Sorting out the adblock impact

Adblock detection is challenging at best for many website owners, for the majority it is an increasing black hole into which page view inventory vanishes. Understanding the impact it has on the page view volume is the first step of action, then taking action comes as a natural next step.

Setting up the checkpoint

There are a number of methods used to detect adblocking, while all have their pros and cons, using them as data sources to feed your web analytics is an easy way to set up the data collection checkpoints. Once in place analysis reveals an obvious fact, adblocking is predominantly browser related.

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In percentage the occurence of adblocking on web site page view volume fluctuates but typically to be expected within the 10% to 20% range.

As for mobile, tablet, and big screen platforms adblocking is rather minimal as can be seen in the example.

Devices sorted under unknown typically indicate robots in action masquerading as something they are not. The adblocking by default high, hopefully advertisers who have ad content on pages visited by these devices are not charged for non-existent ad views.

Since page views roughly is about 50% generated from computer browser requests the issue of adblocking is still a rather large issue.

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Computer browser adblock impact

Chrome and Firefox stand out as the most dominant browsers when it comes to adblocking.

Firefox, being the browser of choice of plugin lovers, isn't surprising to find showing a high share. It is however dropping in usage so it's become less of an issue as a result.

Chrome however is doing the opposite when it comes to usage given the "free" ride on Flash it has had.

Since Chrome rides piggyback with the rather frequent security related Flash updates, less knowledgeable users continue installing it when not aware of deselecting it. Thus one question becomes evident...

Why do so many advertising driven sites embrace Flash technology when it causes the most hemorrhage with regards to adblocking?

Crucial changes needed

Logically one would presume that such sites would shift to other technologies in an effort to not with every Flash update open a potential mudslide over to Chrome. Sure, DRM issues and so on keep some sites tied to this technology. But it just does not make any sense at all.

Every web analyst working for an advertisement driven web site should have the adblocking share visible, only when management come to realize how much revenue is lost due to adblocking will changes start taking place and technologies get swapped out.

The challenge is to address the reasons for adblocking when the impact has been verified. Bloated web sites with noisy, heavy, and sometimes virus riddled ads have a huge challenge ahead of them.

Perhaps a thought is to do like Google and Facebook, turn the visitor/user into the product. This can be done by using web site registration/login to trigger limitation of the ad volume in exchange for user data (age, gender, preferences etc) which in turn allows optimization of more appropriate targeting from an advertising perspective.

Less can give more. So start tracking the adblock impact and take it from there.