Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Blocking advertising

As you know, I run Google Adsense adverts on this site. These usually pull in at least £100 per month, which amply covers the cost of running the site and leaves money left over.

Of course, if you run software which blocks web advertising, such as Firefox’s AdBlock extension, you won’t see these adverts. And sites like AdBlock.org which have a webmaster pledge which promises that if you turn your ad-blocking software off on their site, you’ll only see “tasteful and passive advertisements”.
As it happens, I’m also an Adblock user. I’m only a relatively recent convert to it, having seen one-too-many annoying Flash adverts, but it’s already improved my web experience immeasurably.

18 months ago when I finally decided to bring advertising to the site, I made the decision not to block users of ad-blocking software, nor to ‘punsih’ them in any way. My rationale is based on too factors:

  • I believe users should be free to modify web pages as they wish. If they find the text too small, or can’t read it because of the design, then the user should be able to change it. If they find having postcodes automatically converted to links to Google Maps, then that’s fine too.
  • If you’re using ad-blocking software, then you’re probably not going to click on my adverts even if I forced you to view them.

So I’m not signing up to the pledge. You’re welcome to use ad-blocking software here if you want to – and trust me, the web looks so much better without all of those annoying flashy things everywhere.

10 Comments

  1. If it was just because of those annoying Flash adverts you could have used Flashblock

  2. I use both flashblock and adblock – those flash adverts are soooo annoying.
    Wish i could make $100 a month on adsense – but I must say I am making more than I used to – took me over a year to get my first $100, then 3 months for the second!

  3. Neil, I think you mean

    if you turn your ad-blocking software off on their site

  4. Yes I did – thanks, I’ve corrected it 🙂 .

  5. I’ll admit, I use adblock in Firefox – however I don’t block Google adsense ads – If – I just block adverts that I see and find objectionable (e.g. flash ones that “take over” the screen)
    If a site author (and I include myself in that) wants to include advertising, then it needs to not detract from my experience as a visitor to a site.

  6. Heh. I presume this entry is a response to mine, posted this morning. Not wishing to advertise, or anything. 😉
    Define ‘tasteful and passive advertisements’. Would your or my definition always match that of everyone who signs up to Adblock.org’s pledge? No? Doesn’t that render it a pointless exercise?
    Personally, I block all advertising content (Flash, text, whatever), and reject the argument that I ‘shouldn’t’. It’s not something I ‘admit’, Tom – it’s not a matter of guilt.

  7. Adblock is amazing. It takes out the clutter from these ad-based websites for easier surfing. I use it often to single out pictures that I know I’ll be running into again and I don’t want to see (forum signatures).

  8. Yeah, I’ve been using Adblock for ages and have quite a comprehensive list of blocked sites and wildcards. I hardly ever get subjected to an advert on a site and that’s the way I like it – if I like a site I’ll subscribe and they can benefit that way.
    Even if I could see the ads I wouldn’t click on them anyway. I hate it – they often ruin the layout of the site and intrude on the content that I’m there to read.
    Oh, and unless I’m commenting (like this) I don’t even visit blogs often anyway – I tend to read the entries over on Bloglines 😉

  9. Bloody hell, £100 a month? That’s really good going innit?

  10. NRT: Exactly. One person’s ‘tasteful and passive’ is another’s ‘annoying and vile’. Which is why I’m not too bothered about people blocking advertising here if they object to it.
    Phil: Yes, it is 🙂 . Essentially the money I’ve earned through Google has paid for the hosting of this site, and my contribution to my university tuition fees. Which is nice.