The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Ad Blockers


Are you worried about ad blocking software affecting your PPC campaigns? Are you scared that ad blockers will kill your digital banners? Are you shivering over the thought of wasting your money?

Good. You should be. But fear not! It’s not all bad news. Every time a door closes, a window of opportunity opens. Read on to see why ad blockers won’t be the end of digital marketing as we know it.

The Rise of Ad Blockers

Ad blocking technology has been around for a long time. But for some reason, advertisers the world over have been freaking out about them quite a bit lately. What’s changed about ad blocking software that’s making it such a big deal this time around?

Well, the main reason is Apple. Two iOS releases ago, Apple decided that it would be a good idea to add ad blocking software support. Since a large number of smartphone users (over 100 million in the U.S. alone) are using iPhones, this made quite a few people turn their heads and say “Excuse me?”

See, digital marketing hinges on ads. A vast majority of websites and services wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for online advertising. Since more and more people are ditching their desktop for a smartphone or tablet, Apple embracing ad blockers was a very big deal.

So what, if anything, do you have to worry about with ad blocking software?

The Ugly

Chances are, you’ll be wasting money. If you’re working on a fancy digital campaign filled with banner ads and side scrollers, your ads will be blocked.

You’ll also be losing some of your analytic data. Some ad blocking software also blocks the analytics script used by Google Analytics. These Apple/Safari users will show up as ghosts on your analytics reports. You won’t be gathering any data on them at all, and that’s a scary thought for us marketers.

The Bad

User experience usually hinges on advertising. When ad blockers take away the banners and side-scrollers, all that’s left is the bare bones of the website. Without proper design, some sites can be left looking as though they were designed by an eight-year old in 1998. Some ad blocking extensions do add cute pictures of puppies where ads used to be. They’re pretty adorable, but are they more adorable than an ad for that thing you looked up on Amazon 8 months ago?

The Good

I know. I know. “What could be good about us losing money?”

For one, user experience will actually become better. Page load speed shoots through the roof when ads are taken off of a page. When web pages remove those annoying pop-up video banner ads, they use a heck of a lot less data, making pages load exponentially faster.

Next, they don’t affect desktop campaigns. Some individuals do use plugins on their browsers, but the vast majority don’t. So, when individuals log on to their computers and begin browsing, your ads will show up just like they always have.

And in all honesty, most people don’t use ad blockers at all. On their phones? Nope. On a desktop? Nope. Don’t freak out about losing money on your campaign. You’ll still get the reach you were hoping for.

Also, social media won’t be affected. Facebook, the world’s biggest social media empire, is working to combat ad blockers and is doing a pretty good job so far. So when you spend five, ten, or 15 dollars on a post on Facebook or Instagram, your phone won’t recognize it as an ad. Ad blockers also don’t work inside apps. Yet.


Long story short: don’t be afraid. Technology still has a long way to go before advertising leaves the Internet forever. Before then, you’ve got plenty of time to get your digital strategies in order. So take a deep breath. Ad blockers will not destroy your business. And by the time they do, we’ll be beaming ads straight into people’s dreams at night.



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