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Adblocking 101: How Adblockers work

Adblocking adoption among Americans is expected to rise in the next 3 months, according to a new report from Digital Content Next (DCN), a trade group representing online publishers. Their findings indicate 33 percent of U.S. consumers are very likely or somewhat likely to try adblocking software in the next three months, which may convert into a 9-percent success of adblocker installs.

With all this talk about adblockers, we’re starting a series on the issue. In the coming weeks we’ll be diving into the adtech industry and how we’re transforming the user experience – so be sure to subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date!

What’s an adblocker?

At its core, an adblocker is a software, usually in the form of a browser extension, that removes ads from displaying on a webpage.

How do adblockers work?

Most commonly, adblockers rely on two principal methods: blocking ad requests and hiding ad containers.

Embedded in a webpage’s code are requests from the site to an ad server (i.e. the site is communicating to an ad resource, requesting an ad). An adblocker recognizes this and blocks the communication, preventing the request to be fulfilled.Goodblock adblocker before and after

Additionally, the webpage contains a designated placeholder indicating where an ad should appear (e.g. at the bottom of the page, on the right, etc.). An adblocker hides those elements, so that you can’t notice where the ad would appear. The result? A cleaner site.

Why do Internet Users Download Adblockers?

There are various factors that motivate installs of adblockers. The DCN report found the following:

  • More than 70 percent of respondents dislike ads that expand over content or play with sound.
  • Fifty-seven percent note their webpages load too slowly with ads.
  • Sixty-eight percent are concerned when ads track their behavior

Additionally, a recent survey conducted by PageFair, an anti-adblocking tool, and Adobe found that 50 percent of non-adblocker users would download an adblocker if they felt that their personal information was being misused. Furthermore, research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of TRUSTe found that concern about online privacy was rising, noting consumers’ worry of companies collecting and sharing their personal information as the top concern –  more so than government surveillance.

TRUSTe US Consumer Confidence IndexSource: 2015 TRUSTe US Consumer Confidence Index

What does this all mean? In a nutshell, Internet users want a better online experience – one that doesn’t track their online behavior without consent and doesn’t show pesky ads to prove it.

What We’re Doing – Transforming the User Online Experience

At Gladly, we’re not anti-ads. Ads, when carefully crafted, can be delightful. Our mission is to make advertising that doesn’t suck, doesn’t infringe on your privacy and doesn’t compromise your online experience. You can read our manifesto about why we’re transforming the online user experience.

With this mission in mind we launched Goodblock, an adblocker with a purpose, in public beta for Chrome. Similar to our sister app, Tab for a Cause, users are able to raise money for charity by opting in to view an ad we’ve personally designed, once a day.

We feel you should choose what you see and when you see it. What does a better Internet look like? Well, a lot like Goodblock.

Join our beta program!

Interested in shaping how Internet users interact with online ads? Download Goodblock and tell us about your experience! Our beta users are writing in, letting us know how we can make Goodblock better for when it’s readily available – and now you can, too.