The Impact of Ad-Blocking


Users Hate Online Ads.

Online ads are perceived negatively because they disrupt the user experience.

User experience is the heart of the internet. The web is an opportunity for us to create experiences; a website can be anything. At Zenman, we take this creative opportunity to heart. But creativity is a commodity. Advertisers use this commodity to create online ads.

When online advertising appeared, it was simple. That quickly changed as advertisers took advantage of the open environment of the web. Today, digital ads are frowned upon by users.

A 2012 Study from Carnegie Mellon University on the perceptions of online ads revealed that users “had negative impressions of internet advertising as a whole, often associating ads with annoying pop-up windows.”

Popups, animated banners, hidden software, and flashing “CLICK HERE!” buttons are our perception of online advertising. Annoying. Invasive. Malicious. Block-worthy.

Users Love Ad-Blocking.

InteriorBlogAd-blocking tools were developed to combat intrusive ads. Those tools were rapidly adopted by users who wanted a better user experience. My experience with ad-blocking tools started with the first AdBlock in late 2009. Anyone using it knew: this was something big for users. But it was not until the recent iOS9 announcement that the scope of ad-blocking truly set in.

Apple announced that iOS9 gives users the ability to use ad-blocking tools on Apple’s mobile devices. Previously, no ad-blocking tools were available to Apple’s mobile devices. This is a welcomed change for Apple users, who dominate the mobile device market. Advertisers feel differently, however.

The Advertiser’s Reaction

The announcement brought a negative outcry from digital advertisers. They are worried that increased adoption of ad-blocking tools will impact their ad revenues. For the web’s largest content publishers, that is unlikely.

But for smaller content publishing websites, the popularity of ad blocking is a larger concern. These websites may rely on sidebar and banner ads to stay up and running. If enough of their users adopt ad-blocking tools, it may significantly impact their revenues.

But it isn’t these smaller websites’ fault that we don’t like ads.

Who is Responsible?

Advertisers created current sentiment regarding online advertising. For years, they have forced ads on users without regard for the user experience. None of us ever “opted-in” to be targeted by ads at every digital turn.

Uninvited advertisments ruined the public perception of advertising. The worst online ads can infect your computer with malware. Just ask Yahoo. We perceive online ads as annoying, invasive, and malicious. Now, advertisers are upset because no one wants to see ads, and they are blaming ad-blocking for their self-inflicted troubles.

What makes good online ads?

Smart advertisers focus on creating ads that add value. For users to be open to online ads, they need to be enjoyable, not annoying.

People respond well to quality advertisments. Look at some successful online advertising efforts. Remember Dollar Shave Club? How about companies who achieve success with social media? These online ads and outreach efforts, although strange, resonate with users. The results tell all.

In the meantime, advertisers compete against ad-blocking tools.

The Impact on Digital Marketing

How is ad-blocking affecting other digital marketing strategies? The impact is not yet realized.

One possibility: widespread ad-blocking increases the value of organic search engine optimization.

Ad-blocking prevents your audience from seeing your advertisements while browsing the web. But it will not prevent you from achieving organic search engine rankings for relevant, highly-searched keywords. It’s estimated that organic search results drive over 60% of online traffic.

Putting it lightly, it would be unwise to overlook that much of the digital marketplace.

As internet users continue to adopt ad-blocking tools, so increases the value of organic search engine optimization. With more than half of internet traffic arriving from search engines, you cannot risk poor search visibility. Being easily found in search engine results is the best way to drive relevant traffic to your website, especially when users block your ads.

What is the solution?

Your ads are going to be blocked. That is a guarantee. But when your website appears first in organic search engine results for your target keywords, that won’t matter. Top rankings for relevant keywords will earn the trust and respect of your audience and your industry when you dominate search engine results for your field.

Get the traffic that your website needs to drive your business into the spotlight. Zenman designs and deploys organic search engine optimization campaigns for our clients that include content marketing opportunities and local business listing management services. Alleviate your ad-blocking concerns with earned organic search traffic for your website.


Calendar October 2, 2015 | User Tyler | Tag , , ,