In today’s episode, Andy is joined by Chris Byrne, freelance SEO and PPC consultant to talk about the state of ad-blocking in 2017. Chris starts off talking about origin of ad-blocking and what it is. He then moves on to discuss why we are seeing a rise of ad-blocking. He explains that the history of ad blocking started with radio presets, remote controls or Tivo and that this has been going on since the early 2000’s in various forms. In general this is a UX Problem, as ads often harm the user experience. As the advertising industry calls them, they are ” bad ads”.
Chris then explains what the attitude of big companies like Google or Apple are towards these ad blockers and how ad-blockers are now available in then iOS store. He explains that people are realizing that sometimes they’ve only got a certain amount of data per month and that it is limited. Research said that up to 5% of a smartphone plan is used by ads. So, people have started using ad blockers to stretch their allowance a little bit further.
Andy then asks about the supposed “technical war” which is going on at the moment between the various main players. Chris explains that many publications online are funded by advertising and that they don’t have any other revenue streams. For them, online ads are their only income source. He explains that many people started to block their content by using an ad blocker & how the response from the technical community was to simply bypass the ad blocker, so that you can still see their content even with a ad blocker on.
Next Andy & Chris talk about the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau), who came up with some best practices to stop this from happening. Chris tells us that they came up with a project called DEAL which stated that publishers should connect with ad blocking consumers through the following process:
- Detect ad blocking to initiate a conversation
- Explain the value of advertising
- Ask for changed behavior to maintain an fair exchange
- Lift restrictions in response to the consumer choice
Chris’s opinion is that this will open up the way for transparency and meaningful dialog with visitors using ad blockers.
They then undertake a closer examination at people who avoid ads and what the solution for that might be. Chris says that the he thinks that people paying for ad free content will be more and more common, plus, publishers will continue to stop you from access their site if you have an active ad blocker.
Chris also provides his top tip/key takeaway for the audience.
If you’d like to connect with Chris, you can do so below: