The Damage Caused By Ad Blocking

March 9, 2010

I came across a quote today that I wanted to share with you. I’ll include some comments after the quote.

“There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won’t hurt a site financially. This is wrong. Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis. If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue. Because we are a technology site, we have a very large base of ad blockers. Imagine running a restaurant where 40 percent of the people who came and ate didn’t pay. In a way, that’s what ad blocking is doing to us. Just like a restaurant, we have to pay to staff, we have to pay for resources, and we have to pay when people consume those resources. The difference, of course, is that our visitors don’t pay us directly but indirectly by viewing advertising.”

“My argument is simple: blocking ads can be devastating to the sites you love. I am not making an argument that blocking ads is a form of stealing, or is immoral, or unethical, or makes someone the son of the devil. It can result in people losing their jobs, it can result in less content on any given site, and it definitely can affect the quality of content.”

Ken Fisher of Ars Technica says if you value the health of your favorite free sites, at least allow the ads to appear.

***

The Graphics Unleashed site is not nearly as large as Ars Technica, but all of the principles described in the quote certainly apply to us as well. Over the years I’ve found that the users who are most vocal about wanting us to do something on the site for free are also the users who will do everything possible to prevent us from earning revenue to keep the site alive and well. All I can ask is that you don’t use ad-blocking technology and support our advertisers if they provide a product or service of interest to you.

***

When CorelDRAW X5 was released, I told you about a way to save 10% by using the coupon code UNLEASHEDFEB. I was told the coupon would expire at the end of February. Guess what? It still works, though I’m not sure when it will stop working. I also made it quite clear that we earn a commission if you buy CorelDRAW X5 using our links. In exchange, I offered a special DVD to anyone who bought through our links and provided an address. Of those who requested the DVD, 5% did not buy through our links. I don’t think anyone was intentionally trying to avoid supporting us. I’m pretty sure that it was ad-blocking and cookie-blocking software that failed to give us credit for the sale. The reason I am telling you this is so you can see how the technology described in the quote can have a real effect. I will still send the disc to even the people who weren’t shown to have used our links. I will also send them a note and let them know their ordered wasn’t credited to us so that whatever is blocking it on their computer can be removed. If you did not already take advantage of the deal, I’ll make it available for the rest of the month of March. Buy CorelDRAW X5 through our links and then e-mail me your order number and the address where we should send the disc. Go ahead and use the coupon and you’ll save 10% on the order. For those awaiting the discs, I keep adding more and thus have not finalized the content. We plan to start sending the discs next week and we will send you an e-mail when it has shipped.

Thanks for reading this post. Supporting the sites that provide you with support is the only way that information can be brought to you for free. I definitely appreciate the support we’ve received over the years and look forward to having all our visitors do their small part to keep the site growing.

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