Adblocker – what´s the matter?

More and more users install adblocking software to prevent advertisements and tracking pixels from loading. Those are available as browser plugins, additional software for desktop and mobile devices or as a network-wide solution like Pi-Hole that works as a DNS-Server.

This is especially critcal for websites, that gain their revenue from advertising. Especially newspapers and magazines which offer their content for free suffer from the lack of income. With an active adblocking solution the user is able to view the website without any advertisement – the producer of the content goes away empty-handed.

But why are adblockers so popular these days? A bit of advertising can not be so bad, considering what you get back from interesting content and reports.

Facts please!

The following table compares the result from a small test – visiting a website with adblocker on and off. I´m using Pi-Hole with several filter lists for this test, the table shows the number of ressources requested by my browser along with the amount of data. I tested an online portal, a news site, a magazine site and an online forum.

with Adblockerwithout Adblocker
Onlineportal98 ressources 4,3MB533 ressources 9,9MB
News Website90 ressources 3,0MB176 ressources 6,8MB
Magazine128 ressources 5,0MB571 ressources 13,8MB
Forum200 ressources 6,6MB510 ressources 12,9MB

I did not expect to see such big differences. Overall the number of requests and the amount of data transfered for advertising and tracking takes a larger share then the ressources needed for the actual website. The transfered volume of data for banners is higher than the volume of the site.

With an adblocker sites load a lot faster and you can safe data volume. Also the number of calls to external tracking systems is reduced a lot, which does not only affect page loading times but also helps protect your privacy. Every external script that does not have to be executed also reduces the cpu load your browser generates.

It´s all about understanding

Website owners and users should understand each others needs. Over the years the market for advertising has grown a lot and more and more placements where created in order to sell more advertising space on a website. Advertising networks encouraged this by lifting restrictions in order to genereate more revenue from advertising. I can remember times when the maximum amount of banners on one website was limited to 3 by the advertising networks (just count the banner spaces on a regular website today). Also the size of the banners was once limited to 40k or something. Big bandwith and the technological development allow the usage of more ressources today – but looking at the numbers above this is completely out of hands.

Websites how make their money through advertising should consider the users needs. Users should value the publishers for creating valuable content and support their business modell.

Also advertising networks should enforce stricter rules to avoid sites overloaded with advertising. In addition the control over the creatives deliverd must be increased to save performance and data for the end user. A first step into that direction is the Better Ads Programm, or Blockingof so called Heavy Ads in Chromium.

What about the advertiser?

The demand for advertising space is high, so the websites try to offer as much supply as they can. For advertisers reducing the number of advertising spaces would mean benefits. “Banner Ad Fatigue” is quite common these days. Because of the amount of advertising we are facing on a daily basis we tend to not see the banners any more. Reducing the amount of banners might resolve this.
You should also consider your competition and brand safety. With 4-5 adspaces that are visible at the same time (which is quite common) it is hard to say in which environment your banner will show up. Maybe your direct competitor´s advertising is shown right next to yours. Or the adspace is set with a vertical that you would not want to see next to your brand.

So for advertiser less is more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Image(s) licensed by Ingram Image/adpic.

Aktuelle Beiträge