back to article Firefox-Google marriage on shaky ground?

Yes, Firefox reached a major milestone this week, surpassing 400 million downloads worldwide. But that's just the good news. There's another story swirling around the famously open source web browser - and it's a little less sunny. Last week, The New York York Times questioned whether the growing popularity of a Firefox …

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  1. Simon

    Adverts

    It may come as a surprise to some but with Adblock you do see some adverts. Most notably sponsored links at Google.

    As for sites blocking Adblock, let them, we'll just go somewhere else. If adverts were not everywhere people wouldn't mind the odd one, but often you go to read an article and there are three columns, one is links, menus, terms, conditions etc, one in the middle has the actual information and the third, often the biggest third is all adverts. Many people now email the printable link because all the crap is removed.

    We all used the fast forward button videos, we love the skip on PVR's, who is going to choose to see web adverts?

    Incidentally, I use Konqueror which has its own version of Adblock, so all those Kubuntu users will also miss the adverts! :-)

  2. Name

    hmm

    From the linked (blocked?) site

    "PopularTechnology.net—Why Adblock is bad for the "free" Internet

    Adblock effectively robs these free sites of their revenue. If Internet Explorer came with a feature such as Adblock, you would effectively wipe out thousands of websites, maybe more. These are the same free sites users of Adblock frequently visit. The irony is how this is self-defeating."

    An alternative interpretation is that Adblock stops these sites robbing advertisers of their cash.

    For a user that isn't going to look at site adverts and isn't going to click on them then who is ripping off who when I site gets revenue for serving them anyway?

  3. James dunston

    This is why i use a different adblock type thing...

    http://www.proxomitron.info/

    Been using it for years. :D

  4. Alan Donaly

    I wondered how long it would take

    I don't see any reason I should support advertising in my

    browser and if they wish to block me let them of course

    nothing stops them from putting the ads on site except

    the storage and some bandwidth actually it wouldn't be

    too hard to use a different protocol to make those files

    appear to come from your site adblocks days are probably

    numbered anyway.

  5. yeah, right.

    My monitor, my choice

    If they want to put advertising on my screen, they can do so in such a way as to make it non-intrusive. I don't WANT or NEED idiots screaming in my face through the use of jittery images, loud bangs, or huge, useless graphics drifting across my screen. I have no problem with small advertising around the edges of what I'm trying to read, or even embedded in the page, so long as the advertising isn't moving around or otherwise trying to grab my attention.

    I'll bloody shop when I bloody want to shop, not when some asshole marketer wants me to shop. I am not a walking wallet. I am not a portable revenue source. If I decide I need something I will go out and look for it, but I certainly won't get it from some idiot just because he or she happens to be shouting the loudest!

    It's the height of hypocrisy to claim that my not accepting their deceptive, intrusive advertising practices is "theft". Bullshit. The theft happened long ago, when these idiots decided that being loud and obnoxious was a replacement for being good.

  6. Michael Sheils

    Block AdBlock?

    Fine I'll use one of the several good alternatives, block those and a million others will take there place. Some people, myself included cannot stand to view ads either online or anywhere else and as long as we exist someone will make a product that fills that gap in the market.

  7. Ed

    "Shut it down easily"

    No, they can't shut it down easily.

    It's open source.

    Firefox is open source.

    If either block the other, then they'll just get forked which isn't in Mozilla's interest (nor particularly Google's, if that's less people being directed to their site).

    Plus it'd be bad PR for everyone involved.

  8. Tom

    They should ask why do people install addblockers.

    When crap like "punch the monkey", the X10 ads, flash ads that flash/dance and even sing started showing up what did they expect to happen? And it's not like there are no ad blockers for IE or even something as simple as a hosts file. If a site blocks adblock people will just use something else to block ads, or go to a different site.

    I don't block all ads, but if an ad server gives me a flashing ad, or one that makes noise, or one of the crap fake error message ads "your computer may be infected, click here for a free scan..." the server will be blacklisted. Sites that have a no crap ads policy still get to display ads on my system.

  9. Walter Brown

    the part i dont understand

    Why are these webmasters so worried about the people who use adblock or adblock plus (i am one of them), if we dont want to see these adds in the first place, what in the name of christ (allah, zeus, or whom ever you bow to) makes these webmasters think we're going to buy anything printed in these banner ads.

    These mentally defective webmasters dont seem to realize how badly they are shooting themselves in the foot. more powerful than any advertising medium in this world, is word of mouth advertising, people trust real life recommendations from people they know. likewise they will steer well clear of companies and or products based on a bad word of mouth review.

    if these card carrying members of the webmasters retardation-nation think this is good for business, they're just plain wrong, they've got a snowballs chance in hell that i'm going to buy something from an ad i see on their site after being forced to view ads i didnt want to see in the first place.

    what i will give them, for their efforts, is, a wretched word of mouth review to anyone and everyone who asks me about a product or service they deliver. the fact that i'm an independent consultant who's opinion is trusted by the people around me, might actually have a chance at returning the favor upon these scholars of the mentally deficient arts.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who clicks on adverts anyway?

    Hands up please, who genuinely clicks on adverts they see on random websites? Some sites claim 2-3% click through, do you even click a link on 1 in 100 sites which display adverts?

    My own personal opinion is that the entire market for online advertising is yet another bubble. The prices which Google charges for the most popular keywords is rather expensive.

    Site operators need to accept advert blocking users in a similar way to people skipping adverts in newspapers and on TV. These users might not bring in as much revenue as some idiot who clicks an advert, but they still might bring extra users to the site by word of mouth. Those additional users may bring in revenue, where as the first user doesn't.

    Be grateful you get any revenue at all.

  11. Jach

    Really stupid reasoning...

    If I turn off the t.v. when commercials come on during Simpsons, is Fox going to block me? I think internet users have the right to turn off the ads; besides, it's not like I would click on one anyway (okay, maybe I used to play those flash things like Hit the Monkey when I was bored, but Firefox blocked the popup window that came after so it was harmless for me).

    Besides, there are several ad blocking programs for IE, and many people use them.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ads race

    Danny Carlton seems to forget about the give and take associated with ads on sites. When web sites plaster too many ads and ads that are too distracting (blinking, moving, popups, etc.) that their content is dwarfed in comparison or difficult to use, users will either stop coming or seek ways to circumvent the ads. Advertisers started and continue to propagate the "ads race" with their flash monkeys and animated gifs. Ad blocking is a natural escalation from the other side.

    Advertisers such as Google and DoubleClick should start policing their own ads. I'll suggest they even tag their own ads such that filters *can* block unacceptable ads (blinking, moving, etc.) and allow acceptable ads (static images). Mr. Carlton should quit blaming users and their natural response and push the advertisers for a solution.

