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Ad blocking 303: Should I turn off my ad blocker?

Image of Computer Guy thinking about turning off his ad blocker

Back in March, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released a guide for publishers on how to D.E.A.L. with ad blockers, as part of the organization’s growing efforts of thwarting the rising adoption of ad blockers.

While the advice makes up a witty wordplay, just who is benefiting from this deal? Publishers or the users? The answer: A broken ad tech system.

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Adblockers can save you 24 hours a year in loading times

Here’s something to think about next time you’re watching the slow spinning wheel of death: the average American spends 60 hours per year (two and a half full days!) waiting for webpages to load. Thankfully, there is something you can do about it. Turns out the right adblocker can get you a whole day back.

That’s right. With a lightweight adblocker you can sleep-in an extra 30 minutes once a week, or watch the entire first season of 24, or you could curl up and listen to the top 500 songs of all time

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Why Opt-In Will Save Online Advertising

The IAB drew a very clear line in the sand concerning adblocking technology recently when it decided to ban Adblock Plus from attending its annual leadership summit, yet extended a speaking invitation to the Web browsing extension Ghostery. While the feverish debate over adblocking rages on, the real conversation that we should be having is starting to surface.

The rise of adblockers is symptomatic of an industry in trouble; consumers have signaled that they want more control over their online experience so now is the time for advertisers to find a better solution, instead of workarounds like forcing users to pay for content.

With the industry finally getting real about how ugly the online experience has become, I’m confident change is on the horizon. But what does that change look like?

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Adblocking 202: In Defense of Adblockers

CommitStrip adblock

Adblockers have empowered Internet users to take control of their data and experience a cleaner, faster Internet. With the rise of adblocking adoption, however, adblockers have gotten a bad rap from advertisers and content creators, who are testing several methods of recuperating lost ad revenue. But in this debate, are adblockers solely to blame?

In this multi-post series, we dive into the adtech industry, adblocking software and our role in transforming how users interact with ads online. If you’re just now joining the adblocking space, be sure to check out my previous post on how adblockers work.

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How to speed up internet connection with an adblocker

snail slow loading adblocker

The last few years has seen an explosion in the usage of adblockers, as internet users seek an alternative to YouTube ads and pop ups that demand our attention at the worst possible times. While blocking annoying ads is far and away the biggest reason people cite for downloading an adblocker, there are many benefits. One of the most notable is that adblockers can really speed up your internet connection. But how does it work?

How does an ad slow down internet speeds?

Let’s say you are browsing the internet and see a BuzzFeed article about the 10 cutest puppies of all time. Inside the human brain is a small person who, after seeing BuzzFeed articles, hijacks the controls and drives the ship. We, powerless to stop him, must view all 10 of the puppies. Often this rogue pirate controls our judgement as well, forcing us against our wills to post the article on all of our social media accounts. Then we proceed to view that other article on the bottom about the way to lose fat that involves eating tubs of cookie dough.

The point is that we click on the article and wait patiently for the puppies to load. Before they do, however, BuzzFeed loads up all of the ads and tracking scripts that are packaged into the page. Why don’t they load the ads last? Because if they did you would simply see the puppy and click to the next slide before you have a chance to view the ad or be tracked by all of the people that want access to your data.

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Missing banner ads because of your adblocker? Here’s all 15,000 of them.

girl with camera

Can banner ads be beautiful? On their own, maybe not. But what happens if you smush 15,000 of them together…

If you use the internet (seems likely if you’re reading this) you probably fall into one of a few camps:

  • you hate online ads and have escaped their constant barrage by downloading an adblocker
  • you tolerate their unpleasantness because you want to support the web you depend on
  • you don’t realize you have a say in the matter
  • you don’t realize that most of what you see online is actually an ad.

(If the latter, please know that when ad execs daydream, it is mainly of you.)

The one commonality among the aforementioned groups is that they can agree that the brightly colored, bold texted, shrunken billboard looking-things that live on the side of the BuzzFeed article you’re reading seem to be made with a lot less care than the article itself (which at times doesn’t even seem like that much). Given the beauty and richness of the internet in so many other respects, the ugliness of the average ad is, well….

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Data privacy and adblocking: the death of cookies?


One of the true joys of growing older is that you can start whining about new technology that didn’t exist when you were a child. Take the humble “cookie.” How simple were the times when “cookie” was just a way to refer to diet-destroying disks of dough. Today, cookies also serve as the carriers of nearly infinite amounts of identifying information across the internet.

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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!

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