Ad blocking combating methods (anti adblock)

Many websites still underestimate the damage stemming out of advertisement blocking by AdBlock plus, Adguard and other tools (see How to do it). However those with the awareness of losses, now opt for one of the following methods or their combination.

1. Communicate with user
When a person using ad blocker comes to web-site, s/he is softly asked to disable blocking and not to deprive the favorite web-site of the means of existence. Usually it is practiced by the resources having regular loyal audience (example –

The benefits of such approach: web-site avoids conflict and retains users.

Disadvantage: only some users will satisfy the request, it may happen that only their minority will do so (the share depends on audience loyalty and their technical prowess – some people simply don’t know how to add exceptions to blockers).

Possible implementation: js-script for user notification

2. Complete access denial
Some websites, usually online media, opt for a very strict solution – they do not allow people using ad blockers to the website. The special script detects ad blocking users and doesn’t display content to them, demanding to add the web-site to exclusions (this is what does, for instance).

Sometimes user is offered an alternative option – if s/he is not ready to view advertisement, s/he may disable it in return to a small payment. This way the web-site recovers at least some of its lost revenues.

Benefits: if online media is of great value to its reader, it is more likely that the request will be satisfied.

  • It is for certain that website loses some share of its visitors. At the first glance, the loss is not painful, as such users are useless in terms of ad-based monetization. However, even the users, who adopted ad blockers are useful to the website in a specific way: likes, reposts in social media, user generated content (comments, forum).
  • Erroneous denial of access in unacceptable, as it deprives user of access to content. As for example: in some browsers it remains blocked even after the plug-in is disabled.
Possible implementation: js-script blocking access

3. Tiered access
Some web-sites restrict functionality for the users, who block advertisement. For instance, they display only some part of article, proposing to add web-site to exclusions.

Benefits: web-site states a soft ultimatum and if the user finds it valuable, it is more likely that such user will stick to the resource.

Disadvantages: user may accede to reduced functionality, if it is sufficient to solve his/her needs.

Possible implementation: integration of blocking js-script into website functionality (customized solution).

4. Native advertisement
Native advertisement cannot be blocked through the detection of banners, as it actually represents the general website content, yet with reference to advertised item. Good native advertisement doesn’t irritate reader. Online media use such type of advertisement more and more often.

Pursuant to Acceptable Ads Manifesto “Acceptable Ads are transparent with us about being an ad”; there are the following explanations:
If it's an advertisement, just say so! There's a place for ads, and there's a place for editorial. And there's even a place for advertorials or native ads if they're not camouflaged as editorial content. Good stuff is always welcome, but it needs to be genuine.
According to this criterion, not every native ad is consistent with the Manifesto. But what is more important, the native advertisement is too tough for blockers.

Benefits: good native ad doesn’t irritate user and it cannot be blocked.

Disadvantages: it is more difficult to make native advertisement, as compared with banners and contextual ads, as it requires certain skill. Native advertisement is only suitable for online media and it is impossible to draw huge budgets, which are nowadays invested in conventional advertisement, through native advertisement. The inordinate share of promotional posts will eliminate all advantages for media.

Possible implementation: elaboration of editorial materials on a by-order basis, joint campaigns with advertiser etc.

5. Concealment of advertisement by technical means
To a certain extent ad blocking may be avoided by technical means. The approach here is only one – to make advertisement (banners, teasers) as closely resembling the common information on the web-site, such as images, text, design elements, as possible. We can conditionally call it a “native banner” – an image, not considered as advertisement by ad blocker.

Benefits: almost the full scope of ad blocked traffic may be recovered; one can continue using banners, teasers.

  • It is impossible to use advertising networks (Google Adsense/AdExchange/DFP, Yandex.Direct etc.). All networks require the installation of js-code, which is easily detected and blocked by blockers. It means that the ad blocked traffic cannot be recovered for monetization through Google/Yandex. It is necessary to negotiate directly with advertisers.
  • Blocking systems are continuously perfecting in order to detect and block concealed advertisement. It means that the systems used to avoid it require upgrade from time to time.
  • It is difficult to maintain statistics for advertiser pertaining to such “replacement” advertisement. It is only possible to arrange for its collection on the web-site, as third party services are easily detected and blocked.
Possible implementation: AdRegain Chameleon corporate solution.

Avoid adblock

About Ad blocking
IAB recommendations on ad blocking
Tips for webmaster regarding ad blocking
How to disable Adblock on the web-site you like
Online media in a new environment: ad blocking issue