    Doug

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the words of the great philosopher...

    Nelson: "Ha-HA"

  14. Michael T. Richter

    There's lots of reasons....

    There's lots of reasons to avoid ads on web sites. In response to some sanctimonious lecturing at http://www.linuxhowtos.org/News%20Archive/adblocker.htm I fired off an email that outlined many of these reasons. In summary, the reasons I have for avoiding ads are:

    1. They waste time since invariably the actual content I'm interested in is loaded *LAST* on the page. So I wait for extended periods of time for images, scripts and flash animations to load from overloaded servers before the content I'm looking for pops up in an instant. If the content at least came up before the ads I'd not be so pissed about it.

    2. Many (most?) ads these days are served up via JavaScript or Flash. I have JavaScript turned off for security purposes, selectively turning on JavaScript (and almost never Flash) for sites I trust. I will not reduce my security just because some f***-up wants to throw pictures of animated monkeys at me.

    3. Taste issues. I don't like blinking text or images. I REALLY hate full-motion ads that use Flash, etc. to throw images up all over my computer in a desperate bid to get attention.

    When webmasters can serve up ads that don't suck up my time and bandwidth on stuff I'm not even looking at, that don't open my system to security holes a mile wide and that don't give me a headache as I try (often in vain) to find the actual content in between the garish, flashing, moving images, then maybe I'll turn off my adblocker. Until then they can go f*** themselves.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really funny...

    I have AdBlock Plus installed. I also have NoScript installed to block scripts everywhere but for where I allow. The really funny thing is that Danny Carlton uses JavaScript to block AdBlock users, and then to keep people from turning off JavaScript to see his site anyway, he blocks everyone that has JavaScript turned off, too. Let's just throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    BTW, here is his source code:

    <script>

    if(document.all){ci= new Array(1,2);}

    else{ci=Components.interfaces;}

    if("nsIAdblockPlus" in ci){

    document.write('ad block detected');

    var bod = document.getElementsByTagName("html");

    bod[0].innerHTML = '<p align="center"><font face="Century Gothic"><b>This page cannot be displayed because ad blocking software has been detected.</b></font></p>';

    }

    </script>

    To get his site anyway, turn off JavaScript and then hit the "stop" button on your browser toolbar after the page loads but before it redirects to his nojs.html.

  16. Mark

    A matter of choice

    The attitude of Danny Carlton to site visitors who use ABP reminds me of an indignant letter to Macuser last year, shortly after the London Macexpo. The writer was an exhibitor at the show and complained angrily that Macexpo visitors weren't interested in his sales pitch and some were even "rude" after he pressed the point. His bottom line was that, having paid "good money" for a stand at the show, he had a "right to expect" punters to listen to the sales spiel. If thats the idiotic pact Carlton expects his visitors to sign up to, he may as well charge for admission - or perhaps his "original" content isn't really that compelling.

    I run several websites that have ads AND I use ABP, and I don't have any issues with anyone else using it. Someone who actively goes out of their way to block ads is unlikely to click on them were they visible, so why bother forcing them to see them whether they like it or not? The additional costs are negligible in any case. Around 25-30% of visitors to my sites block the ads; around 3% of the rest click on something, so they must think something useful is on the other end.

    My own ABP rules allow Google ads, on the basis they are not especially intrusive and can occasionally be more useful than search listings if I'm looking to buy something. The same can't be said for most other ad vendors, and prior to using an adblocker, I just avoided gaudy, headache inducing sites like CNN etc - shoving it in my face is the best way to get me NOT to click. The web is a saner place with ABP.

  17. Neil Smith

    Missing the point

    Perhaps instead of an Ad-Blocker perhaps what we really need is to ban Animated Flash adverts, especially the ones that expand across the page when you roll past them...

  18. Thomas Jolliffe

    Interesting how...

    ...so many simply do not understand the way in which adverts work on the internet. You have a choice? Why? You're visiting the website, they're putting adverts on (in many cases as their only form of revenue), so what gives you the 'right' to decide?

    I agree that some of the flash ones are a problem - especially ones with sound, or which expand over half the page and are nigh-on impossible to close. But there's a reason that they're there - they bring in the most cash. If a company is providing a free service, funded by adverts, the choice of the user should be whether to use the service, not whether to display the revenue stream or not.

    People have gone on about 'Well, I wouldn't buy anything from an advert anyway', showing sheer ignorance into the ways of the advertising world. It's not all about click-through rates, much of the revenue from advertising comes from sheer exposure.

    I've intentionally not used AdBlock because, as a webmaster myself, I'm aware of how much benefit advertising can bring to people like me. Does that mean I support intrusive adverts? No. But equally if the adverts are too much of a problem, I won't use the site. Simple.

  19. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    No story here

    This is just idle speculation with no substance: parroting one inconclusive story; no response from Google and citing one webmaster who has something to say.

    Given that El Reg itself is funded by advertising we should hope to have a slightly more informed opinion: you will know how many of us are blocking what forms of advertising and to act accordingly if revenue was being severely threatened. Cade, I don't mind you repeatedly bashing Apple's PR machine but it would be nice to see some real journalism from you once in a while.

    And remember everyone: it's not just about which adverts you click on, possibly of even greater interest to the marketing machines will be the profile they can make of you through their supercookies.

  20. Dave Hart

    Ad blocking

    I use firefox, but don't use adblock plus, I DO however use a flash blocker where I have to click the control to activate it.

    I have absolutely no issue with most ads, even placing ads of our company on sites and signing up with banner companies.

    I do, however, despise advertisers that are so self-obsessed they believe their content should mask the main content of the page. I also find it amazing that site owners will LET that happen.

    1. Keep banner ads - they keep a revenue stream which is important to many companies

    2. Remove the so-called 'crap-ads'. This can only serve to prune the saturated internet of a lot of low quality providers. if you're savvy enough to understand your customer you'll be savvy enough to know how to target the advertising.

    I was also interested to note that the Danny Carlton page is using some web search optimisation tricks... This seems slightly hypocritical - I see it as 'I'll accuse ABP users of creating an uneven marketplace but I'll also use all the tricks to ensure an essentially information-free page gets coverage.". If you want to provide information - do it properly - don't provide it in off-white text after the end of the natural page content. Likewise, if you're not interested in providing information to support your argument - don't use the optimisation tricks just to promote yourself.

    Incidentally some of the links he provided there were quite interesting.

