5 Effective Strategies for Publishers to Bypass Ad Blocking Extensions
There is no doubt that publishers lose billions to ad blockers. As a result, those with ad-driven monetization models must take measures to secure revenue. Here are five steps you can follow to save your ad revenue stream.
Ad blocking has become a mainstream concern for publishers. In 2020, ad blockers caused a $12.12 billion loss in publishers’ ad revenue. As a result, online ad publishers look forward to ways to boost their earnings, optimize average revenue per visitor (ARPV), and create more dependable and long-lasting first-party relationships with their loyal customers by focusing on AdBlock recovery solutions.
Moreover, understanding how ad blockers work might affect the publisher’s monetization strategy in every aspect, from the ad server choice to ad format preferences. Let’s dive in!
How Do Ad Blocking Extensions Work?
An ad blocker is a browser extension that blocks advertorial content or substitutes it with something else. It is responsible for 25% of advertisements that fail to connect with their target consumers and come out as a waste of money. List filtering and blocking ads are two of the most common components of ad blocking software.
To prevent disruptive advertising, deactivate trackers, and safeguard against malware, ad blocking extensions are either utilized as built-in (known as Better Ads Guidelines, as in Chrome) or browser add-ons (such as Adblock, Adblock Plus, etc.)
The ad blocker checks the page's code, looking for websites and scripts it is meant to block by default and particular parts the user has chosen to stop loading by the user browser. Following such criteria and filters, an ad blocker prevents the adverts from displaying. Here is how an ad blocker works:
- Blocking Ads: The primary function of an ad blocker is to stop displaying flashy ad formats, primarily pop-ups, autoplay video commercials, pop-unders, and flash banners.
- Element Blocking: Ad blocking extensions can also disable particular website elements, such as large media assets, third-party typefaces, or scripts, from appearing on the page.
- Disabling Social Sharing Buttons: Social sharing buttons are often added to articles and blog posts. However, some ad blockers can cut off the social platform's connection.
- Disabling Tracking: This ability of an ad blocker allows turning activity tracking off and ensuring more private web browsing.
- Domain Blocking: Ad blocking software also maintains "blocklists" of specific domains and websites that might contain malware.
- Serving Advertisements: Many top ad blockers boost income by serving a reduced version of ads to their users, for which the ad blocking business gets a share of the publishers' ad revenue.
Publishers who encounter the ad blocking obstacle need a solution to monetize content with ads. However, there are a few tactics publishers can use to combat the issue of ad blockers and regain lost revenue.
Strategy #1: Adopt Server-Side Ad Insertion
Server-side ad insertion (SSAI) is a technology that delivers ads in combination with video content and converts them into a single stream on the CMS level instead of within the browser.
For example, different users view different ads on the OTT platforms, even if they’re watching the same content the same day. Thus, an ad server embeds the ad into the video content and forwards it to the player using the CDN.
Even if the video stream contains stitched-in ads, ad blockers cannot differentiate between video content and commercials. So that’s how it avoids ad-blocking software. Simply put, SSAI eliminates the ad request process and allows seamless playback.
SSAI has been around for years, but publishers and advertisers have become increasingly interested in it once they start losing their money due to ad blocking. Overall, it delivers a better user experience and enables both parties to avoid ad blockers by stitching together videos and ads. Also, SSAI ensures content is delivered in a single stream to provide a better ad viewing experience.
Strategy #2: Publisher’s Savior in Acceptable Ads
Acceptable ads bridge the gap between user preference and ad monetization. They enable the display of user-friendly adverts without negatively impacting publisher ad revenues.
Eyeo, the organization that created AdBlock Plus, has once launched the Acceptable Ads initiative. These advertisements adhere to standards designed for and by ad-blocking users. According to a study, the acceptable ads opt-in rate has crossed the mark of 95% in 2021. Further, 216 million ad-block users opted for this initiative in 2021-2022.
The most recent standards are set accordingly, and the changes it brings are the following four ad formats that will be joining the list of Acceptable Ads Standards:
- In-content between paragraph, static – 728×90
- In-content between paragraph, static – 840×150
- In-content ad – 300×250, end of images (page 4 of 4), static
- In-content ad – 468×400, end of images (page 4 of 4), static
Eyeo has also set a selective list of ad formats for mobile users. Here are the placement and size criteria for serving mobile ads:
- Publishers may place static mobile ads anywhere on the mobile page.
