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Ad Blocker

The adblockers (ad blockers) are software products used to filter commercial promotion on websites. At the same time as banner ads, pop-ups can be blocked, animations and ads identified in texts can be hidden.


The first adblockers for Internet apps emerged in 1999. The "Webwasher Classic" software was the pioneer in this field. It was installed locally on your PC as a proxy through which Internet content was retrieved. All ads and pop-ups were filtered.

This free application was later acquired by McAfee and is currently called "McAfee Web Gateway" as a security solution for companies to filter URLs, as an antivirus solution for Internet and email apps, and SSL scanning. However, previous versions of Webwasher can continue to be used completely free of charge. Other common adblockers include AdBlock, Adblock Plus, and Proxomitron.

How adblockers work

The ad blockers they can't tell one ad from another when it comes to content. Instead, they filter based on the special features that would normally be contained in the ads. Possible approaches for adblockers are:

  • The size of advertising graphics, which are mostly standardized (eg 300 x 250 pixels = medium rectangle, 120 x 600 skycraper).
  • The ad URL (compilation on black and white lists)
  • Terms used in the ad URL, indicating commercial promotion (such as adserv, ads)
  • The ad DOM structure
  • JavaScript (Commercial promotion is often based on JavaScript)

Advantages and disadvantages

Users of adblockers They can use the websites without commercial promotion that interferes with navigation. In many cases, the commercial promotion will not even be broadcast, this way the bandwidth can be saved. But even if this is not the case, the page speed will slow down as the ad graphics are not required to load. Some users also use adblockers to prevent the collection of your personal data.

The downsides are primarily for the ad provider. They usually fund a substantial part of the content based on commercial promotion and thus rely on the unrestricted display of the ads. Due to this, some companies suffer great economic damage. Due to adblockers, Google had a loss of $ 887 million in 2012.[1] For users, adblockers can only be a disadvantage if they prevent the use of free information and services, for example because the user could have 'paid' with a click on an advertising banner.

Criticism of adblockers

The adblockers they have been repeatedly criticized in the past since their independence was questioned. For example, Adblock Plus 2011 introduced an option for its users not to block "acceptable trade promotion." However, this option was enabled by default, and the user had to change the settings to disable it.

The Adblock Plus operator has decided which commercial promotion would be considered acceptable after a prior check. This approach left a bad taste in the mouth when it emerged that large companies were paying millions of dollars to be classified as acceptable commercial promotion, such as content creators like eHow or Google AdWords. According to unconfirmed sources, Google would have paid 25 million dollars for this purpose.

Relevance for online marketing

As already indicated, adblockers they can mean lost sales for online marketing. In this way, the managers or creators of the web frequently look for ways to avoid adblockers:

  • Using special procedures, such as internal or external JavaScript, adblockers can be detected. However, these methods are not 100% reliable.
  • Many web builders are encouraging their visitors to disable adblockers to secure their financial standing.
  • If an adblocker is detected, free content can be blocked from visitors, using appropriate procedures or default plugins for CMSs like WordPress. Only when they deactivate their adblocker do they "pay" for the content by re-enabling the ads, thereby releasing the content.
  • Simple adblockers can be bypassed by making business promotion less obvious. For this, words like "ads" are avoided in file names and paths, non-standard dimensions are used for banner commercial promotion, and the ad is stored on its own server rather than on an ad server.