  21. Steve Kelly

    google ads

    Umm, google don't have much to worry about, from what i've seen most of their ad's are text based and are embedded within the code... i.e we can't block them because they are part of the page.

    unless adblock becomes VERY smart and starts to figure out what html are ad's google is safe and will only benifit from other ad companies loses... so seems its win win

  22. Daniel

    Small correction

    Carlton has not successfully blocked users of adblock, he has just blanket-banned all users of Firefox. he makes no attempt to determine whether adblock is installed - nor, indeed, any of the alternative adblocking software available for Internet Explorer, Opera and Camino. He has simply banned users of a browser, on the basis that that browser can have a feature installed on it, regardless of the fact that any other bvrowser can have similar features installed.

    Carlton is, effectively saying Mozilla users are more likely to be intelligent enough to install such a feature - so he's banning all Mozilla users, on suspicion of being intelligent. All other web users are allowed in, on the basis that theya re stupid enough to be allowed to read his content (much of which is right-wing, christian-fundementalist, anti-abortion, homophobic hate-rage, anyway).

  23. Mary

    click throughs

    a 2-3% click-through rate is not the same as 2-3% interested customers. The trackpad on my laptop has been playing up a bit lately and I must have accidentally clicked about 50 adverts this week already, mostly ones positioned just under my Bookmarks. None of the adverts were anything I was interested in.

  24. Rosco

    Imagine

    Everyone posting comments here keeps neatly ignoring the issue of who is going to pay for websites if not advertisers. I'm as selfish as the next man and I use ABP with wild abandon but if everyone was using it (and it seems to be heading that way), the advertisers will move away and most decent websites would have to charge a subscription. That includes our beloved El Reg.

    The same may well happen with TV. PVRs allow people to skip ads and the advertisers are already getting tetchy; the next step could be boxes that automatically skip ads (the exact equivalent of ABP). What would happen? The money would drop out of commercial TV and if you think TV is bad now, wait until we're reduced to the BBC's handful of 'entertainment'. Eeeek.

  25. John Bayly

    Flashblock

    I never used Adblock, but I do use the Flashblock plugin for Firefox. All it shows is a placeholder for the flash content, and I can click on it if I really want to watch it.

    Of course, I've allowed certain sites that require flash (americascup.com), but it's made my browsing experience a lot better.

    However, if I find the content on a free site really helpful I do occasionally click on a random ad to give the webmaster some revenue.

  26. John Bayly

    And I forgot ...

    Surely you could use greasemonkey alongside Adblock to disable Danny Carlton's script. Or will he have to start blocking that too?

  27. abigsmurf

    courtesy

    As someone who built and runs a leading website on a niche subject matter and has written enough content to fill a lengthy novel I would like to think that readers would reciprocate my efforts by at least letting my non-invasive ads show. It doesn't bother me too much if they don't as my site isn't meant to be profitable and ad revenue only serves as an emergency fund in case I get into difficulties.

    I do feel it's rude though to block ads for non-commercial sites whose owners often struggle for cash. Not all ads are those irritating unclosable spyware doctor ads and most webmasters avoid placing ads in a way that interferes with content

  28. Matthew Flint

    Blocking visitors?

    Wow, so "Oklahoma-based web developer Danny Carlton has succeeded in rejecting any user who visits his sites with AdBlock Plus installed."

    He should realise that web-users aren't a patient bunch. If the average web user isn't granted access to Carlton's website, then they'll go somewhere else and not give it a second thought.

    Seems like rather a stupid approach to website development.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ready to throw up

    What Danny Carlton is saying in effect is that he has some kind of inalienable right to make money from my web surfing. If Internet advertisers hadn't become so pernicious, greedy and intrusive there wouldn't be a problem. Now pages are about 90% crappy adverts and about 10% content subverting the entire point. Like someone else said blocking Adblock is absolutely pointless because it'll just keep getting rewritten and modified to stay ahead of advertisers. At an even more basic level I keep loads of ad farms in my hosts file so they don't even get resolved at all. Anyone I know is absolutely fed up with web advertising which is little more than a virus or parasite.

  30. IanKRolfe

    Adblock considered beneficial

    I would have thought that people using adverts on their site would be glad about adblock. After all, the people using adblock are the ones that find the adverts irritating - therefore, they are not annoying those people, who may then buy from them despite their adverts.

    I don't have any problem with sites blocking people using adblock. If they want to do that, then I'll just not use their site. There are very rarely any sites that are truely so unique that the information they contain is that valuable. And if I'm that bothered and I just must see the page, I can always temporarily disable adblock while I look at their site.

    I wish marketting types would pull their head out of their backsides and realise that not everyone is addicted to product promotions and that their job is not the most important in the world - if it is necessary at all. The truth is, if a product is any good at all, then it will make it's own market with the minimum of promotion. The only products that need saturation advertising are the ones that are not that good or notable in the first place. Which is why I dont in general buy products that are over-promoted like Cillit Bang, or that damn crazy frog.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Register too

    Sorry, but I've blocked all of those slow to load and distracting flash adverts on The Register too, otherwise I'd be less inclined to read the site. Google text ads still accepted though.

  32. Rob Farnell

    If there is any ring of truth in this

    then there is an element of hypocrisy when it comes to Google and advertising. I'm sure people will recall when they released a pop-up blocker for "all those annoying adverts" for Internet Explorer: http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/topic.py?topic=116

    I agree with By, yeah right. when it comes to shopping or browsing I will look when I want to look. I've been on the net for 12 years now and I don't remember buying anything just because an advert popped in my face. Granted I would occasionally click on an advert to see what it was, but it certainly wasn't flashing and making sounds apart from some of these new youtube esque ones that have started to appear.

    I'm sitting on the fence on this one because from the webmaster's perspective, someone has to pay for the bandwidth and the hosting and if you don't want to charge the visitors to view the quality of the content you have what choice do you have but to succumb to advertisers. Some have gone down the donation route, but from my experience it is very hit and miss.

    Maybe if Adblocker Plus made it easier to select what type of adverts you are willing to see rather than turning it on and off then it would be a much more market friendly product so that we still receive a portion of the adverts for each visit to a site.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its My choice

    I've got adblock plus installed - If I want to view ads then that is up to me. For sites that I know are non-commercial that I visit regularily I tend to have it turned on and if an advert interests me then I'll click through and people get paid and people are happy.

    Some "commercial" sites, like here, I allow ads from as they are not overwhelming and as I'm a regular visitor and find the site useful then it seems sensible.

    Other sites that, as other people have said, force huge flash ads down your throat and actually have so many ads that the content isn't very obvious get Adblock turned on after the first page hit.

    I've always looked on GoogleAds as a way of recouping some of the costs of running a site - not as a real revenue earner.

