SEO is Still King

A significant part of internet users can’t be reached through “classic” search engine marketing. SEO is still relevant in the context of ad blocking. In Canada, 25% of Millennials have installed ad blockers – almost 50% greater than the Canadian average (17%).

Ad blockers prevent ads from loading and limit web analytics tracking. They have various types:

  • Standalone browser that prevents ads from loading.
  • Plugin/extension. Most popular is ABP.
  • Mobile app for Android or iOS.

Illustration by AdBlock Plus

Ad blockers don’t eliminate page views. Your traffic stats remain steady but ad potential and revenue decreases, site visits don’t create any ad impressions.

Top 4 reasons to block ads (based on my experience too):  better navigation (removes unnecessary distraction, annoying, protection from phishing.

Why Important?

  • The highest usage is amongst millennial males: up to 50% use ad blockers.
  • Distracting pop-ups decrease time spent on your website.
  • Someone is already reacting.

SEO is Still Relevant

60% of current ad blocker users would turn off ad blocking for content. In Canada: 13% of Canadians previously installed ad blocking software, but have since disabled or deleted it from their system. If your content brings value, users will disable ad blocker. It is a two-click action.

Success Stories

Forbes experiments by blocking content to those using an ad blocker:
Reddit thanks readers for not using ad blockers:
The Washington Post‘s response to ad blockers:
Your adblocker’s on. But don’t block great journalism. Subscribe today.
  1. Don’t limit site usability and navigation – place ads in timiline (like Facebook or Instagram) or out of bounds (like Reddit).
  2. Be grateful. Thank users for not using ad blocker.
  3. Creating ads that delight.

Recommended Reading

Advertising 2020

Advertising 2020 aims to address the key challenges facing the industry by proposing a desired future vision of what advertising could and should be, accompanied by a concrete set of actions to achieve that future. By stepping back from the day-to-day we try to imagine a future on the other side of this maelstrom.

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  1. Oh man, I do love my adblocker…but you’re right, journalists and other web professionals still need to make a living. Any recommendations for a middle ground for web users?

    1. Thanks for an interesting question, Marcus!

      My simple rule:
      I disable my ad blocker if I visit a particular website daily – It has value for me and I generate Ad income for them.

      If you are an online media I would propose to not overlap website navigation with banners, remove any pop up ads, thank users like Forbes does (this article has a screenshot).

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