6 Reasons Why Ad Blocking Is a Short-Term Fad

Recently there has been an influx of people who want to use Ad Blockers. They are great tools, especially when the site is obnoxiously add-filled. Who hasn’t hit a site that had an annoying blinking ad. Or worse, an Ad that suddenly starts music and a loud video. Ugh. Nobody like this.

However, how effective will Ad Blockers be? They will reach peak usage sometime in early 2017 and then almost completely disappear from use by 2020. They will be nothing more than a passing fad.

  1. Ads fund the majority of the internet world
    Content is provided for free if you view the ads. Web site owners have started adding javascript code that refuses to show content if an Ad Blocker is installed. These aren’t just small sites. Very large and popular sites, including Forbes.com, are starting to do refuse to show their content.
    This isn’t out-of-the-box simple to do yet (only simple for a skilled JavaScript developer), but it is getting simpler. See #2.
  2. Countering ad blockers will soon be easy and ubiquitous
    WordPress runs 25% of the websites in the world. There are already Ad Blocker detectors plugin, such as the cleverly titled Ad Blocking Detector plugin. It won’t be long until a JavaScript library exists that is easy to use on custom web sites. One might argue that this will start an “arms race” between Ad Networks and Ad Blockers, where each side improves continually. But I see this as a short term Arms race. In this arms race, the money to be made is far greater on the side of the Ad Networks. Such an Arms race will be too costly for Ad Blockers, causing them to either close up shop or stop improving.
  3. Ads can be static or injected server side to appear static
    Ad Blockers won’t block static content. If they do, they will cross a line. Right now Ad blockers are blocking ads based on JavaScript. But what happens when the Ads change to be server side? The content appears static and inline.
  4. Most people don’t even know about block Ads
    So far, the majority of people don’t even know Ad Blockers exists. By the time knowledge of them has spread beyond your average “techie,” their effectiveness will be already countered. Ad Blockers already have a large user base, but compared to the Billions of internet users, their user base really hasn’t penetrated the market.
  5. Most people don’t care enough to install an Ad Blocker
    People are used to ads, and are already used to ignoring them. Some people even like that Google figures out what they like and shows them ads about it.
  6. The Ad Blockers are already no longer blocking all Ads
    The Ad Blockers are now white-listing certain ads. That means that the Ad Blockers are now in the game for money, not for you, because the Ad Blocker is free. So how are Ad Blockers going to make money? By allowing Ads. I know, it sounds crazy. Ad blockers are going to show you Ads to make money. This sounds like a good short term move. The plan is to make their money and get out because soon, by displaying ad, ad blockers are going to alienate their own users.

For all the reasons above, Ad Blockers won’t last long. They will soon lose their effectiveness, and be forgotten. One that happens, after Ad Blocker users get their next phone and next PC/Tablet/Hybrid, users probably won’t even remember to install an Ad Blocker again.

Ad Blockers Will Play an Important Role for Change

However, Ad Blockers will have played an important role. A role for change. So what about Ads are going to change?

  1. Ads Standards will Slightly Improve Ad Quality on Valid Sites
    Advertisers have been able to put out ads unchecked on the internet for almost two decades. Ad networks have risen up. However, the industry as a whole has done a poor job with ad quality.
  2. Ads Will Slightly Improve in Honestly on Valid Sites
    They have also done a poor job with ad honestly. Advertisers have gotten away with ads intended to trick and fool users. Ad blockers are already leading to Ad Networks creating more stringent rules.
  3. Ads Will Be Less Distracting on Valid Sites
    Nobody likes distracting, blinking ads. Some of these are even hard on the eyes. Such ads will no longer exist in the post Ad Blocker world.

Will Ad blockers ever go away?

No. They will always have a niche market, especially among “techies,” some of whom can even write their own ad blockers. But the market will be 1% or less. It might have a small impact and Ad Network’s bottom line, but long term, but not much.

Expect Google To Take Advantage

Google isn’t going to favor sites that use Google Ads over sites that don’t. However, Google could implement a standard of quality for Adsense ads. Then once the majority of ads have complied with those standards, then Google (the search engine) could suddenly include “Ad Quality” as a way to rank sites. Since sites using Adsense will already meet this quality, all sites using Adsense over another Ad network will be ranked higher. Google will profit hugely from this as 3rd party Ad Networks take years to adjust.


  1. […] previously discussed 6 Reasons Why Ad Blocking Is A Short Term Fad, even though I not against ad blocking. In this article, I discuss how soon, almost no site will […]

  2. marcelofcourse says:

    I have a valid question to those who complain about ad blockers.

    Q: Do you when sitting at home and watching TV, watch each and every commercial during a show? Be honest now!
    Or do you shamefully change the channel? Do you change the channel when you are driving and a commercial comes on the radio?

    A: OK, that was 3 questions. But...I bet you do. Don't you.

    Don't get up and use those commercial breaks as a time to get a snack, or use the bathroom. You should do that during the show so you don't miss the ads!
    Blocking ads is the web version of channel surfing during commercial breaks. Think about that. In essences it is no different than changing the channel from channel 6 to channel 10 and watching something else for a few min while there is a commercial on. Maybe TV's should be built with a channel changing 'lock out' that keeps you locked on a station during the break?

  3. me says:

    I like the idea. I can see where your coming from but, there is privoxy or using the hosts or even iptables to block the obnoxious. However, I am reminded of cloudflare that blocks if you are using tor. With a cloudflare captcha I deal with it by just visiting another site - same with sites like forbes, I am not bothered about missing anything on their site therefor they do not have me over a barrel willing to do anything to see their content. Its what makes me smile about businesses these days. The old adage that the customer comes/is first has gone. Its we are first. What are they thinking about?

    • Rhyous says:

      Forbes is just the example.

      But what happens when popular sites, like StackOverflow or slashdot, decide they are losing too much revenue in Ads and either has to:
      1. Close down
      2. Start forcing you to turn off Ad blockers

      What about all the bloggers? What happens when this becomes a standard WordPress plugin? The vast majority of sites in the world are WordPress. When they start requiring you to turn off your ad blocker, it is going to be extremely annoying to have to disabled ad blockers and refresh for every site you go to.

      That is why soon Ad blockers will be ineffective.

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