- They can also place small ads as a sticky on the bottom of the screen. No other formats are allowed.
- Large native ad types can be placed under primary content.
- The size of the ads should not occupy more than 50% of the webpage.
- Sticky ads have a maximum height restriction of 75px.
- The mobile ad below the primary content can occupy 100% of the screen space.
With Acceptable Ads, publishers may somewhat compensate for revenue lost due to ad blockers without making any changes to their site.
Strategy #3: Native Advertising to the Rescue
As ad blockers impact valuable impressions of the regular banners, many publishers and advertisers are ditching display ads and favor native ads. The numbers speak loudly, as native ad spending increased from $47.33bn in 2020 to $57.27bn in 2021 and is predicted to reach $400bn by 2025.
Native ads look as natural as possible without disrupting the user experience. Unlike display ads, native ads feel and function as your website or app content. They can also be called ‘Sponsored’ or ‘Promoted’ content instead of “advertisements.”
Those can include ads on social media platforms or branded/sponsored/paid content on a website. Further, the native ads can also run on server-side integration, meaning no ad tags must be inserted onto the web page. It provides a seamless user experience, better ad appearance and ensures a fast page load time with security against malware attacks.
Moreover, this type of ad units helps fight against ad blockers. Therefore, publishers can use native ads to build trust and brand awareness. So if you become tired of seeing intrusive ads, simply go for native advertising, as it only adds relevant and exciting content to the audience.
Strategy #4: Choose the Right Ad Tech Provider
A way to recover the lost ad revenue from ad blockers is to collaborate with an ad tech platform that provides outstanding viewability of advertisements. Ensure they must provide publishers with the best ad reinsertion technology, which maintains a positive user experience.
Customer-centric ad servers often provide ad formats that improve the user experience and help users find what they’re looking for; instead of annoying them. In this case, using an ad blocker on the publisher's website will become less attractive, and even avid ad blocker users will likely whitelist it.
An ad tech partner should also invest in SEO, the right keywords, ad content, social media, and other means of getting your ads in front of customers. That way, they can help build your brand from every angle.
Strategy #5: Leverage Programmatic Audio
Publishers should leverage a programmatic approach to get less affected by ad blockers. The use of ad blockers limits the reach of advertising to target audiences, which mainly impacts publishers' inventory that generates their revenue.
One typical example is the use of programmatic audio ads that can appear during podcasts. Since ad blockers are designed to catch visual ads, audio programmatic can go unnoticed. This makes programmatic audio one of the most effective solutions to manage ad blockers. So, it’s worth considering creating audio placements on your website and selling audio inventory via a supply-side platform later.
Similarly, programmatic solutions allow the automated buying and selling of digital advertising and offer the ability to target one specific ad to one single consumer in one single context and in real-time. Publishers and advertisers can determine consumers who will be receptive to their message, which will, in turn, increase their ROI. So it’s clear publishers need to be part of the programmatic revolution to reduce the need for ad blockers.
5 Ways to Bypass Ad Blockers Summarized
Let’s wrap up five strategies you can implement today:
- Use server-side ad insertion to fuse your advertising with the video content on the page, so your ad will go unnoticed. You can request to add this add-on at Epom.
- Join Acceptable Ads to provide visitors with a lighter ad experience instead of losing impressions completely. 95% of AdBlock users have opted for the initiative.
- Add more native placements to blend your ads into your content instead of serving simple banners. It takes less than 5 min to set up such placements in Epom.
- Pick the right ad server. Choose the platform that will be technically capable to ensure flawless user experience and support native ads and SSAI. This guide will help you.
- Leverage programmatic audio. Hop in the trend by creating audio placements in your app or website and selling them automatically via a supply-side platform.
Publishers may still increase their monetization revenue without giving up on advertisements. It has become increasingly important to offer top-notch ad blocking recovery solutions to give publishers stable revenue. Thus, ad blocking does not need to be a concern for publishers if they address it properly.
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