Adblock is a product that millions of people rely on to facilitate a clutter-free surfing experience despite the fact that advertisers and site owners rely on revenue from these services to stay afloat. It’s not perfect as even with the premium Adblock Plus, some ads still do get through – but why exactly is that?
As it turns out, there is an acceptable ads filter that permits certain advertisements to be displayed by default. What has people up in arms, however, is how Adblock selects which advertisers can squeak past the barricade. The company charges a hefty premium for advertisers to land on a whitelisting service, something they don’t exactly hide as it’s mentioned right on their FAQ.
Adblock whitelists select small blogs and websites for free but in order to run the service (financially speaking), the company allows some larger properties that serve advertisements to pay a fee in order to let their ads through.
The problem is that tech giants like Google can easily afford to pay for Adblock whitelisting while small and mid-sized companies that wish to get their name out there simply can’t spare the money.
Having said that, the acceptable ads feature can be disabled by the user but that’s not really what’s at issue here. There’s clearly a conflict of interest not to mention there will surely be some backlash from Adblock Plus users that were previously unaware of this practice. It also brings into question the merits of online advertising in general – all topics that we will likely be hearing more about in the coming days and weeks.