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  1. #1
    Senior Member medlington's Avatar
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    How Do Adblockers work

    Hi,

    just wondering how adblockers work? Im making a site that is going to be funded via affiliate adverts and so I want them to be displayed as often as possible for 2 reason.

    1. Obviously I want some cash!
    2. I've designed the adds to sit in areas of the page and they have a frame around them, if the adblocker is active I still see the frames but with no adverts in and it looks messy.

    So Ideally Id like to be able to force the add to appear, Ive figured out I can do this by making my own adds and just encoding the aff link into it.

    Or Id like the site to know that an adblocker is working and so not to display the frames so that the site looks neat and tidy.

    Any Ideas?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    AD blocker work on the premise that a user or ISP has subscribed to some sort of ( list of sites ), that are displaying ads, since it works to "stop the connection" based on the ad server name of IP address ... There is no way to "force" them to display or even know ( on a page level )... If the user has some sort of AD blocking turned on.

    many AD Affiliate providers have come under fire in the recent past for not monitoring their ads and hackers have been using the ad system to deploy their malware or other nefarious payloads.

    You can ( after the fact ), compare page loads and AD DISPLAYS... To get a % of users that are blocking ads, but not a whole lot you can actually do about it.

  4. #3
    Senior Member medlington's Avatar
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    Ah, Thanks, thats a shame

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    WZ is right...the idea is that the user has the right to opt in to ads served by various ad (e.g. Adsense / Adwords) and/or affiliate (e.g. Commission Junction) networks. The idea is that the user is supposed to have full control of what they're viewing and be able to opt in to ads if (s)he wishes.

    I've played with an ad blocker just to see if I could get around it, but there's not much that can be done. And while I understand why ad blockers exist, they go way too far. Blocking obviously nefarious ads (e.g. popups/unders, malware installers)...okay, do those, although both have been taken care to a large extent by modern browsers. Things that are safe (e.g. ads from Adwords / Adsense) shouldn't be. Doing so encourages anti-commercial elitist behavior and that's dangerous. I'm not just saying that because I run ads on some of my sites, either...I'm saying that because there are sites such as Sports on Earth that have great content and deserve the right to be able to make money off of ads based on what they supply to users.
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  6. #5
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    So if I understand this correctly, the web server can't tell if an ad blocker is on. Is this correct?

    If the web server could tell if an ad blocker was on, could an alternate page be displayed? Perhaps a page that says something like "In order to view all of the great content on this site, please turn your ad blocker off."

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    No, it can't. The ad blocker is client side.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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  8. #7
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    Excuse the ignorant question, how does an ad blocker know that an ad is being served and not some other piece of content?

  9. #8
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    That's not an ignorant question at all. It's actually a good one. I'm the one who plays with ads (and some with ad blockers to gain a crude understanding) the most around here, and I can only answer part of it.

    The first thing the ad blockers recognize is the common ad network code...not the Javascript, but its output to the browser. Adsense, for example, outputs ads into an iframe with a doubleclick.net source. So an ad blocker can block access to doubleclick.net iframes, and not display anything in those sections as a result.

    This also applies to things such as Facebook that commonly display ads on the right side. Since the code on a site such as Facebook will generally be pretty consistent, it's easy for an ad blocker programmer to come up with a bit of code to say "here's this set of ads, block them."

    Another thing some of them seem to utilize are the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) standard ad sizes.

    IAB - Ad Unit Guidelines

    This is tricky, though, as a lot of sites utilize these ad units on their own sites for the purposes of linking to other products / services on their own sites. There aren't any unscrupulous purposes at heart, but the ad blockers don't seem to think so.

    There may be other things they use, but these are the ones I've observed.

    Having said that, this is where I personally have a problem with ad blockers. I understand that there are some ad networks that will allow for just about anyone and everything, including malware/virus programs, and yeah, those should be blocked. Okay, I get that. That protects people's computers. I have a big problem, however, with ad blockers that block legitimate ad networks such as Adsense and media.net where the site owner has to have something of some value to offer the end user. If that's the case, the site owner has every right to maximize his/her revenue by legitimate advertising, and there isn't a thing wrong with that. I know there are some anti-commercialist geeks out there (I won't say anti-capitalist because I don't believe most people know the true definition of capitalism) who think that they should never see an ad, but the ads lead to sales, which lead to jobs, which help everyone. As long as the advertisers fall under what the Ayn Rand Institute refers to as the "rational self-interest" group of people, that's fine.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  10. #9
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    Thanks for the info. This is an interesting topic for all kinds of reasons.

    I agree with you that ads lead to sales which produces jobs which earns people money to buy more from stuff from ads. Like it or not, ads and the sales they produce help drive the economy.

    It seems like the real problem is how the ads are served and the potential damage they could do to a user's system.

    So that leads me to ask, how big is this problem really? How many ads can actually disrupt a user's system especially if the user is running current OS and browser? And as more people migrate away from computers towards tablets and smartphones, will this evil ad problem go away all by itself?

  11. #10
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    To answer the question about the problem as best as I can..."some ads". I don't have a percentage or a figure, but there are ad networks that serve malware, although not always of their own doing. Here's an example.

    How To Remove Chitika Adware - Chitika Virus Removal Instructions | Malware Removal - Software & Tutorials

    I think their removal method is somewhat extreme (denying Flash in particular...while I have no great love for Flash, I don't see why it should be disabled just because a few webmasters who get banned from Google Adsense go the Chitika route).

    So there is a problem, and there is a reason for the ad blockers to exists, since the problem isn't actually restricted to running a "current OS and browser". This stuff can strike at any time from anywhere for any reason on the planet. I've seen drive-by installs try to take place on computers, so it is most definitely a concern, and only some of that concern is eliminated by the Avasts, the AVGs, and some browsers (Chrome in particular is pretty good this way). It probably never will really go away either...if anything, tablets and smartphones will become targets and may become more difficult to clean simply because they lack the processing resource to run say a Malwarebytes full scan in less than 2 hours. So we'll probably reach a point in the not-too-distant future similar to that of the mid-90s when there were all sorts of desktop viruses and very few products to get rid of them...or, in the mid-2000s when malware first became a problem and the malware scanners and better antivirus programs didn't exist.

    But then that's where the ad blockers should be focusing their time...on the networks, not the ads themselves. Blocking ads blocks the majority of quality ads that may be of interest.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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