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Ad Blockers Hurting The Sites You Like To Visit... Like This One

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I recently came across an article on Ars Technica talking about how Ad Blocking can cause the sites you like to visit to take a financial hit. While this is something that I have long recognized, Ken Fisher did such a great job explaining the issue that I decided that it is worth repeating here:

There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won't hurt a site financially. This is wrong. Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis. If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue. Because we are a technology site, we have a very large base of ad blockers. Imagine running a restaurant where 40% of the people who came and ate didn't pay. In a way, that's what ad blocking is doing to us. Just like a restaurant, we have to pay to staff, we have to pay for resources, and we have to pay when people consume those resources. The difference, of course, is that our visitors don't pay us directly but indirectly by viewing advertising.

Now GayGamer isn't the size of Ars, but we do have the same kinds of expenses to keep the site running. We have not yet implemented an ad free subscription feature, and we will give it serious consideration for those who wish to support our efforts. However, for the rest of you who do block ads, I'd like to suggest that doing so actually prevents us from being able to bring you more regular unique content. Remember that this site is not a huge money maker, it is a labor of love. We would like to expand our features and even begin video content, but the biggest restraint has been one of capital. So I am appealing to you to consider turning off your ad blockers, at least for GayGamer and any other sites that you love. We welcome your presence, but in order to exist, we require your presents (in the form of viewing ads).

Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love [ars technica]

35 Comments

Wolf said:

Well, I'll do it, but I don't have to like it.
I don't think the restaurant analogy is very apt because adverts, by their very nature, are something you choose to acknowledge (or not). It's like if I turn off my TV while the commercial break is going. The channel looses out, in theory, but they've no right to tell their viewers "Sit down and watch these!"

Regardless, it's a pretty small thing and if it helps, then why not.

DeadRobot said:

Could you screen your ads a bit better? I read your site at work and while my sexuality is never been an issue, the fact that I have a guy in his underwear on my screen shilling hook up sites, is.

Zach Risso said:

I agree with DeadRobot. If you screened your ads with more diligence, I'd be more inclined to turn the adblocker off.

I disabled Adblock on Ars after reading that article, and kept it off because their ads don't make the page look unbearably ugly.

I just gave it a try here, and they're a page-breaking eyesore. Clean up the design and I'll keep it turned off.

TooManyAdSpots said:

I read all your content via RSS, so that wouldn't help.. But jebus, that's a lot of ad spots on this site!

Combined with your huge header and all the tags and such above the article content, they make the headline appear about 410 pixels from the top of the page. This causes almost all of the actual content of the page to appear below the fold at standard resolution (1024x768). From usability and design perspectives, this is no good. At least with that top ad slot removed, the article title jumps up to 315 pixels from the top of the page.

Not to mention the gigantic spots in both the left and right columns that push all those peripheral links way down the page..

This is part of the reason why people install ad blockers by rote these days; too many sites make themselves too hard to read by going overboard. While you certainly need the ads to make money, please be a little more design-conscious.

Reech said:

Sadly, I won't be removing my ad blocking software. My eyes bleed when pages are ruined by a huge banner advert, and the occasional flash one that slows things down to a crawl is just unacceptable and shoddy. Also, I know I'm gay as well, but don't feel the need to click through for sexy pants or cock. I've got plenty of sexypants (and plenty of cock, according to my reviewers) so I'm not looking for any more ;)

However, I'm more than happy to pay an amount for a 'plus' service that's on GayGamer to hide ads, etc. I've done so on Stratics in the past, and will do so here, since I really enjoy the articles, the podcasts and the community.

Yes, I'm hard, but I'm fair ;)

Karrde said:

I can see the complaints about the ads here, but tbh I just ignore them. They're really not that bad. The only things I block are popups.

Mittens said:

I'm not turning off my ad blocker. I will happily pay for a subscription, and then from work I will still see ads because I prolly won't log in while I'm at work, but will read the posts.

