How does blocking affect our website?
by Gaurav Gupta
The advertisements are the most common source of income and longest – standing web. Over the years, the ads were hogging more space and acquiring more invasive formats. That’s why many users use tools to get rid of them. The Ad Block extension, exclusive to Chrome and Safari, was installed by more than 40 million users, while Ad Block Plus (available for more platforms) was downloaded more than 300 million times. One of the most talked about features of iOS9, Apple’s latest operating system, is that it allows you to install applications to block ads. Recently,
For the average user, the benefits of these extensions are two: annoying advertisements are not displayed and, by not using those resources, the page loads faster. Unsurprisingly, this trend is not well received by those who pay for advertising spaces or by those who maintain those spaces in their videos or websites. But web designers and developers are also adversely affected, as extensions that block ads can greatly alter the visual layout of the page. These apps eliminate ad space on the page by expanding the content area; or replace ads with gray blocks. Generally, advertising spaces are part of the original design; if you eliminate them, the result can be chaotic,
Website: People. Above: No ad blocking. Bottom: with ad blocking.
In this case, Ad Block Plus blocks a list of external posts because it recognizes that they come from an advertiser. But it does not remove the title (From the Web), so it ends up heading an invisible content.
In the following example, Ad Block Plus removes ads but not the space that contains them, leaving a huge portion of the page blank:
Website: Walmart. Above: No ad blocking. Bottom: with ad blocking.
In this case, there is an aggravation: blocked ads also belong to Walmart, and lead to internal pages within the same site.
As if this were not enough, many times these applications can generate false positives: by mistake, remove content that is not exactly advertising. Recently, software engineer James Avery discovered that the Ghostery blocker could block the style sheets and jQuery library file, which, far from being commercials, are indispensable resources for a website to display correctly. It is also common to block web analytics scripts. The most obvious solution is to design our website considering both the possibility that you have ads and that you do not have them. However, blockers often have unpredictable behavior, and, once our site is already in production, it will be indispensable to prove it with different extensions. Finally, Ad Block Plus does not block (unless requested by the user) ads that meet certain design criteria. This means that we can design the ads so that they are not blocked by this software, which is the most popular browser extension in the world.