If you’re a savvy internet user you’re probably using some sort of ad blocker (though hopefully not on your favorite sites). The most popular ad blocker is called AdBlock Plus, which boasts over 300 million downloads worldwide. That’s a lot of advertising dollars that are going unseen by internet users. Google, along with Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola, have decided to do something about it.
The Financial Times is reporting that these companies have paid AdBlock Plus to allow their ads to pass through the blocking software. AdBlock makes money by allowing companies to pay for their ads to go unblocked as long as they comply with AdBlock’s “acceptable ads” policy. It’s unclear whether Google and co. are simply abiding by this policy or just throwing money around to get their way.
Obviously a service such as AdBlock Plus is a big threat to Google, a company who makes a lot of money on online advertising. In 2013 Google even removed the AdBlock app from the Play Store. Everyone hates to see ads, but often times they are the only thing keeping a website alive. A lawsuit against AdBlock is currently being considered by the French Internet Advertising Bureau.
Where do you stand on this issue? Should companies be able to pay for their ads to go unblocked? Should ad blockers even be allowed? Do you use AdBlock, and do you whitelist your favorite sites?