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Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads 978

6 writes "Destructoid, one of the few remaining bastions of independent game journalism online, wonders what to do now that nearly 50% of their users run ad-blockers."
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Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads

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  • by Picardo85 ( 1408929 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:19AM (#43130005)
    The swedish gaming journalism website FZ [] has started informing their users how the ad-blocking is hurting their business.
    And I do think that most gamers who frequent that said site have started unblocking ads on said site so that they can continue to enjoy the reviews and other content on the site.

    However, I don't think that this is a solution for EVERY site, but it might be a solution for sites with a large steady user base.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:26AM (#43130041)

    I have been running Ghostery for a while for this reason, and going to Destructoid it hit an all time high score of blocked content. 43 items blocked, even News Limited's only gets 10 blocks and there is enough crap on there to annoy the hell out of most people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:35AM (#43130077)

    It's funny to see you posting this on Slashdot, of all places, which is an ad-supported site, and for which much of the front page is links to other ad supported sites.
    Who needs ad supported sites? Clearly YOU do, or you wouldn't be here going through the effort of making a post.

  • Plead (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:40AM (#43130107) Homepage

    People didn't install ad blockers to block your site specifically, they did it once because of some annoying ads or just the vast volume of ads everywhere. They don't really think about the fact that they're doing it and depriving you of ad revenue. I would make a box one pixel higher/wider than the ad (since many blocks are based on standard ad sizes in addition to lists) with a background that said something like "[website name] is funded by ad revenue. If you like the content you find here, please do not block our ads. Thank you." so that if you have no ad blocker installed the ad loads on top. If you block the ad they get that message instead. Start there, only take more drastic measures if you have to.

  • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:43AM (#43130125) Journal

    I ran without an adblocker for the longest time because the ads on the side don't bother me. Even the occasional interstitial I could deal with. Then, one of the sites I visit regularly started running that damned Meebo toolbar that manages to cover part of whatever you're looking at. It looks like it's been fixed but for a while it repopped up on every page you went to on the site. So, I installed an adblocker, and I've been a happy camper ever since. I don't even think about it running anymore.

    This is sad for the sites who have not been annoying with their ads. However, even those sites that want to keep the ads under control apparently have trouble. The writer at Destructoid said that they try to keep the annoying ads out, like the ones that start running audio as soon as you open the page. Try is the operative word, though, and many other sites do not try, so it's always a possibility that something stupid will start blaring out of your speakers. The industry as a whole needs to stop looking at consumers as sheep to be milked instead of customers to be convinced.

  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) < ... NBSDom minus bsd> on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:48AM (#43130161) Homepage

    I used to only block particularly obnoxious ads (those with sound mostly, or any form of popup that disrupts what your doing)... But then i found there were simply too many obnoxious ads that it was easier to block them all.
    I never had a problem with simple banners or text ads, and would never have considered blocking them.

    What i found particularly offensive was video ads for movies that started automatically playing (thus distracting me with the noise and wasting a substantial amount of bandwidth), and which were for movies that i couldn't even legally see in my location!

    Incidentally advertisers generally pay per click not per view, and those who block ads are generally those who would never have clicked on them in the first place.

  • Re:ad networks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @08:52AM (#43130181) Journal

    Biggie here. I work at a concrete plant, and we sometimes need to check the weather loops. At our remote location, the only internet available is by way of AT&T through Verizon lines, so the latency is terrible. Maybe that's part of the problem, but when switched to running multiple ad loops, the weather loop page would reset and timeout -- then reload (starting with a whole new page of the ads) before we ever saw the first motion of the weather map.

    We never got the content we came for!!!

    So I don't go there any more. I go to a local TV station instead. I tried to notify, but they've isolated themselves very well from any feedback.

  • by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:01AM (#43130207) Journal

    Unless destructoid reverted any changes they made, I call bullshit.

    Curious to see what the big deal was, I visited the article without adblock on.

    When I clicked the article link, I was presented with one of the more annoying types of ads - the kind that takes over the screen and force you to click a link to go to the actual page I wanted. When I finally got to the article, there were no fewer than three animated flash ads that appeared, and there was a sprinkling of additional ads as I kept reading.

