A lot of people like to use ad blockers for a variety of reasons. A faster Internet and an interruption-free experience are just two of those. However, these pieces of software are quite detrimental for those trying to make a living while blogging. And I, for one, refuse to use them.
I admit, I’ve come across a few sites that looked like the side of a Nascar vehicle – plastered with ads. However, those days are long gone…especially since Google puts so much effort into quality over quantity.
In fact, it’s been a long time since I’ve come across a site that was saturated with Adsense ads.
Is It Really that Helpful?
Ad blocker creators want you to think their software is a requirement for the Internet. You can’t fault them for that, though. Every business wants to be seen as the end-all-be-all in their industry.
But are ad blockers really worth the use and investment? Let’s take a look at the two points I mentioned earlier.
Ad Impact on Site Speed
True, ads on websites take up a bit of bandwidth to distribute. This is because the site has to call back to Google to retrieve the ad and then display it on the webpage.
However, it’s not always the advertisement that is taking the majority of processing power. In reality, the blogger could be at fault with overall development.
For example, there were a few blog submission sites I listed in the footer of WriterSanctuary.com. One of them swallowed nearly four times the bandwidth of Google Adsense. At which point, I removed it.
The truth is, Adsense doesn’t really take up a lot of bandwidth to operate. If you use it correctly, there is little impact as a whole.
Technology for the Internet has created the fastest iterations of it yet. Content delivery networks, streamlined management systems and overall Internet connection speeds are all part of that.
Just keep in mind how many other things impact site speed, and none of it you have any control over.
Ad Impact on User Experience
Like I mentioned, I’ve come across sites that were littered with ads to the point where I couldn’t read the content. The end result was going to a different website that was more clean. And this has more of an impact on traffic than ad blockers.
Because Google is trying to pull in the reigns of people trying to game the system, you don’t see as many of those sites as you used to. Between Google’s regulations and the growing number of competing websites, people are less likely to plaster ads all over their sites.
Personally, I’ll return to a site that is easy to read even if it has up to three ads on it. That’s because I am more focused on content. In many cases, the ads are more like white noise in the background. Sometimes an ad will catch my eye for something I might be interested in, though.
That’s its job.
Ad Blockers Look More Like Extortion
One of the biggest reasons why I don’t use ad blockers is because of the nefarious nature of some of them. For example, many companies pay AdBlock Plus to be whitelisted in their software. In other words, if you want ads to show, you need to pay the dough.
The definition of “Extortion” is: the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats. As AdBlock “forces” elements like Google and Amazon to pay for their “whitelisted” ads to show, sounds pretty close to extortion to me.
I know, that’s a pretty far reach. But are practices like this really that far from reality?
Why I Support Creators
I’m a fan of artisans in any form. I’ll spend the extra money for something that is well-crafted by hand or those who are using their skills to make my life better in some form. No, I’m not going to hang around a kale cart. However, I do appreciate the value in humanity.
Most websites you visit I bet are free to access. For instance, millions of people watch YouTube on a daily basis for their favorite creators. I know a lot of people who spend hours reading various blogs. You’re enriching your life by using these services yet pay nothing to the creator.
Everyone likes the idea of getting something for free, even if it’s information. When I watch people on Twitch, I am being entertained. Achievement Hunter on YouTube brings a smile to my face every day. But what about how those creators pay their own bills?
When something is free to you, it doesn’t mean that someone isn’t spending money to bring that content to the Internet. Time is money, and when a creator is taking time in the day to bring you something for free, that’s time he or she isn’t working a traditional job to pay the bills.
As programs like Adsense are a primary method for many of these people to be reimbursed for their time, I am comfortable having ads in my content.
Information I Use Regularly
My primary job requires a great deal of online research for various topics. Include the research I do for my own blogs, and I am constantly browsing. Every site I visit is a free outlet to me, and most provide information on a regular basis.
Another example is how I am entertained on a daily basis through YouTube videos and a few blogs I follow. This is all “free” for me to absorb, Most of these outlets don’t have subscription services or paywalls. The trade-off for a couple of ads is nothing compared to what the system could be like.
Since the mid 1990’s, I’ve learned a great deal of quality information from websites on the Internet. A few ads on a page is but a small contribution to support those who spend time putting it all together.
Avoiding a Paywall
For many creators, ads are one of the primary sources of income on a website. Otherwise, people would have to lock amazing content behind a paywall to be paid for their time. In fact, a lot of sites do just that.
What if regular ol’ YouTube had a subscription payment instead of free accessibility? Well, I doubt it would be as popular as it is now. And it would surely stifle creative growth for those who have gained celebrity status from the platform.
While it’s true that some creators put in the effort to capitalize on other venues, such as affiliate marketing, eCommerce and subscriptions like Patreon, not everyone does. Many probably don’t have the time to put into those platforms because they still work full-time jobs to make sure they have food in the fridge.
I Understand the Difficulty
It’s a dream of mine to blog or create videos full-time. Unfortunately, my sites just are not that popular. However, I still find it therapeutic and fun to maintain them. Unfortunately, a lot of talented people are stifled because they cannot make enough to justify blogging or YouTubing full-time.
I understand how difficult it is to break into the world of blogging or vlogging to pay the bills. This is especially true if you’re simply not cut out for it.
Because I know how hard it is to keep paying for a site hoping for it to generate revenue, I am happy to offer browser space for ads.
In my opinion, ad blockers do more harm than good for the general populace anyway. If someone isn’t making enough money on their site, they might move on to other methods of making money. Hence why I still work as a freelance writer.
It’s all about being profitable…in any industry. I would love to crack out WordPress tutorials and video reviews about how to make money online while writing. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time most days as I have to work to simply keep a roof over my head.
It’s Difficult to Maintain a Blog
A lot of people get the wrong idea that blogging is an easy way to make a living. Well, it can be if you’re able to generate enough traffic and find a viable method to monetize the site. Adsense and other platforms are just a stepping stone to building on that premise.
Sure, you can find a loophole or two to share ads on a website. It’s just sad that it has to come to that. Would you appreciate a third-party coming to your place of business and set up a paywall that stopped you from working unless your company paid extra money?
I don’t expect everyone to stop using ad blockers. I know a lot of people out there simply don’t care about the profitability of a website. Just keep in mind when you have ad blockers running, you’re taking money away from those creators who are trying to build something special.
Not everyone on the Internet is out to game the system.