Call 03332 207 677

Background

Ad Blocking and The Future of Online Advertising

Paid Search, Display Advertising 28th Oct 2015

(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)

Pills, buy them now. Weight loss, buy it now. Earn five grand a week now. These are examples of the annoying ads that everyone sees every day. They’re on sites you love. They’re on sites you’ve only visited for the first time. They’re everywhere.

Well, people started getting annoyed with them, and that’s why ad blockers were invented. So now, instead of going to your favourite site or one you’ve been to for the first time and seeing annoying ads pop up everywhere and jiggle about and do that kind of thing. “You’re our thousandth visitor today. You’ve won an iPad. Just click here.” You’ve not won an iPad. Everyone knows you haven’t won an iPad. But there it is anyway.

Ad blockers let you get rid of those now, and they’ve become pretty popular. It’s kind of a big deal now that Apple has introduced them on their mobile browser, because it means there’s a huge, extra big chunk of audience that’s not going to be able see ads on their mobile if they choose.

So what does that mean? Well, it means one thing for a start. It means that ads have been ridiculously, badly targeted for so long. All of these things here, they’re not of interest to me. They might be of interest to some people. The point is that the advertisers just sort of threw them against the website and let them land wherever they may and hope for the best.

The only times I ever click on these kind of things and most people I’m guessing is by accident, when I’m scrolling through something. That’s not just a waste of money for the person advertising. It’s kind of brain killing as well.

So I don’t see how this sort of stuff ever really worked. But hey, you know people are still doing it, and people are still annoyed by it. So they skip that kind of stuff on YouTube that isn’t really targeted. They’ll block everything else that they can with a content blocker.

Now it’s not really Google’s fault. I personally think that their search ads are really useful now. Stuff like PLAs and Google shopping is amazing. It’s really, genuinely useful. You can search for something. Find it straightaway. See what it looks like. Find prices and compare stuff. And even the search ads themselves, they’re actually useful. They serve a purpose. They can get you to the right location. They can get you to the right landing page like that, and that’s genuinely good stuff. So they’re kind of an innocent bystander in all of this, which is a shame because they’ve only just really gotten good.

So with all these ads stalking around, appearing everywhere, not really targeted, totally irrelevant to the site you’re on, it’s not really any wonder that people have decided to block them. But it doesn’t mean that the PPC is dead or anything like that. It doesn’t mean that at all.

All it means is it’s really time to start thinking about doing it right. You have to target the right people. You can’t just use your TV ad on YouTube any more, because people just hit the Skip button. It doesn’t translate. The attention span is too short. So you can’t have a 30 second ad on YouTube for a video that’s 15 seconds long or whatever. It’s just not fair. It’s annoying. People don’t get their point across quick enough. You’ve got to do that sort of thing when it comes to video ads. You really just have to bang. You just be there straightaway, and it’s done. Two seconds later no one bats an eye. No one is really phased by it.

But please, everyone, just start targeting your ads properly. Think about who you’re going for. Stop the scattergun approach. It just doesn’t work. If all your eggs are in the advertising basket, if you’re a publisher and you rely on your income from advertising, start thinking about other means, because if people start using ad blockers on scale, your whole income is all in one place. You can’t really have that.

Start thinking about apps. Start thinking about merchandise. Start thinking about other avenues that you can get your income from. Or be more sort of discerning. Be a bit more sort of strict on what kind of ads you want on there. Obviously, an advertiser will choose where their ads go for display. But be a little more sort of scrupulous with it and think about the kind of content that you have and the kind of people that are coming in. Just think about the audience a bit more. That’s all I’m really saying, because we’re kind of tired of all this stuff.

Another knock-on of ad blockers is content blocking in general. So JavaScript won’t fire with some of them, and that means that Google Analytics that it can be skewed. So just be wary of that as well. So if you start seeing a lot of traffic coming from unknown places or you just get naught set or none, I think it will just be flagged up as general direct traffic. That means that it could be from an ad block enabled browser as well.

So just be careful with this kind of stuff. But I guess the moral of the story is don’t ruin it. Don’t ruin it. Ads are still good. There’s still hope. There’s still life in the old dog yet. But just stop with this stuff. Stop chucking it in our faces. We’re done with it.

Thanks, guys. I am @Koozai_ali. You can find me on Twitter. Follow our other social media channels as well. Thanks. See you later.

Ali Moghadam
About the author

Ali Moghadam

As kooky as they come, Al even describes himself as weird. He’s in a band and has performed at many festivals and gigs in his time. And as the rock star he is you wouldn’t think he’d be afraid of moths… and butterflies.

results-bg

Understanding The Google Display Network and Remarketing

Your Free Whitepaper

36 pages of goodness

Display Remarketing Whitepaper Cover

What do you think?

Digital Ideas Monthly

Sign up now and get our free monthly email. It’s filled with our favourite pieces of the news from the industry, SEO, PPC, Social Media and more. And, don’t forget - it’s free, so why haven’t you signed up already?