    As for Carlton's statement that "It comes down to whether they're going to be like adults and support the concept of freedom, allowing site owners to block AdBlock users".. what a load of bollocks. Who is the person who is crying like a baby - whining that Adblock plus is depriving him of his rightful money... clue... its not us.

    Wake up Carlton : it's a free world and no-one owes you a living : grow up and stop being such an moronic little twat.

  34. lucmars

    Google is not the advertiser

    So, it won't bother FF or anyone else since it just sales the places and it hasn't any obligation to be successfull like any TV channel or magazine which sale their places to the advertisers.

    IT enable a lot of possibilities, but this isn't a reason to enable a right.

  35. Gavin Park Weir

    Target Adverts

    It seems to me that web site owners are complaining to the wrong audience. If the advertisers were putting out acceptable adverts then we would not need ABP. Problem solved.

    Also the general user population of the internet has no particular head or structure. I'm sure that ABP could be shut down but that would really piss all the users off who would go even further to avoid the adds ultimately having a negative effect.

    On the advertising side you have a nicely organised group with good lines of communications. Why not complain to them and get them to change. Fighting a battle with the who internet community is not something website owners are going to win.

    Gav

  36. Colin Speirs

    If this work machine had Firefox with ABP

    Then El Reg would be a nicer place, just like it is at home

  37. Glenn Gilbert

    Arms race for idiots

    Some time ago popup ads were all the rage amongst idiot marketeers (as opposed to the more astute ones). This so irritated people that even Microsoft implemented a popup blocker in IE6 (XPsp2). I wonder if Danny Carlton whinged then.

    It would be interesting to see if Carlton's site uses any Google 'tricks' to attempt to get his site up the rankings. I wonder if he whinges when Google changes its algorithms and his site's drop down the rankings.

    But I shan't be accessing his website to find out as there's no reason to further his 15mins of fame - I cannot believe that he's stupid enough to think that people won't use adblock et al just because he doesn't like it. He must be using this as a PR stunt.

    If your ads are 'quiet' and non-intrusive, I'm happy to see them on a site. If the ads are distracting or overpowering, I'll adblock them. If I can't see the site afterwards, I'll leave. You loose.

    Adblock; it's the web like it was in 1995.

  38. Konstantinos

    ROFLMAO

    if any site of my interest tries to block firefox i ll just erase it from my bookmarks, my memory and from my know INTERNETS!

    Heck i ll even block it through my firewall.

    Blocking the fox is too cocky foo!

  39. Robert Hirst

    contented

    As far as I see it the majority of the ads aren't being served from the website in question, so why shouldn't I block them? If they in-line ads with their content (NOT by inlining JS to load from a third party) what are my chances of blocking it without missing out on the "premium content"? Pretty much zero, with a modicum of common sense on the part of the webmaster (e.g. don't serve images named adbanner.jpg).

    Quite frankly I welcome efforts to try and stop blocking because it will let me know straight away which websites solely exist to try and get rich from me viewing them whether I find the content useful or not.... and avoid them like the plague.

    In fact, let's hope this one gets taken to the extreme. Oh how I will chuckle the day I mistype an url and end up on a cybersquatters page, only to be told that I am stealing their premium content and I must enable Javascript and stop using Firefox so that I can see their valuable and carefully compiled list of links to dodgy websites.

  40. Dave

    Obnoxious Ads

    The Reg is not exactly innocent when it comes to in-your-face ads - I find the site far more readable without things moving and flickering on the page, it's just a cleaner presentation with that sort of advert blocked. The blocker I use does appear to take out Google ads as well, it does mean I miss the gems such as nuclear power stations for sale on eBay, but I can live without them to avoid the rest. There are definitely sites out there that are unreadable due to the amount of distracting ads - either I block the ads or I don't go there again - either way there's no revenue for anyone.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moving adverts

    I don't mind adverts until they start moving. I've recently installed my first Mac adblocker purely because of the moving adverts on this site. It got to the stage where I had to hold my hand over the screen to read the article.

  42. The Mighty Spang

    we need a "reasonable advertiser network"

    I'd be quite happy view any static adverts, hell occasionally they have been useful, alerting me to new products i didn't know about.

    but animated ads, ads with noise, ads that float in on top of the content, i've had enough and installed ABP. If all the sites I use block ABP and any other blocker (probably technically impossible) you know what? I'll just go back to reading newspapers and books.

    The fact all those "click here and win a free ipod" type ads are STILL going just shows you the world is full of fucking morons. I think education in this country should have a whole year of writing down "if it seems to good to be true, it probably is" 8 hours a day and hopefully it might stick in their heads.

  43. Anton Ivanov

    How typical

    What Mr Danny Carlton forgets is that the freedom of speech includes and implies the FREEDOM NOT TO LISTEN!!!

    Quite typical actually, many people especially in some well known "pro-free speech" countries forget this minor and "insignificant" detail.

    As far as Danny Carlton's lame snippet of code is concerned it will take 2 minutes to modify adblock to be undetectable. Just renaming it to "IdiotBlockPlus" and rebuilding so it registers under a different name should do the job straight away.

    As far as the main contents of the article are concerned Google has so far shown that it understands the "FREEDOM NOT TO LISTEN" principle and has based its model on that. Unless it changes its entire advertising model I do not see it doing anything about adblock anytime soon.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why I Block The Adverts

    I use ABP at home because I cannot get access to a high speed net connection. I am stuck using a modem (56K) for now. Some of these sites put so many adverts onto their pages that it becomes a major pain to load the page I clicked on.

    As an example, recently I visited one site where on their front page they had a 2.5MB flash half-screen advert with music. This is becoming more of a problem for me because a lot of sites appear to be of the opinion that everyone has a high speed connection.

  45. Andy S

    maybe the advertisers should consider

    If 400,000 people are downloading this a month, then perhaps it should be a hint to the avertisers that these people don't want their ads, infact they find them so annoying and intrusive that they have actively sought out a means to get rid of them.

    as an example, at home i use firefox with adblocker to view el reg. The pages open almost instantly and the stories/comments aren't broken up by the adds stuck in the middle of them. I do however see the nice discreete google ads, which i don't mind.

    At work however where, in the name of security, i am forced to use ie6 (boggles the mind), pages take far longer to load as they load all of the adverts, stop to display them for a bit and then continue on to load the story full of animated flash ads in the middle of the pages.

    Overall using adblocker i have a much faster, and cleaner, browsing experience, it doesn't block all ads, just ads that are intrusive or annoying, as well as anything from ad companies that are borderline spyware (doubleclick i'm looking at you) If i go to a site, and the ads from that site interrupt my browsing, ie in the main body of a page. i add those to my blacklist too and the ads are neatly trimmed out as if they were never there.

