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The User Experience or the Ad Revenue? Why Should You Have to Choose?

Updated: Mar 20

Ad Blockers and the User Experience Series Part II



The User Experience or the Ad Revenue? Why Should You Have to Choose?

What's more important, the user experience or the ad revenue? Why should you have to choose? Go to Weather.com and guess which choice they made. Visit Associated Press and try to remember what you went there for.


These respected companies have been in business for 42 and 178 years, respectively, so advertising overload is an equal opportunity offense. One would expect ad minefields from more nefarious sites, but that is life on the web.


Unfortunately, it shouldn’t come to that, but if you want to make money for clicks, your website is a billboard. I wish advertisers were beating my door down to be on BobDeakin.com, but I don’t have the clicks. Even subscription-based websites have ads, they merely hit you with a soft mallet instead of a hammer.


Google Chrome Ad Blocker

Google Chrome’s Ad Blocker


Google Chrome’s built-in ad blocker removes ads that violate the Coalition for Better Ads® Standards. These ads “fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability and are most likely to drive consumers to install ad blockers.”


Bear in mind that Google’s primary revenue source is advertising. According to Statista, Google's ad revenue was 237.86 billion U.S. dollars in 2023, nearly 78 percent of its $305.6 billion total revenue.


Instinctual Ad Blocker

Your Instinctual Ad Blocker


What’s annoying to one isn’t to another. We each have our tolerances. I can tolerate banners, but pop-ups and video ads drive me to the door. You know in a split second when you’ve stumbled onto the wrong website. When pop-ups appear before you can read a word, tension increases - unless you like that sort of thing. 


Are you looking for a video to repair your dryer? Take a quick search; the first three choices are sponsored ads with more commercials than content. Scroll further. You may be better off with the dudes with the bad audio.


Why Should You Have to Choose

How Do Ads Affect a Website’s Credibility?


“Even well-crafted advertisements can detract attention from a web page’s purpose, resulting in more clicks on ads than links or content within the website itself,” says Vendasta SEO Strategy Manager Lawrence Dy. “In extreme cases, websites with lots of ads become downright unusable due to overwhelming clutter or slow-to-load pages. This can result in less website traffic, lower click-through rates, and search engine penalties in the form of decreased rankings.”


Trends such as not including privacy choices when accepting cookies are becoming the norm. Confirmshaming (yes that’s a term) is also standard practice. It’s the unsavory practice of using guilt-based words to influence the user, as seen in exit pop-ups, unsubscribes, and other messages.


The term was coined by U.K.-based UX expert Harry Brignull, describing it as “the act of guilting the user into opting into something.” He adds: “The option to decline is worded in such a way as to shame the user into compliance.” 


Here’s an example from UXPlanet.org:


Do you want to help starving children?

  1. Yes, I’m donating now.

  2. No, I don’t care about children.


User Experience or the Ad Revenue

The User Experience or the Ad Revenue? Why Should You Have to Choose?


Do you choose to avoid websites that deliver a bad user experience?

  1. Yes. I realize websites have ads, but realize when my intelligence is being insulted.

  2. No. Where else can I lose fat AND gain muscle with one click?


In Part III I’ll ask how many ads are too many, what the most annoying are, and where whitelisting and interstitials fit into the ad-blocking world. 

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End of Part II




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