More and more internet users are blocking ads in order to “improve” their online experience. This is something that will greatly affect most website owners at some point in the future.
Last week, I tackled the issue of blocking ads in my post “Blocking Internet Ads is Ethical, But So Is Blocking Ad-Blockers“. One thing that became clear to me is that this is a hot topic that is dividing internet users and website owners alike.
When I wrote that article last week, I had no idea of how many people were blocking ads on this blog (if any). An effective way to analyse how many website visitors are blocking your ads is to use PageFair. The service will show you exactly how many people are blocking ads on your websites.
To track how many people are blocking your advertisements, all you have to do is add a piece of tracking code before the closing </head> tag of your website.
I installed the tracking code on this blog six days ago. As you can see, yesterday’s block rate was 16.1%. That figure seems to be fairly consistent day in day out for this blog.
As I reported last week, some websites are seeing block rates of over 50%. Others have suffered over 75%. This blog is pretty light on ads, so I did not expect a high block rate for ads.
I am keen to use PageFair on some of my other websites to see if the block rate is higher. Unfortunately, the service does not currently allow you to track more than one website through your account. You need to sign up for a brand new account if you want to track another website. PageFair advised me via email that tracking multiple websites is a feature they are planning on introducing next month.
To put my block rate of 16.1% into perspective, let us say for arguments sake that this website makes $500 per month through banner ads if no ads are blocked. At a block rate of 16.1%, banner ad income would drop by $80.50 to $419.50.
I suspect that if I did sell banner ads through a service such as BuySellAds, more people would block ads as the BuySellAds tracking script would be detected. This would reduce my income even further.
I have no immediate plans to monetise this blog through banner advertisements. However, it is clear that if I did, I would lose a lot of money to ad blockers.
This would make me review whether stopping ad blockers from viewing this website was a good idea.
PageFair allows you to do this by allowing you to appeal to users. You can explain to visitors that blocking ads affects your income and advertising is necessary for your website to operate. Currently, PageFair allows you to ask for a donation from those who do use ad blockers. There is currently no commission taken by PageFair to do this; however this may change in the future.
If the visitor makes a donation, they can view your website. If they do not, they will continue to be blocked from reading your content.
Whether you should stop ad blockers from viewing your website is a decision you will have to make yourself. If you see a large percentage of visitors blocking ads, you need to either stop ad blockers or change the way your website generates income.
I have no plans on stopping ad blockers on this blog, however I do own small websites that make money exclusively through banner ads or Google Adsense. Therefore, it could be in my interest to implement a donation system on those websites. This is something I will review once PageFair introduce multiple website tracking.
You can find out more about PageFair at PageFair.com. I recommend tracking your website for a week and then check the stats. The results may surprise you ;)