  46. Steve Evans

    I <heart> Adblock!

    As a long time Firefox and Adblock user on various platforms, I never cease to be amazed at just how messy most webpages are when viewed with their ads intact.

    Usually this is when I'm fixing someone elses IE only PC, which is often closely followed by a Firefox download, a quick Adblock and a cry of "Wow" from the PC owner.

    Don't get me wrong, free websites are good, and for that there is obviously a price to be paid somehow, but does that mean I have to try and read a review in a 300 pixel wide window surrounded by bouncing ducks and other annoying animations? I'm there to read the review, not suffer an epileptic fit! If I didn't have Adblock, I'd be off of that site as quick as I could press backspace.

    I know I'm going to sound just like my father here (not that he knows how to use a mouse), but in the good old days you might have the occasional letterbox animated gif at the top or bottom of the screen, but since the spread of the flash infection and syndication style sheets, the whole standard advert size and placement has gone out of the window, now you have squares and rectangles of every size all over the page. You even get adverts that appear over the text you are trying to read and get in the way! Possibly the most annoying ones being those automatic text sensing ones, which initially look like they might show a dictionary definition of a word, but actually just send you off to a back alley version of froogle!

    One day when you're really bored, load up a page with, and without the ads (don't forget to flush the cache). Have a look at the bandwidth you use for each. Ads are sometimes over 80% of the total page download size! With some of the cut price ISPs having a 2gig a month limit, blocking this kind of bandwidth abuse starts to become a necessity!

  47. Malcolm

    Bad ads

    I appreciate 'free' content and therefore understand the need for advertising, however like American television, some content and advert providers seem to forget that advertising can be included without utterly interfering with actually reading the page content. Primary irritants in my book are

    1) Those intellitxt green links that pop up and block what you were actually trying to read.

    2) Popup flash ads. Especially those that are position relative to the window rather than the content so follow you around and block what you were trying to read (see a common theme here). These ads also seem to take great glee in making the close button almost invisible.

    3) Badly written flash ads that hog the processor to such an extent that firefox stops responding to user input. Arguably a firefox issue, but a recent example was an advert for the game Stuntman: Ignition on Eurogamer.net: Somehow it was playing a video in such a way that it absorbed 100% CPU power and utterly crippled Eurogamer's video playback applet and caused most of firefox to become utterly unresponsive (this was on a fairly meaty dual core box too). Other recent adverts with similar video content manage to display without any of these side effects so clearly the advert creator is at fault.

    As such I have ABP installed but use it selectively, whenever advertising crosses the boundary from reasonable to intrusive as above. If advertisers and website creators gave more consideration to how damaging excessive and inappropriate advertising could be then ABP usage probably wouldn't be an issue.

  48. M

    F* them...

    ...the advert can f* off! As I don't want to read them never mind clicking on such crapware!

  49. N1AK

    Bunch of greedy fecks

    I'm a web user not content provider (mostly) and I really can't see why people think that somehow it is unfair for someone to want some ad revenue for the content they provide.

    I understand the dislike of flashing intrusive adverts, I can't stand them and I agree with almost everyone here that 99.9% of adverts are of no interest to me. How ever content providers should be allowed to return an income if their work is sufficiently popular, and adverts are one of the best ways for them to do this.

    Make your view known by not using sites with advertising you find offputting, and take your page views to a site that you prefer.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advertising revenues != good publicity

    I wonder what would happen if, instead of dumping millions of (insert curency unit here) on advertising a "new" (read slightly modified) product to the masses, manufacturers would instead spend that money on R and D, creating genuinely new products that can be sent for independant review.

    I for one never click on ads for even interesting looking products. I wait for them to be reviewed by an independant reviewer I trust. Preferably several. I would never buy an Ironkey based on a flash-ad but after reading a Reg review for example I would probably consider it. This strategy should as easily apply to washing powder as it does to TFT monitors.

  51. A. Lewis

    Missing the point?

    A few commentators here, like some on the myriad other articles about this issue I've read recently, seem to be missing the point.

    Advertising, be it on a web page, in a magazine, or on television, is not just about making people buy something (or in the case of online advertising making people click through) It's about audience and impressions and it's about brand identity.

    In the middle of this article there is an advert for IBM servers. It isn't obnoxious or intrusive, so I haven't blocked it, and barely noticed it as I read through. However it's still there, and the ad serving software will have clicked up another impression when I browsed the page. I barely even looked at it, but El Reg will have got paid a miniscule amount towards the bandwidth they use in serving me the page, in that they can charge more for the ad because they have more impressions. This is the point about audience, people who block every ad decrease the audience of that ad, and advertisers pay less for a smaller audience. This is also the reason the comparisons made between online and TV advertising are flawed. TV advertisers pay based on the audience of the show, and have no way of knowing how many of that audience flicked channels or turned off the TV while the adverts were on, online advertisers know exactly how many times the ad has been served.

    The other point is about brand identity. As I've said (probably too much) I didn't take a lot of notice of the ad on the article, but I still took in that it was an IBM server ad. People have said in reply to this article "I don't buy things from ads anyway" but that's not strictly true. Studies have shown that one of the main uses of advertising is to increase brand awareness. Imagine I am charged with buying a load of new servers this afternoon (which isn't normally my job), as the aforementioned people pointed out, I will go and do the research myself. But where will I start looking? What out of the range of products will I choose? The answer is that I will go for brands I know. Of course I won't buy something just because it's been advertised, but in a choice between an IBM and a server made by "Bob's Honest Server Co" I will go for the brand I know. This is the other benefit to the advertiser that we are blocking by removing ads.

    I'm not advocating either side of this argument, I think both views have their merits, however I think you should be aware of all arguments before you decide whether or not it's wrong to blanket-block online adverts.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do most of my web browsing with Lynx

    So I don't have many problems with adverts.

    When I'm using Mozilla, if a moving image annoys me, I block all images from that site. Static images don't annoy me as I hardly even notice them; my brain filters them out. If web site owners make money out of me downloading them, good for them, but I don't think the advertisers are getting a good deal out of it in my case.

    In general, I reckon the world (including advertisers) would be better off if people who are not interested in adverts didn't download them. Intelligent advertisers would probably agree.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Annoying ads

    The reason for the existance of ABP is the rise in the most annyoing ad ever: the page wide, unclosable, sound generating, movie-like flash ad. I resent that. I am glad I got rid of the "squash the monkey" and other similar ads. Yes, I have seen those. I don't really mind the text-based ads by Google.

    The more obnoxious the ads get, the more I start filtering. And as usual, the good suffer because of the bad... (how the f*** does one translate that from Dutch to English?? :))

    Oh, and one more thing I filter with ABP is the stat tracking scripts and other privacy related scripts. They collect just a bit too much information...

