It still fascinates me that in tech forums and comment sections, there are still some who try to vilify website visitors who use ad blockers.
I understand the narrow ranged argument that it deprives website owners of revenue and endangers quality content.
Except, such arguments are completely oblivious to the reality that user experience and a useful product/service are the deciding factors in a website's value.
Wrap the tastiest hamburger in manure and the quality of your beef will mean very little to the average person looking for a tasty lunch. Another burger can always be found around the corner.
Ad tech is the manure that is wrapped around today's online content. Advertisers have convinced some publishers that the manure is necessary to get more traffic – ignoring the fact that the engagement activity is mostly coming from flies and a few folks tricked into believing that the secret ingredient is for their benefit.
Awe Snap, Ignore the Stench
Don't come to our burger joint with nasal blockers or gas masks the website owners tell us.
Come on now, your burgers stink and so many fast food joints are now serving these grody lunches that it's impossible to tell which ones do or how much crap they use until we walk in and inspect it.
We will not ignore the stench any longer.
Ad Tech Has Ruined It For Everyone
Sites like Forbes have become the Ronald McDonald's of served malverts, persistent tracking/targeting and obnoxious UX.
.@Forbes I will never visit your site again due to OVERKILL on ads/beacons. Just letting you know it's ridiculous. http://twitter.com/heathenthink/status/718686056430845952/photo/1
Many publishers have tied their success and revenue to ad tech despite the fact that it's poisonous tendrils squeeze the life out of UX.
Now marketers are switching their eyesights to Millennials.
Yet, the stench of ad tech is smelt by younger noses too. A Realtime Generation survey of some 1,000 13-17 year-olds over the course of 10 days in January revealed some things that make them unhappy:
- Organizations sharing data with third parties (60%).
Movement tracked in-store via personal device for marketing purposes (41%).
Online habits used to provide targeted ads and promotions (50%).
Location data used or shared (54%).
Website owners and publishers are responsible for not standing up to the ad tech crowd. Targeting a younger audience is not going to change that fact.
The only viable solution is to start serving static tasteful 1st party ads that complement the content of a webpage.
That won't happen though.
Native advertising and branded content are the new flavors of manure being pitched to site owners and publishers.
For now, there is little incentive for us to disable our ad blockers. In fact, I'd argue that it's a matter of our own online security now. Turning off ad blockers is today's equivalent of disabling our firewalls or antivirus software.
You tweet Forbes links? You don't use any adblockers then. You're walking around with a “kick me” sign. Best hope nobody targets you. via @BrianPardy
Like many others, I'm willing to toss the dice in favor of ad blockers and let the quality of content work its way out. Publishers will either survive or not. Maybe they can sneak past the ad blockers for a little while longer with disguised branded content, but that's just another short term solution.
People can smell manure regardless of its origin.
Ad tech is the reason we won't turn off our ad blockers.
Stop putting manure on our burgers. Stop thinking your burger is so special.
If it's indeed special, be responsible for the UX you serve.
We can always find another burger to get us by.
Originally posted on Ello