Advertising vs ad-blocker

There is a fight going on between ad-blocker fans and owners of websites which host advertising. Didn’t you know? If you are using an ad-block, you’re (unintentionally) involved too! 😉 But don’t panic, you can easily step out: learn how to browse pleasantly and with few advertising, without harming the websites you visit!

Ad-blockers: what are they for?
Side effects
What can we do?
Support worthy websites

Ad-blocker

What ad-blockers are used for

They are plugins for browsers which avoid advertising to be shown on the websites we visit. Users who are sick of pages stuffed with «ads» may decide to get an ad-blocker.

It seems to be the best solution, to browse smoothly and clean, without unpleasant adverts all over the pages.

Unfortunately, there’s a background which is often not considered. Maybe because it’s not known, especially by the ones who haven’t ever owned or managed a website.

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Ad-blockers’ side effects

Certainly, the biggest injury is suffered by websites’ owners. They have to earn their salaries and to pay for the operating costs (hosting service, domain and so on). Blocking the adverts means to block their income.

This triggers chain reactions, causing many negative impacts, even for users. In fact, webmasters create new types of advertising, trying to avoid making a loss. An eloquent sentence says: «If you don’t see advertising around the content you’re reading, means the content is the advertising».

In practise, who uses an ad-block to get rid of advertising, finds it hidden elsewhere and in more sneaky forms. It’s not always like this and it’s not an immediate mechanism, but it is a strategy which is already being used.

«Anti-ad-blockers» are another tactic of websites, which force users to disable ad-blockers and, therefore, to visualize the ads. (It’s a continuous alternating of moves and countermoves.)

«Click-baiting» (image below) and «fake news» are further tricks that compensate the lowering of incomes. Links with catchy and inflated titles which encourage and temp you to click. Empty or false set-ups which make you only lose time.

Yahoo & clickbaiting

«False positives» are added to the mix: functions and elements of pages that are mistaken for ads and shielded by ad-blockers. (For example, the social networks’ buttons.)

In short, the war made of ads, ad-blockers, anti-ad-blockers (and so on) is going to last long. Both parts claim alternately they’re going to win, but there will be always new types of adverts and «blockers».

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What can we do now?

As usual, right and reason don’t stay on one side only, but somewhere in the middle. Here you have some typical situations.

▪ You never used an ad-blocker? Keep it up. You use one? Uninstall it. For a pleasant browsing, be smart and use simple tricks: leave the websites full of intrusive ads; save the ones you like and find useful into your favourites, so you can come back whenever you need to.

▪ You use an ad-blocker and you don’t want to uninstall it completely? Fine, you can keep it disabled and you act as explained before: leave or block the unpleasant websites clicking on the «activate ad-blocker for this website» button. (No need to do anything in every other case.)

▪ You use an ad-blocker and you prefer to keep it active? Okay, you’re moving towards the battlefield, but there is a way out: reward all websites you find «worthy» and useful (clicking on «disable ad-blocker for this website»).

▪ You won’t ever disable your ad-blocker, for any reason? You are at war. Threatening warnings force you to deactivate the block and you have to decide if to obey orders, leave the page or fight back.

As you see, the choice is yours to make. But there’s a couple of things you should keep in mind, if you want to figure out how you will behave from now on.

▪ It’s pointless to penalize indistinctly all websites only because of the «bad» ones (stuffed with advertising, click-baits or fake news).

▪ Internet is «bidirectional», a trade place where you can take and give. We access to information and services which are often useful to us: in exchange we can give our contribute, especially to whom deserves it.

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Why and how to support worthy websites

There is any kind of stuff online: from high valuable content to the worst disinformation, false news and so on. Giving your contribute means to reward and promote the «good quality».

There are many ways to do that, here the most common ones.

Share interesting articles you read on social networks or through WhatsApp or e-mail. (It’s a really powerful tool.)

▪ Interact, leave a related comment on the blog: so you encourage the author, add relevant content and increase the page’s «ranking». (With a little action you help a lot.)

Support websites.

▪ Let advertising to be shown, so that the work and commitment of the website’s manager can be paid. It’s the heart of the «adverts vs ad-blocker» conflict: if you benefit of solutions, information or services offered online, do you think it’s right or not to compensate that benefit?

These three proposals allow you to reciprocate the others’ effort completely for free. If you feel particularly thankful, you could do a money donation (where it’s foreseen).

In fact, someone chooses to give advertising up, relying only on voluntary donations. The probably most famous example is Wikipedia with its banner: «If everyone reading this donated, our fundraiser would be done within an hour».

 

What do you think about this topic, now that you’ve read the article? Have you ever considered sharing and commenting as precious tools to help and cheer up your favourite websites? Have you ever thought of donating some money to Wikipedia or any other website? Comment and tell us! 😉

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