  54. Ivor

    Ads?

    What are all these web ads people are talking about? :)

  55. Jonathan Samuels

    Why do people expect to be able to access a web site for free

    I think too many people these days expect things in life to be free, the internet as a commercial entity only really exists due to advertising and you can hardly blame people for trying to protect their revenue

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's wrong with the death of advertiing?

    I think the news of the death of advertising is greatly exaggerated :)

    However I dream of a world without adverts where products would again to chosen according to quality rather than marketing campaigns.

    I suppose I am a bit of a commie.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Annoying

    I agree with the previous posters - the reason why ad blockers are necessary is that the ads are so intrusive in the first place. I have adblock on my home PC (alas, not my work one) because the ads that appear are so annoying. If they're not appearing in front of the content I'm trying to read or jumping around the screen because my mouse pointer is mistakenly in the place to activate a rollover function, they're making stupid noises over the top of the music I'm trying to listen to.

    The people complaining about adblocker need to sort out the problems that make people install the extension to begin with, otherwise people just will find other ways to remove them.

  58. Gabor Laszlo

    Blacklist

    Not only am I using ABP, but also NoScript (which completely cancels Carltons feeble efforts) and FoxyProxy. The latter has pattern-based proxy selection, and I set up a Black Hole proxy which I feed patterns of adfarms and snooping sites (doubleclick, statcounter, sitemeter, clickaider, blogads, etc) so they don't even resolve - it's easier than constantly messing with the hosts file. The default proxy is JAP [http://www.jondos.de/en/].

    Call me paranoid, but I feel less threatened by the nets this way. It's basic computer hygiene as far as I'm concerned. Like showering after going for a swim in the East River.

  59. Keith Turner

    To block or not to block

    A.Lewis "In the middle of this article there is an advert for IBM servers. It isn't obnoxious or intrusive, so I haven't blocked it, and barely noticed it as I read through."

    Never saw it -- can't even see an Adblock tab to indicate there was something there. Many news items are broken up and the reading interrupted by ads. Blocking ads has greatly improved my online news reading. Occasionally I will need to see pop-ups and other stuff that is blocked but it's hardly a long, drawn out exercise.

    ITV4 and Sky3 have so many crap adverts it makes watching the occasional programme a pain so the channels don't get watched much. Most net adverts are on par with those crap ads and I don't want to see them. If I did I could always buy/steal a copy of the Daily Mail or similar for those essential items that no-one really needs.

    If I want to go shopping, I go shopping.

    Who really needs the equivalent of QVC in their face all the time?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ads are required

    Otherwise you can't enjoy reading a story about copyright infringement, surrounded by Google ads for 'Down Load Films for FREE!' web sites, and DVD ripping software.

  61. Gabor Laszlo

    Revenue

    And before you jump on me for snatching the bread from the poor free content websites, I DONATE. It's this thing you can do where you support the sites you think are worth it directly, without feeding the ads industry.

  62. Steve Bush

    Its my computer I block who I like - Your server you block who you like

    Lovely internet removes all the manipulations

  63. AndyB

    RE:Why do people expect to be able to access a web site for free

    They don't. Or at least I don't. I'm quite happy with adverts that are relatively unobtrusive and don't fill up half the page or obscure the content I'm interested in.

    However, the web advertisers have shit on their own bed. They persisted with annoying ads that take up too much space, obscure content and/or are annoying animated or Flash efforts.

    The result? Tools like AdBlock become popular.

    The answer. Stop the annoying ads. Yes, you have probably already lost those of us who already sick and utterly pissed off with annoying web ads, but if you stop the crap right now you may find that those new to the web don't take up the adblocking trend.

    People don't just start adblocking for no apparent reason. They get pissed off with the ads first. If the advertisers want more people to see their ads they need to stop people thinking "how do I get rid of these f***ing ads".

    PS. The Register could learn something here. I HATE those ads in the middle of the articles.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An alternative way to fight ads

    Deliberately click on pay-per-click ads so that the people who place them get charged, but never buy from them.

    This should be a fairly easy thing to automate?

    AdClick Plus?

  65. Jeff

    'Stealing'

    Users have a right to render the things they want on their screen. The idea that they are thieves is insulting to anyone common sense.

    Equally, web site owners have a right to select who visits their site - there's no fundamental conflict between the two at all.

    However, they're the ones fighting a losing battle - a future version of adblock might, for example, load in ad content, modify the HTML as it streams in and just render it inside an invisible html element. Since it's ostensibly impossible for a site to see if a bit of content's being rendered correctly (as opposed to loaded) this 'solution' is temporary at best.

  66. Marvin Eads

    AdBlock isnt the only method

    Greasemonkey can be written to do this, also very popular. And if enough sites start blocking browsers using AdBlock, I'll just go back to what I used to do, block the advertising URLs and IPs through my router firewall.

  67. Ian

    Still reading???

    (If you've got this far down the comments, then well done!)

    Am I the only person who was amused at the interpretation of Socialism:

    " ...unless they simply like the idea of getting things for free at other people's expense, by force—a basic definition of Socialism. (or stealing, depending on whose dictionary you're using)..."

    I've no idea of this person's agenda or motives, but I suspect they are based on a very skewed interpretation of the world and their place in it.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    forcing

    This is a dumb argument it's specious to contend that forcing people to see ads who don't want to will sell a product or service it will simply require a little extra time to convince some marketers that this advertising is costing them money and not getting them anything. This is just another way to target ads. There are plenty of no content spam sites out there let them die. I notice this also blocks people who have javascript turned off do you want the list of unplugged vulnerabilities that use javascript in both ff and ie your right to infect and spam my computer is denied fuck your site. Btw ab is disabled for The Register in my browser.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Website revenue

    Ever consider making the website generate its own revenue, such as by offering a service which cannot be performed by a computer, or selling a product of your own?

    Let's face facts: If your OMGPoniez111!! site can't generate a self-sustaining revenue stream, you're doing it as a hobby. To finance your hobby based on advertisements would be akin to finding sponsors who would pay to have their logos placed on model cars.

    This isn't some high-minded debate about the nature of freedom, economic theory, and morality. This is a matter of basic human behavior and convenience; do you read every advert in the newspaper? Watch every commercial on TV? Who owns your fucking eyeballs, anyway?

    Here's something for the authoritarians in the audience to contemplate: I own my own computer. What I choose to download is my business. If you make my life hard for it, I will remember. If you screw with me too much, I'll revenge.

    A well-known fact about business, as a field of study, is that a satisfied customer will tell three or four friends how good your service was. A dissatisfied one will tell everyone he knows how dissatisfied he is.

