I’m having a bit of a moral dilema about ad blocking.
On the one hand I’m totally sick of seeing sites where the whole page is full of flashing ads. It’s a waste of my bandwidth and I don’t like having to scroll down before I can see the subject of the page. On the other hand I place google ads on my site to help me pay for the hosting costs.
Now recently I saw what I thought was a drop in my site (ORACLE-BASE) hitrates, basing this assumption on the stats that were provided by google. When I checked my real site stats (I don’t do that very often these days) I noticed that infact my page hits were through the roof. What does this mean? Either google are telling me porky pies (lies) or people are blocking the ads.
For me this is no major issue as I’m still covering my costs, but it does have a bigger impact. I like being able to access loads of content for free on the net. For alot of the individuals and companies supplying this content the only payback is advertising revenue. If the trend for ad blocking continues this will have one of two affects for alot of people. Either they will start to charge for content or they will stop providing content altogether. Either way this is bad.
I suppose another question is, do we have a contractual obligation not to block the ads? I read something recently about this but I didn’t bookmark the link. Also, there is a big debate in the UK over Tivo which allows you to record programs off TV and remove the adverts. Great for the viewer, bad for commercial TV which pays for it’s programming via advertising.
Personally I’ve decided not to use ad blockers. I think it would be hypocritical of me to place ads on my own site then block them on others. I guess it’s up to each one of us to make that choice.
Of course, if site owners had been a bit more sensible about the adverts they displayed we may not have got to this point.
I’m interested to know what other people think about this. Do you think ad blocking is good or bad?
Maybe a more popular blog might pick up this theme to get some real input on the matter…