    Worse yet: the manner in which cross-links to other destructoid articles is presented on the right is not significantly different than the ads, so to the uninitiated, it looks like the entire right 1/3 of the page is filled with ads.

  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:19AM (#43130307) Homepage

    Yep, very much this. It always puzzles me why ads are so crappy on the Internet. Every website these days has all those Web2.0 features, yet ads are still completely passive, I can't rate them, I can't comment on them, I can't even link them and even when I click them they hardly ever lead me to the information about the product I actually seek. What also annoys me a lot is the lack of variety in ads, if I open three tabs on Youtube, chances are they will all play the very same commercial and often one that I already have seen five times before the same day. And finally after all that hubbub about user tracking I have to wonder why ads are still so often so random and out of context, the very best that I have seen so far is that Amazon keeps advertising me products that I already bought the day before, which not very helpful to say the least.

    It also would help a lot when companies would be a litter more active in interacting with their user base. For example when it comes to customer product reviews there are frequently persistent issues with the product, stuff that breaks, bad documentation or whatever, where is the company support guy actually answering those issues? The only times I ever the active support is from indie game developers, everybody else either doesn't interact with the customers at all or only via generic copy&paste text snipes that completely fail to actually address the issue.

  • by Mike Frett ( 2811077 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:20AM (#43130319)

    Exactly. It was working just fine, and the pages were not slow and bulky. And when ads did appear, they were minimal and not intrusive. People say we should just let the banks fail and reboot, I think we should let websites whose pages are slow and bulky and have top bottom and sides filled with ads, just let them fail.

    User created content use to be king, now it's corporate garbage with shill reviews and web browsers that can't cope with all the shitty code and slowness. And when you searched from a Search engine, you actually found relevant results and not auto generated trash.

    This virtual world is in dire need of a reboot.

  • by lintux ( 125434 ) <`ten.tsaag.remliw' `ta' `todhsals'> on Sunday March 10, 2013 @09:54AM (#43130459) Homepage

    Yep, FlashBlock is all one needs.

    This is why I'm very afraid of HTML5 and don't actually WANT Flash to die at all. It eliminates one trivial way to filter unwanted Internet content.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:06AM (#43130529)

    >>> Then i realized exactly that without ads 3/4 of the internet would not exist

    and thats a bad thing? Id say 3/4 isnt enough, we need to cut more crap really. i remember the good old days, when there was NO ADDS!! yes, imagine that. so i say fuck em too :p

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:07AM (#43130537)

    Also annoying are the ones that try to trick you into clicking on the ads.

    5 different download buttons. And the correct one isn't a button, it's just an 8-point hyperlink.

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:19AM (#43130629) Homepage
    I think you miss something.
    The price paid for advertisements depends on the demography of the visitors to the site and the chances you can make some business from it.
    Would the site in question only allow quality advertisements that are palpable to it's public the chances of business coming forth increases dramatically and so does the price per click.

    Don't forget, it's all commercial and (should be) calculated for effectiveness.

    Besides, those running AdBlock are the least likely to click on an advertisement anyway, nothing lost.

  • by Zumbs ( 1241138 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:47AM (#43130799) Homepage
    I cannot answer for GP, but in Denmark this article [] (Danish, sorry) state that the super market chains use approximately 210 million Euro per year on dead-tree advertising alone (that is 40 Euro per Dane per year). On top of that, producers spend 600 million Euro per year to subsidize dead-tree advertising (some 115 Euro per year). For a family of four, that's an extra cost of 620 Euro per year for dead-tree advertising on goods from super markets alone. Add to that TV commercials and internet commercials. About 5 years ago, there was a survey (can't find a link) that stated that approximately 25% of what Danes paid for groceries were used to pay for advertising.
  • by Xarius ( 691264 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:49AM (#43130813) Homepage

    It's trivial to block HTML5 tags that show multimedia content and works pretty much the same way you'd block Flash wholesale--just drop all and tags (or whatever they are) using the same mechanism

  • by Myopic ( 18616 ) * on Sunday March 10, 2013 @11:10AM (#43130933)

    This company [] did it quite explicitly starting fifty-one years ago. There is a good chance you even have their product in your home right now. Is more than half a century long enough for you? Maybe it isn't. I always, always seek out that brand specifically because of their no-ad pledge.

