It is becoming more and more difficult for website owners to monetise their websites through banner advertisers due to internet users using software to block ads.
This is something I spoke about briefly one year ago in my quick review of PageFair. I was reminded of the issue yesterday as Rise Forums member noted Raspal noted there was a problem with the competition I posted earlier this week. He later noted that this was because he was blocking ads on my website using AdBlock Plus.
I have always found it bizarre that website owners who rely on income from banner ads will happily use ad blockers to block ads on websites they visit regularly. The forum member Raspal is by no means alone and I respect his right to use ad blocking software. It is the right of every internet user to block ads, however I truly believe it is the right of every website owner to block people who do use blocking software.
I have spoken with many other readers of this blog who block ads too and the majority of my readership are website owners. I do understand that many people see things differently from me, but I just feel website owners should be more supportive of other website owners. The argument that they use it to block malicious scripts does not really hold much weight if they are blocking legitimate websites such as this.
One argument I hear from many people is that they will unblock websites they enjoy reading. Though in practice, I do not believe this actually occurs. I know if I used ad blocking software, I would just get into the habit of browsing websites and would forget to mark a website as safe.
I recently added a BuySellAds tracker to this blog in order to test the waters of selling banner ads on this blog to increase revenue. Despite getting around 40,000 page impressions per month, BuySellAds is only tracking around 30,000 page impressions. This suggests that around 25% of my readership blocks ads on this blog. It's not a big concern for me as I only have one banner on my sidebar, however it does illustrate a big issue that website owners across the world are facing.
Google Launch Contributor
High traffic websites are seeing their profits drop because of ad blocking software. Which is perhaps why Google is experimenting with a new service entitled Contributor.
Their headline states:
Contributor by Google
An experiment in additional ways to fund the web.
Today’s Internet is mostly funded by advertising. But what if there were a way to directly support the people who create the sites you visit each day?
Introducing Contributor by Google.
Their concept is simple. Users choose a monthly contribution and then this contribution is distributed among participating websites. Large websites such as Mashable, The Onion, and Reddit's IMGUR, are all taking part in the experiment.
At the moment Google seem to be inviting website owners on an invitation basis. You can join the waiting list by simply entering your email address on their website.
Is Google Contributor going to be a game changer? Who knows.
But what I do know is that when Google acknowledges there is a problem with something, it will not be long until others follow. Perhaps in five years time banner ads will be less common and more websites will hide their content behind a paywall.
What do you think of Google Contributor? Is this a service you would support?