When you get “into” running a website and it gets a bit of traffic, you start hitting a problem. Paying for some web space isn’t enough. You need a virtual server, perhaps two or three, then when things get busier you’ll be looking at a full dedicated server or two. The cost of these on a monthly basis, plus bandwidth and co-lo hosting adds up.
Trouble is, some website owners get greedy. They’ll add pop-unders, video ads that blast sound out of your PC and then there’s those full-page ads that fill your entire screen. It becomes an annoying experience as a reader, and you’ll find yourself spending more time closing banners and ads or those slide-down videos that appear mid-way through your browsing. Take a look at my local newspaper for a lesson on how it shouldn’t be done. It’s sites like this that make people try solutions like Adblock and the new Adblock Browser.
Here we hit Catch 22. Adverts become too annoying, people block them, then the site gets no money. It serves them right on a way. The site was just a mess of floating ads, expanding ads, trick banners and pop-ups. I’d probably block them too. However, the bad side-effect is that ad blockers will also stop ads on other sites, even well-behaved ones.
Here at Coolsmartphone I do listen. I know that the odd advert can drive you a bit bonkers, and I’ll work to get rid of it if it’s in the way as soon as I can. All the ads on the site have to be there, but I do try and ensure that they don’t annoy you too much, because nobody wants that. I hate it, you hate it, it’s a pain in the backside.
We now have almost half of our adverts blocked. This has been increasing steadily over the years as people have become more familiar with ad blocking software and you could say that I’m shooting myself in the foot even mentioning this new ad blocking app. The simple fact is that people use these blockers, and they’ll see this message every few days if they visit. I’d rather do that than start trying to make up the lost revenue by putting those highly annoying pop-unders and full-page ads that ruin your browsing experience.
However, despite all that I was interested in reviewing and trying out the new Adblock Browser. It is exactly that, and integrates the ad blocking in a browser. One download (currently for testers only) and your browsing is “clutter free”.
For people running a website, like myself, this is a frankly terrible idea. If everyone used this on their phone it’d kill our free content and we’d have to start looking at a paywall system instead, which would mean everyone would be penalised and would have to pay. However, Adblock have tried to quell fears by telling us that…
Annoying ads are always blocked, but users can encourage better ads by allowing nonintrusive ads to display. Users can change this setting at any time by simply tapping the Menu icon > Settings > Adblocking -> Adblocking -> Acceptable Ads.
In the settings of the app there’s a setting which, by default, allows some non-intrusive ads. This seems fair enough. Adblock are trying to strike a balance where website owners still get to display ads – even to Adblock users – if they’re “Acceptable”.
The trouble is, from what I’ve seen, this doesn’t happen. During testing this app simply blocked everything on our site, even well-behaved Google ads that you’ll see on the right-side of the website in desktop mode. It seems that, in order to allow this, I need to follow all these guidelines and then submit a form and wait for approval before our ads get shown, and that’s only on one ad blocking app. What about the others? And what about the simple fact that the user can very easily just block all ads regardless?
Yes, the app worked well and blocked all ads from all sites. You can sign up and try it yourself if you want, but if this continues we’ll end up with a Pay TV system, where you pay a monthly subscription AND still see some adverts. Not everyone wants to pay, and not everyone wants adverts, but if those ads are blocked more and apps like this become more popular, we’ll simply drop offline.