Also, the naked guy ads, should be toned down. I've had to stop referring people to the great content here because some of them are young, and others won't read the article once the site pops up with all the trappings of a porn blog.

glippy said:

I keep the ad blocker turned off on your site BECAUSE of the ads with the guys. Get more of them ;-)

ser said:

I agree with some of the others posting that I read/post at work and cannot deal with the naked-dude-hookup-site ads. So, either screen those or provide a no-ads subscription option if you want me to turn my adblocker off.

One reason why ads are blocked is my MMO I play had people lose their accounts due to advertisements that are infected with trojans (flash ads and stuff).

Its not like I am trying to be a cheap ass or something like that.

Bearfamily said:

I dont mind them either way but I leave NoScript on to be safe. But guys you need to listen to the people here talking about the sexualised ads you have up. Some of them where its like Parship or whatever its called with 2 guys on the beach smiling away fully clothed are fine that just another dating site and its not suggestive. But there is an issue with other ones.

This is a gaming site first and foremost and I like to think that besides the take on the straight "hottest babes" this is more then just another site that just throws out "Hot babes" banner ads without thinking about their image. So as others have suggested screen the ads better and see what happens. For me the issue isn't that those guys are in their underwear its that they are NEVER Cubs in their underwear!

ougeoman said:

I'll be another voice to support the less-nudity movement being started here for the ads.
One of my bosses has the annoying habit of staring over my shoulder at the screen when I'm on break, and I feel really awkward when scantily clad men appear all over.

I will say, however, there is something about the progressive ads I really do like, haha.

bourgtai said:

I'm typically reading from home or my iPod Touch, so I'm not overly concerned about screen snooping, and I don't have an ad blocker activated, but when I let all of the flash on a webpage through, more often than not it throttles my CPU.

Ducky said:

Although I agree with the other posters about the sexually-charged ads (can't read at work), I encourage people to turn off ad-blockers to sites they visit on a daily basis.

The old media is fighting back again -- Viacom pulling Daly Show from Hulu, news organizations wanting to charge for content again.

If you want easy, cheap access to content, you need to let people know there are alternate revenue streams available. Ad blockers prevent that from happening. Yes, they can be annoying and add a few seconds to your viewing experience, but I'd rather have that than no access (or becoming a pirate).

Ducky said:

Although I agree with the other posters about the sexually-charged ads (can't read at work), I encourage people to turn off ad-blockers to sites they visit on a daily basis.

The old media is fighting back again -- Viacom pulling Daly Show from Hulu, news organizations wanting to charge for content again.

If you want easy, cheap access to content, you need to let people know there are alternate revenue streams available. Ad blockers prevent that from happening. Yes, they can be annoying and add a few seconds to your viewing experience, but I'd rather have that than no access (or becoming a pirate).

Abe said:

Ok....thank you for making me feel guilty.

ser said:

Be sure to check out this link:

http://techdirt.com/articles/20100306/1649198451.shtml

titled "Don't Blame Your Community: Ad Blocking Is Not Killing Any Sites"

ReignFury said:

@ ser, that's an interesting article.

I personally don't feel guilty about using an ad blocker, the ads on this site are appallingly graphic. So much so that I do not visit GG.net when I'm at work or other public places. They also butcher the site aesthetically, making it less appealing to read.

Muddy said:

I'm in the same boat as Matt, I've been burned several times by ads that install viruses, malware, or trojans as soon as they are loaded, without clicking on them. This was on mainstream sites that didn't realize until too late that an ad was corrupted.

I'm not going through that process again, last time it took me a whole day to finally get my computer back to normal.

I would suggest maybe adding some value added services such as BerryBlab where site users could navigate the site's forums on the Blackberry, and the authors have an affiliate program that could help pay for the website. Try inquiring with the authors of Berryblab to see what can be done.

Anyways I do appreciate the community here and I have even went on Amazon and bought a few things from the site to help contribute.

Burr said:

I'm also in the "I don't want to get owned by malware" group. I use ABP and NoScript because even though I trust you, I don't necessarily trust your ad provider. If you hosted your own ads, or if your ads were limited to static images (preferably not too sketchy, but I'll deal), then I'd be happy to whitelist GayGamer.net!