    The genie is out of the bottle on this one, at any rate. As long as one can write code, and download code written by others, there will never be a way to "enforce" ad viewership.

    So, the lesson is, if people aren't willing to pay you, directly, to look at OMGPOniezz!!!1!!.wank, then either you need to reevaluate how important your hobby is to you, make your content good enough to be worth buying, or subsidize your pet projects from your own pocket, just like the rest of us have to.

  70. Nate Amsden

    I don't see the problem..

    Adblock doesn't ship with firefox last time I checked. There must be ad blocking tools available in other browsers. Popup blocking is in firefox though. I've been using firefox since it was Phoenix 0.3 ?(~2003 time frame I think), I've never used Ad block myself. From casually seeing people at work use firefox I don't notice much ad blocking going on there either. I do have the "Remove it Permanently" which I use to block ads among other things. And I use prefbar which has a kill flash button which I use often, along with the little check box to enable/disable flash globally.

    I'm sure that ad block is very effective at blocking ads, I may just be too lazy to install it. I also don't visit may web sites so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it too, fewer sites means less maintainence work I have to do in the RIP plugin to block images/ads/objects.

    Unless it were to ship with firefox, enabled and with a decent sized rule set, I don't see a big threat to google or others.

  71. Richard Lloyd

    I just use Flashblock myself...

    I have no problem with unobtrusive ads on a Web site (text or static graphic banners), but the #1 evil to me (after pop-ups, which all browsers block now anyway) is Flash ads. These aren't just annoyingly gimmicky (lots of fades, flashes, rotates and other distractions), but also soak up huge amounts of CPU time on your machine, especially if - as there often is - multiple Flash ads on a single page.

    Hence, I install Flashblock as the only extra blocking software and my eyes and CPU time are saved...hooray! If I need to see a Flash ad (very unlikely...), you just click on the "f" in the ad area and it loads the Flash in and shows the ad. I now refuse to use any browser without Flashblock installed, it's such an important enhancement to my day-to-day browsing.

  72. Donna

    They're not just ads anymore

    A few years back, .fortunecity.com infected any number of users with a malicious ad that provided them with a lovely trojan. I believe I recently read that myspace users have suffered the same.

    I don't use Firefox, I use Opera and I utilise the adblocking that Opera provides. I feel that if I can't trust large user sites from serving up malicious ads through sheer stupidity, then I have every right to block any and all ads I see fit to block.

    By the by, I love my Tivo. I don't wish to be invited to "Have a happy period" six times per half hour.

    I also drive right past billboards, don't buy magazines anymore and you couldn't pay me cash money to eat at a Burger King.

    Advertisers may want you to remember their name and I do. I remember they annoy me and that is why I feel free to block whatever I wish to block.

    That Carlton seems to think he is entitled to annoy me. I think he is sadly mistaken. I've never heard of him or his site before, but he's annoyed me now. I wouldn't visit his site even out of curiosity. I don't need to see it. I've already determined he's an idiot.

  73. Paul

    We all have a choice

    What people like Carlton, and those who inflict barely-usable, ad-laden sites upon us, fail to remember is that the end-user is spoiled for choice. Very few sites can get away with plastering their pages with annoying adverts *and* forcing people to view them.

    Unless they serve an extremely niche audience, or have some extraordinary, unique, compelling content, they're not providing anything I can't get elsewhere. Force me to jump through hoops to get at your "nothing special" content, and you can be sure I'll not bother. Make it worth my while and I'll live with some pretty heavy advertising if you force me to, but your content had better be bloody incredible in direct proportion to how annoying it is to access it.

    Be a self-important asshole about it, like Carlton is being, and no amount of amazing content will get me to visit your site more than once in my lifetime.

    I'd love to block everyone who uses IE6 or below, but I'm not stupid enough to think it's a good idea to *really* do it. As far as I'm concerned, every click is sacred, and every end-user I set my dogma upon is one less person who might return later, or even better, do something that helps raise my overall traffic.

    The real solution is for advertisers and site owners to realize that there is a happy medium where users won't feel compelled to block their ads in the first place, and where sponsored sites can remain usable while continuing to raise revenue through advertising.

  74. Adam Potts

    @ IanKRolfe

    Cillit Bang is the dog's, you're missing out!

  75. Guy Heatley

    Lets have more ads

    Lets have more ads! Why would anyone in their right mind want to block them? They're absolutely fooking brilliant!

    Its the rest of the content that spoils my enjoyment of the internet

  76. g e

    Quid pro quo

    I'm sure, then, they understand my freedom to use a tool to block their adverts. If their sole income is banner revenue then it's an arse sole business model anyway and they can be thankful it's carried them this far.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who bothers to block text ads?

    Google doesn't have to worry, mostly because they respect their users enough *not* to assault them with blinking flash-based ads. Google's text-based ads are done tastefully, and dare I say, are even helpful.

  78. A. Merkin

    PUSH ads are DEAD

    Ad Blocking is a reaction to *obnoxious* ads, not necessarily to poorly-targetted ads.

    Installing AB software is an extraordinary step for users to take... We've been *driven to it* by a small number of advertisers who think they can substitute noise and gimmicks for intelligently targetted ads. (AdSpam)

    OTOH, Google search ads whisper helpful, relevent information based on what we are actually looking for.

    When users PULL relevent ads, clickthrough and sales will be much greater, even with a simple text link. If Google provided targetted TV Ads, I'd happily watch those too. Just don't make me sit through another feminine hygene, adult diaper or BMW ad!

    Advertising is dead; long live the ads!

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We pay for bandwidth too

    A lot of folk can only download so much per month before their limit is reached.

    Why should a visitor have to incur the extra bandwidth for these ads if they are not going to click on them and find them a distraction to the content thats being served?

    I never had a problem with ads when they were static, they didn't pretend to be something other than an ad ("Virus detected!" et al), didn't make visiting a web page as noisy as an amusement arcade, and didn't deposit tracking cookies on MY computer. And don't even get me started on pop-up / pop-under ads!

    I can understand why some genuine website owners that offer interesting content are worried about the POTENTIAL loss of revenue. But, they must understand that I expended effort to remove ads because I never click on them and find them a distraction.

    Bring back benign, lightweight graphic ads and I'll stop blocking them.

  80. Derrill

    Ad Block - not just for Ads anymore!

    I install Firefox and Adblock for most all of my clients. IE and Windows are full enough of holes that this is one less vector for infection.

    Blocking ads is merely a bonus.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intelligent Consumers

    People here have already said that tools like Adblock are installed by people who have made a well informed and intelligent decision so to do. Take Cricinfo, a very popular cricket website as an example. Adblock Plus returns it to a usable state where the content is not spoiled by adverts.

