How To Fight Adblock On Your Website

Adblock is getting more and more popular and that’s hurting publishers. But don’t worry, all is not lost. If you run your own site, there’s a few things you can do to try and tackle the impact adblockers have on your site’s revenue.

But first…

An Adblock Introduction

Adblockers are software tools that detect and block advertising from being displayed on websites. Usage has been growing significantly in recent years, rising by 41% globally between 2014 – 2015. And that increased usage translates to whole load of money: $21.8 billion in ad revenue last year, to be precise. And that’s likely to nearly double by the end of this year.

So, why do people use adblockers? Well, there’s a few reasons, but the two main ones are: to protect privacy and to improve their user experience. Also, many corporate networks have adblockers installed by default, meaning users couldn’t turn off their ad blockers, even if they wanted to.

So, what to do then? With sites losing, potentially, up to 50% of their revenue, it’s a pressing problem, with few very clear end scenarios, but there are still things you can try.

Ask The Audience

Adblockers have kind of become an “elephant in the room” type scenario: everybody knows there’s this huge, possibly incredibly destructive thing sat in the corner, but everyone’s trying to ignore it, hoping it’ll go away. Well, sorry, but that’s not likely to happen.

The first thing to try then is ask your users to disable their ad blockers. Try experimenting with different copy or different phrasing to see if there’s a tone that works better for you. What works will vary depending on your audience, with Millennials typically going for more humorous, irreverent copy.

And if you are going to be displaying ads to these people, make sure they’re as relevant as possible. The more relevant your ads, the less likely your readers are to block them after they’ve whitelisted you.

Access Denied

More and more big, online publishers, like 4OD in the UK will deny you access to certain content if you have an ad blocker enabled. Forbes will block you entirely if they detect an adblocker.

The way Forbes have gone about it is quite original; rather than just asking users to whitelist their site for access, they’ll reduce the number of ads displayed on their site (for 30 days) in exchange in what they call the Forbes “ad-light” experience.

This is an interesting angle to use, because it means that your giving the user in exchange for their actions, which is more likely to result in a positive outcome. It’s also, arguably, better than completely blocking access, because in terms of earning money, some ads are better than no ads.

If you don’t want to go as far as completely blocking access to your site, or the Forbes method, you could try asking them to subscribe to your newsletter, that way you have an asset, in the form of the their email address. After you get their address, you won’t be serving them ads, but you can still send them affiliated promotional offers that can potentially earn you money.

Make Them Pay

The other solution is, of course, making all users pay for access to your content. There are many ways you can do this. You could, for example, ask for a monthly subscription, a one-off payment, or even pay per article, using microtransactions.

As an example, the online edition of Wired has given readers the option of paying $1 per week for an ad free version of the site, while, at the same time, asking that readers turn off their adblockers.

Don’t Ignore Adblock

With all of this said, the key takeaway overall, is that you, as a site owner, shouldn’t ignore the adblock issue. How you choose to go about addressing it will largely be dictated by your audience. But you should ask your audience. Ask them to turn off their adblocker. If that doesn’t work, ask them what they would be willing to do in order to do so.

If that still doesn’t work, you can also get in touch with the adblocking software companies and ask to be whitelisted. Some of them will do this for nothing, provided your site meets certain requirements, others will ask for a fee. Which, at the end of the day is their business model. By and large, the creators of ad blocking software aren’t some kind of white knight, trying to make the internet a better place. They’re just looking to make some money.

If you want to try and gather some data on how adblock is impacting your site, there’s some useful articlesout there to show you how to do just that. Although tackling adblockers is certainly a challenge, this certainly isn’t the death of online advertising. Just remember; reach out to your audience, keep them engaged and keep them happy. That is the key to success.

What are your experiences with adblocking on your site? What have you tried to tackle the issue? Let us know in the comments below!

Join the conversation


Profile picture of Laura-Liisa

Laura-Liisa on Dec 14, 2018 at 9:34 am

We're happy to hear that you found this post helpful. Team Adcash

Profile picture of Hemanta Gurung

Hemanta Gurung on Dec 14, 2018 at 6:53 am

Great news!!! I was seeking for the solution how to fight against adblock to increase my revenue. Finally, this article gave me clue. I hope, I will be able to increase my revenue in the future surely.

Profile picture of Charles Smith

Charles Smith on Apr 25, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Hey Ben, thanks for sharing these strategies to fight against adblockers. Adblocking is undoubtedly a budding concern. As yet I have used Adzsafe for dealing with adblocking issues. It disables adblocker present on user's browser instantly and lets my ads to be loaded and viewed safely. But I would definitely try these smart strategies for adblocking issues. Thank you.

Profile picture of Bikas Gurung

Bikas Gurung on Sep 07, 2017 at 10:38 pm

Thanks for very genuine blog topic. My revenue were about to end at zero position but finally you gave me solution.

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Bikas Gurung on Dec 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

Really interesting article.

Profile picture of Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell on Sep 07, 2016 at 11:42 am

Thanks Khabir, that is what we're here for!

Profile picture of Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell on Sep 07, 2016 at 11:42 am

Hello Geek Malin, thanks for your insights; you have some great points. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the economic model is dead! I think monetization strategy should partially depend on scale and content value. Regardless of scale, the strategy should always be diversified, the organizations with the best monetization strategies still include those components within their mix.

Profile picture of Geek Malin

Geek Malin on Aug 17, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Interessant to read, but we have to be honnest, the economic model as we known (banners, interstitials, popups,...) is dead. Provide sale content (review, article...) and sale it, is the new model. Freemiun and premium access are an alternative.

Profile picture of Khabir Uddin

Khabir Uddin on Aug 17, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Great Effort. that will surly increase in revenue for publishers like me.

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