Why do people block online ads?

ad blocking Advertisers are often frustrated to learn that the ad campaigns they have spent money putting together end up being hurt by ad blockers. Most people believe that the only reason ads end up being blocked is because people simply don’t want to see them, but that is not always the cases. The fact that big name companies continue to advertise online tells you that there is a market for this type of promotion, so why then do ads get blocked? Here are just a few of the reasons:

Viewing ads at work

Many workplaces go out of their way to restrict what can and cannot be viewed on their network, which is why they will install a corporate firewall that blocks certain web traffic sources, including traffic to and from ad servers. After all, businesses don’t want their employees viewing things that might not be suitable for a work environment.

Default browser

Many browsers now come with an option to block ads either as a built-in setting or via an add-on or plug-in. The software creator can have the ad blocker enabled by default. Many users are not even aware that such an option exists, and that they can switch it off or on so that ads can be viewed if they want to support the website owner.

The types of ads

Most people who activate an ad blocker will tell you that there was a specific reason why they did so. The number one reason for blocking is because they grew tired of flashy or intrusive ads. Online ads that are properly placed and which seem like an organic part of the site are usually not an issue for most.

Security issues

Another reason that people head off in search of an ad blocker is because of concerns for the health and safety of their computer and their important files. There are criminals who distribute ads infected with viruses and malware, and it is those people who ruin it for the rest of the online advertising community, the majority of whom are trustworthy.

Connection speed

We live in a world where people now have the need for speed more than ever before. Instant gratification is huge, and if a website if being slowed down by unwieldy ads on its pages, people will install an ad blocker or move on and find another site that better meets their needs. It is often those flashier ads that have an effect on site speed, which means these negative factors often go together and make a bigger negative impact on the web browsing experience.

Inappropriate ads

We all know that sex sells, but it’s not appropriate for everyone legally and ethically. Ads that are considered NSFW are fine when they are on a site intended for adults, but they become a real problem when they are loaded onto pages that are considered family friendly. Rather than take the risk of their kids inadvertently seeing ads of this type, people will just turn on the ad blocker.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why people have ad blockers in place, and not all of them are because they choose or want to do so. A balanced boundary is really needed right now so everyone, from regular viewers to advertisers, publishers and ad serving companies, can all benefit from online advertising.

Posted in Ad Blocking July 26, 2017 (first published February 2016)


  • How does ad blocking affect publishers and what can you do about it?
    "Great content should be rewarded with more than just a ‘like’ or a ‘share’. People write such content for a living and they hence need to make money from it. " More
  • How should a publisher handle viewers with ad blocker?
    "Advertising is a valuable income stream for publishers. Most website users are perfectly okay to deal with a couple of ads because they understand that doing so will allow the site owner to invest his/her time and effort to maintain the site and continue creating new content and features. " More
  • How should advertisers handle ad blocking?
    "As much as you would love to get your ads in front of as many people as possible, there are going to be times when they end up getting blocked, often by visitors with an ad blocker installed on their computer. Ad blocking should be considered part of the online advertising business, and you should be aware that there are always going to be some ads that do not get to their programmed destination. " More