The fight against ad-blocking heats up

We’ve previously discussed the rise of new technologies being used by web publishers and advertisers to fight the growing use of ad blockers.

Ad blockers deprive publishers of ad revenue that funds the free content they produce and which consumers have come to expect. According to one estimate, Google may have lost up to $6.6 billion in 2014 or 10% of its annual revenue to adblockers.  This, despite the fact that it reportedly paid about $25 million to the leading ad blocking software, Adblock Plus, to get Google ads whitelisted and not blocked.


Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 9, will feature inbuilt ad blocking technology allowing iPhone & iPad users to block ads appearing in the Safari web browser. This is worrying a lot of people in the online advertising world, given Safari accounts for about 25% of all mobile web browsing.

PageFair, a company which provides publishers with technology that measures and defeats adblockers, has come up with a new solution they claim will beat Apple’s Safari adblocking. Apparently PageFair’s solution is to scramble ads and deliver them in a manner that adblocking software can’t recognise.

Why should you care?

Most people get fed up being bombarded by intrusive ads, but the reality is advertising pays for all the free online content everyone expects these days. There is no free lunch. However, adblocking technology undermines this model.

If you’re an online publisher the rise of adblocking will be a concern because of the detrimental impact it has on your ability to monetise your website through advertising. It’s also a growing concern for advertisers whose ability to communicate with prospective customers is undermined by adblocking.

Anti-adblocking technology is part of the answer, but so too is reducing the desire of consumers to block ads. As Larry Page stated at Google’s 2015 Annual Stockholders meeting, “the industry needs to get better at producing ads that are less annoying”

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About the Author Jeremy Templer & Mark Sceats

Jeremy and Mark are two of the partners behind SureFire Search. Despite their deceptively youthful appearances, both have worked in search marketing for many years. To put that in context, Google didn't even exist when Jeremy started.