  • Youtube Ads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sibko ( 1036168 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @11:11AM (#43130935)
    We've been doing renovations on the house here, so I recently moved in with my father for a couple weeks while getting everything done at home. I noticed that suddenly youtube seemed to have an incredible number of ads when I used his computer. I wasn't really sure what had happened, I assumed maybe there was something related to his google account that showed him more ads, or perhaps youtube had suddenly implemented a massive new ad campaign.

    Eventually, I realized, my dad's computer didn't have adblock, while mine did. The difference this made was staggering. I'd always assumed Youtube was just really gentle with their advertisements - I'd still get them, but they were quiet and relatively few. Without adblock, jesus, I couldn't believe what the site was like without adblock. It's nearly as bad as cable TV.

    The thing is, I happened to be building a new computer at the time and decided to forego the normal adblock install in chrome. That changed after about a week, youtube was a significant part of that decision, but there many many website that would pop-up shit on the screen that would block out all the other content and darken everything except the ad, or there'd be annoying little mini-videos strewn about the page, or they'd blare some noise loudly and randomly.

    Seriously, I don't mind ads. They pay for the content I enjoy, but this is too much.
  • by Myopic ( 18616 ) * on Sunday March 10, 2013 @11:18AM (#43130963)

    When I'm on a website to see a video, and I click on the video to watch it, if anything other than the video starts playing (I mean, if an advert starts playing) I think "Oh, huh, this website has some kind of bug in their system which causes the wrong video to play." I don't use buggy services, so I just go away from that website. Close the browser tab and leave, because the site reneged on the implicit promise of the hyperlink: click here to watch a video, but then the video doesn't play.

  • by SLi ( 132609 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @01:46PM (#43131941)

    I would like an ad-blocker that loads the ads and is otherwise undetectable for the site I'm reading, yet does not display the ads. If that were the norm, we probably wouldn't even be seeing this article, because the site in question wouldn't know which percentage of its users blocks ads and would only have to assume it's roughly the same as for every other site.

    This would strangle the most the parties that I loathe the most, i.e. the advertisers. The site would still get their cut for the viewed ads. Granted, it might slowly make web ads a less lucrative business for everybody as advertisers no longer sell anything, but at least it would transfer the harm from the sites I access, which seems backwards to what I want, to the entire web ad business. Yes, it would come with a small cost to me in wasted bandwidth, but I don't mind, especially not when on a good connection.

  • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @04:50PM (#43133017) Homepage

    You seem to be under the impression that we can get anything but "utterly vapid, worthless, contemptible corporate-sponsored garbage". Please open your eyes. You can pay for Pay TV, you'll still get ads. You can watch ads, you'll still get product placement and biased reporting.

    Er, yeah, I can. I live in the UK, I get the BBC.

    It's not perfect, but it's far from the aforementioned "utterly vapid, worthless, contemptible corporate-sponsored garbage".

    Obviously this doesn't apply to the US, where any attempt to apply a similar model would be doubtless be considered "socialist" anathema by the majority- but that's their (your?) choice.

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @05:12PM (#43133141) Homepage Journal

    Your mistake was making it available for free, asking for donations and not offering anything in exchange.

    I have two different experiences with voluntary payments, both very positive.

    One, I've been running an online game for 12 years now where you can donate and in return you get an in-game title and an additional character slot. Nothing that provides in-game benefits and it's mostly for vanity. But it is something. As you can check yourself because I am transparent with it all, players are donating a few hundred Euros every month and have been for years. []

    Two, I sold a toolkit / extension for the Unity 3D engine on a "pick your own price" model, where you could buy the same product for anywhere between $10 and $50. Only half the buyers choose the cheapest option. Again, I was honest and open about the why and how, including that the package is absolutely identical at all price levels, and that I choose that model because I understand that $50 is too much for a small hobby developer playing around for his own fun. I ended with "this tool will save you many hours of work, you decide what your hour is worth".

    People are willing to spend money. But they also want to get a value in return and they want to feel engaged. Allowing people a free download and then asking for a donation does neither. It gives them the value for nothing and doesn't make them participate in the process.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas