If you’re one of those people who hates ads popping up all the time when you’re trying to look at a website, the chances are by now you’ve already installed an ad blocker.
I’ve got them myself on all my devices, and I love how much faster my user experience is, not to mention the blissful lack of disruptive ads popping up all the time, making navigation clunky and loading slow. They’ve transformed my user experience and I love them.
It’s also worth mentioning the security benefits of ad blockers, as this aspect is often overlooked. Ad networks are susceptible to hacking, even targeting major news channels like the Times, BBC and AOL, all of whom have had their ad networks hacked and ransomware fed to their users.
And ads on Forbes, just after the magazine had forced readers to disable their ad-blocking software to access the site, immediately served users pop-under malware, geared up to infect their computers, steal passwords, banking info and personal data. So ad blockers do more than keep irritating ads out of your sight, they can keep darker forces at bay too.
But not everyone loves the ad blocker. People who publish websites that host advertising really hate ad blockers, because their revenue comes from the ads, and if people aren’t seeing the ads, who wants to pay for that?
To be even-handed, ads can act as a business model for many digital publishers to provide content without a user paywall, so there’s a bit of the old ‘swings and roundabouts’ going on. But increasingly we see websites that plead needily with the user to turn off their ad blocker, and many sites now refusing access to users with ad blockers installed. It’s a real tussle and something of an ethical battle.
Facebook last year made an unprecedented move – the site basically turned on some clever software that effectively bypasses the ad blockers, so that their ads still show. It kind of seems fair in one way – Facebook is largely free to use, and potentially connects businesses and users to millions of other users – so why shouldn’t you put up with their marketing? But how many times have you been fed ads or ‘suggested posts’ that just aren’t right for you, or possible felt downright offensive!? Cure for baldness, or Tena Lady anyone?
This year if you’re a business that wants visibility on the ‘net and is happy to invest some wedge to reach the right people, you could be thinking – quite rightly – that online ads might not be such a great way to spend your budget. But there are ways around this.
Title Media, for example, on its more commercial sites such as Title Sussex Magazine (where we get around 20,000 hits per week), offers paid-for articles for carefully selected and curated clients. The articles are written as editorial and therefore slip way under the ad blocker radar, but do the same job. Better actually, as editorial content is always far superior to algorithm-driven ads.
We choose who gets to be on our site very carefully in order to retain the integrity of our content, and we know our users and their interests in detail, so we make sure that the articles we accept are actually interesting to our followers.
But more than that; we ensure the writing is of a high standard and the content valid. The other big plus with this stuff is that Google just loves quality content and good inbound links, so if you’re looking for a great way to boost not just traffic to your site but visibility too, this kind of quality editorial is absolutely the way forward.
Anyhoo, if you’d like to position editorial articles to reach new engagement, talk to us. We place articles on our own sites (not as expensive as you might thing) and other complementary sites too, picking platforms that suit the client and haggling out great rates for you.
If you’d like a bit more information about how you can reach people without being blocked, give us a shout firstname.lastname@example.org