Suppose I should say this in the first sentence: I use AdBlock. I like using AdBlock since it blocks and removes the annoying flash ads, animated ads, music playing or other noise-making ads, most video pre-roll ads etc.
This is especially true for websites which add a huge leaderboard ad to the very top of the website before their head content, thus pushing their entire website down by about 100 pixels. Or those that have an annoying ad placed right in the middle of their site’s main content, like halfway through a news post, breaking up the flow of the article.
The main unfortunate side-effect of this mass-blocking is that non-intrusive advertising gets blacked out also. Now I’m not a complete Nazi towards online advertising, I don’t mind the banner ads, small boxes etc. that sit off to the side or the bottom of the site, especially when the site owner puts them there knowing full well that they are most likely to only get revenue from impressions as opposed to clicks.
Nor do I mind advertising that isn’t completely corporate driven, this particular example being Project Wonderful. They are one ad network I’ve expressly allowed to show in my filters, along with a bunch of other sites I either don’t mind supporting, that I know don’t have intrusive advertising, or (unfortunately) that don’t work when you turn off the ads – several site video players are notorious for that.
I know several site owners who do expressly ask – and always in an off-the-cuff sort of passing mention, never specifically pushing people to do so – to whitelist their site in AdBlock for the revenue, and in most cases I’m cool with that particularly if I’m an avid reader and like what they’re doing. Sites/comics like Real Life Comics, Nerd Junkies, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things I keep AdBlock off as I both enjoy their content and they don’t run intrusive advertising.
One aspect that I really hate though, is when people specifically ask for ad clicks. Especially when it’s always against the ToS of whatever ad network you’re in to game the system in any way or to ask people to submit invalid clicks.
AdBlock and YouTube
You may be starting to call out things such as “You’re stealing from site owners”, “People depend on that revenue” etc. Yea, I’m well aware of that. You might also call me a hypocrite for the fact that I have a small 180×150 ad in my sidebar, or the fact that I do submit some of my YouTube videos for revenue sharing and do enable the pre-roll ads for longer ones. To those critics I will say this: Why don’t you just block them? If you do, then it’s pretty much even on possible denied revenue.
I’m not one of those WingsofRedemption or FPSKyle (aka FPSRussia back before he got massively YouTube famous and was still doing game commentaries) people blocking their videos from being viewed on mobile devices since mobile YouTube doesn’t (yet) support advertising. Nor do I go around chopping very long videos up into small 10-minute chunks – even if it means cutting off in the middle of a sentence – solely to increase views and ad impressions (*cough* MW2Joe’s Q&A sessions *cough*).
If you’re serving up ads yourself though, you also need to keep an eye out. Especially if you’re someone who comes across and not having enough money – this being the Internet, people will do stupid things even if they think it’s in their best interests to do whatever to help by say, clicking your ads on your partnered YouTube channel over and over to try earn you money. Monitoring your CTR is something you need to do at least once a day so that you can report the invalid clicks and not have your ad account shut down for what they would see as gaming the system...