

    Why not acquire random domains and dynamically create links to the ads on these servers? I could see ABP blocking the first japi1fas6df.com/273849.gif, but not the 1000th. Is there a technical reason why this would be infeasible?

  • by davebarnes (158106) on Monday May 11, 2009 @07:14PM (#27915157) Homepage

    I use AdBlock Plus.
    I don't subscribe to any filters list as I create my own one-by-one.
    I don't block ads served up by the local site.
    I do block 3rd-party ads.

    My statistics show that I can block more than 50% of all ads with just 3 filters:
    *doubleclick*
    *adserver*
    pagead*.googlesyndication.com/pagead/*

If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke

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