    Web users are an impatient breed. If the content isn't visible quickly then attention is lost and the user goes elsewhere. Why on earth I would be interested in an advert for shaving cream when I'm looking for a book on Japanese cooking? It's irrelevant so I don't want to see it.

    My bandwidth, my PC, my time. If something irritates me it gets blocked.

    Two earlier posters made excellent points:

    "The people complaining about adblocker need to sort out the problems that make people install the extension to begin with, otherwise people just will find other ways to remove them."

    and

    "I'll bloody shop when I bloody want to shop, not when some asshole marketer wants me to shop. I am not a walking wallet. I am not a portable revenue source. If I decide I need something I will go out and look for it, but I certainly won't get it from some idiot just because he or she happens to be shouting the loudest!"

    I put Firefox and Adblock Plus on the machines I'm asked to sort out. Then I do a comparison for the client using ad laden sites. Firefox and Adblock Plus win every time. If Adblock gets blocked, people will move to other solutions or write better solutions.

    There is a lesson to be learned here - stop the intrusive ads. Then excellent tools like Adblock Plus won't be necessary.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's in an ad, anyway?

    One of the best kept secrets of TiVo is that once you've seen an ad you register it even if you are fast forwarding through it. Five second spots work as well as 30 second ones. Fortunately the advertisers haven't noticed. If you see an interesting ad you can stop, back up and look at it.

    Advertisers in England learned years ago that the way to stop people from leaving the room or switching channels during the adverts was to make the adverts entertaining. It requires more creative thought and costs more money to make but the result can become part of the culture. Unfortunately it sounds like modern Engish adverts are like typical US ones -- "lets shout at the users as if they are morons for a half minute or so, and keep doing it".

    Carlton and the RIAA seem to have a similar mindset. "You need our product, you will buy it and if you don't you're a thief."

  83. Dimitrov

    This made me think

    That Carlton guy just made me download AdBlock and Flashblock. You can thank him for that, ad companies.

    I understand that most sites rely on ads to stay free and that's fine. I don't block small, non intrusive ads, like the ones here in El Reg. Getting attention, brand identity etc. etc., but seriously - where's the brand identity in yet another "You're the 999,999th visitor, click here" ad?

  84. Walter Brown

    the part i dont understand

    Why are these webmasters so worried about the people who use adblock or adblock plus (i am one of them), if we dont want to see these adds in the first place, what in the name of christ (allah, zeus, or whom ever you bow to) makes these webmasters think we're going to buy anything printed in these banner ads.

    These mentally defective webmasters dont seem to realize how badly they are shooting themselves in the foot. more powerful than any advertising medium in this world, is word of mouth advertising, people trust real life recommendations from people they know. likewise they will steer well clear of companies and or products based on a bad word of mouth review.

    if these card carrying members of the webmasters retardation-nation think this is good for business, they're just plain wrong, they've got a snowballs chance in hell that i'm going to buy something from an ad i see on their site after being forced to view ads i didnt want to see in the first place.

    what i will give them, for their efforts, is, a wretched word of mouth review to anyone and everyone who asks me about a product or service they deliver. the fact that i'm an independent consultant who's opinion is trusted by the people around me, might actually have a chance at returning the favor upon these scholars of the mentally deficient arts.

  85. David

    Who would build a website if there were no ads?

    The fact is that if there is no incentive/renumeration to build a website, then they won't be built. Ads provide that incentive. Take that away, and you ultimately devalue the Web.

    Think about your job. Would you do it for free. Of course not. So why would websites be built for free. I am sure that some would, because they would get revenue in other ways, but most depend on advertising revenue.

    I speak from experience. I have a website called Virtual Oceania. If there were no ads, then this site wouldn't exist.

    So stop your complaining. You can look at websites for free. The truth is that ads replaced the subscription model. Which one do you think is the best model?

    .....

    I thought so.

  86. This post has been deleted by its author

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Who would build a website if there were no ads?

    @ David

    "So stop your complaining. You can look at websites for free."

    Yes, I can. And I can block ads on them that I find annoying. So I'm not complaining. People like Carlton (and, I suspect yourself) view that as theft. Well big deal. It isn't theft in the eyes of the law and all the squealing you do about it won't change that.

    You want people to stop blocking ads? Wake up, smell the coffee, and cut out the garish and obtrusive advertising.

  88. Harry

    Not everybody objects ...

    "Everyone posting comments here keeps neatly ignoring the issue of who is going to pay for websites if not advertisers. "

    No, several people have pointed out that they are perfectly happy with static adverts in reasonable proportion to the information content -- much the same as in a newspaper.

    Static adverts have financed newspapers and magazines for many many years without problems. The cover price usually represents only 20% of a publication's income and in many cases the item is free anyway. It's a tried and trusted formula, and it WORKS.

    So, the way forward is :

    a) BAN ANY ADVERT THAT's NOT IMPLEMENTED IN PLAIN W3C HTML. No javascripts. No flash or other annoyances. No blinking or movement of any sort. Just static images and plain text.

    b) KEEP THEM TO A SENSIBLE SIZE. 20% of the page (measured by both display area and download size) should be enough unless the information on the page is exceptionally valuable and expensive to maintain.

    c) ADS should be relevant to the CONTENT of the page, and should not require spyware techniques.

    d) ADS probably shouldn't need to be displayed at all on sites which have other sources of income (eg EBAY, banks, online order sites).

    If you follow those rules (and they probably ought to be enshrined in national law) then your ads are much less likely to be blocked and you stand a chance of covering the server costs -- which are pretty low anyway, compared with most other forms of information distribution.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some numbers...

    Having a lot of customers in remote parts of the world, who use satellite connections and are charged heavily / charged by the Mb / brutally restricted on download usage, we instigated ad-blocking on their firewalls. The blocked traffic was approximately 20% of their (unblocked) usage.

    In answer to Thomas Jolliffe's question " so what gives you the 'right' to decide?" - that would be because the client is paying for their link and their bandwidth...which is the same argument being made by those in favour of advertising. It cuts both ways.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Then it's up to us

    I guess that it's up to us Firefoxers who haven't yet donated to do our part.

  91. Christopher E. Stith

    Some perspective: 400m - 2.5m

    397.25 million users of Firefox still don't use an ad blocker?

    Let's see, that's 0.625% that block the ads, vs. 99.375% that don't. Who the hell cares?

    How upset would you be to find out that your inventory of products was off by 5/8 of a percent? Isn't that within a margin of error for most companies?

    Is Google really going to hassle Mozilla over 5/8 of a percent?

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