Either that or I would donate/subscribe. You guys do great work and I want to support it.

I'll also echo the design concerns.. Ads shouldn't make the page unreadable.

ironmouse said:

I agree with others. Also get rid of the Evony ads. I hate seeing those too.

CerberusTheHitman said:

Even with adblockers, sites like IGN still let popup ads that take over the entire screen and hide the close window take over their website. So pretty much it becomes impossible to even view a website. Or the sites that have endless popups. Pretty much, if it were feasible to turn off popup blockers then I'd be all for it, but as it is now, i'm not risking the safety of my computer. I still see the ads on the top and the sides of the webpages, and I dont see why that isnt enough.

I've been running the 'Fox since it was just the Mozilla browser, and I've never had virus problems, even before AdBlock. I haven't really cared what viruses infect Bill's Junky Browser in a long time.

That being said, I'd be more than willing to donate far more cash to gaygamer.net that they will ever get from me watching ads, and go back to the adblock land.

The sites I visit with my own AdBlocked machines are also the sites that I visit with the non-Adblocked iPod Touch on a regular basis. So, some of the ads are getting through, just not as many.

I am another no script user and another RSS feed reader (because I read mostly offline on the bus.) decided to turn off scripting to see what turns up on hear and it is amazing the amount of junk comes up - including a almost screen length gap between GGotW and Recent comments.

saying this there is one ad site which I don't block at all and that is project wonderful because it is site specific targeted advertising and image only so I don't have to worry about anything nasty coming through.

Nanami said:

Yeah, no offense but the adblocker stays right where it is. I rather enjoy seeing only what I want to see. I don't watch commercials on TV either, and have no intention of starting.

Eric said:

I am a little late in the debate, but I do tend to turn a little flushed when I want to show friends some of your great articles. The ads are embarrassing, not because of the sexual orientation, but because they tend to be pretty graphic.

I am not a fan of it at all, if you change the content of said ads, I have no issues!

raindog469 said:

I have Gaygamer whitelisted, so I always assumed you didn't do a lot of banner ads. Imagine my surprise when I turned on Javascript for the first time in recent memory and saw a guy wearing only a towel on my screen.

So I'll be switching to CSS-based ad blocking, which still retrieves the ad, giving the site credit for the impression, but hides it on my screen. Letting your ad providers have their way with my browser unfettered, while there are borderline-NSFW ads in play, is simply not going to happen.

Ugh, and over here on the preview page I got the underwear ad that I assume the previous posters were complaining about. Yeah, that won't fly at work. At all.

Maybe I should start browsing with Dillo or Links2 so that I can claim the moral high ground, since none of these ad providers seem to have fallbacks for browsers with no Javascript support in the first place.

Leela13 said:

Wow a lot of people are vocal about this. Personally I never use an ad blocker, I'm not too sensitive to deal with a few ads. I don't usually get on the site anyplace where someone might see my screen though. While I agree that some of the ads are definitely NSFW, I really think maybe you should be working more and spending less time browsing the web unless you're on a break. Maybe that's just my puritan heritage coming through though. lol

Lucrece said:

I don't mind the more subtle banners.


Anything too flashy or that gets in the way and likes to pop on the entire screen when I mouse over pisses me off to no end, since I like to keep control of what I'm doing.

Maverynthia said:

I don't like ads at all for any reason. I get enough ads on the radio, tv, before my DVD starts, before my movie I paid $15 to see start, going to work, in my inbox. I pay good money for my internet, if I have a way to have some space that isn't filled with ads I'll take it.
Don't try to guilt trip me into taking my adblocker off so you can track my clicks, and spam my eyes some more and then blame ME for not giving you money. I find that oft circulated "turn them off because we are hurting for money!!!" quite offensive and it tells me that your just greedy for money. If ads aren't working then look to other means of making money or just simply admit that there is no money to be made.

Even re-evaluating where the hosting is coming from will cut down on costs. Most times you don't need the $1000 a month hosting and server.

Why should I have to pay you for visiting your site, are you saying basically that your site isn't free and that the information will cost me money?

raindog469 said:

I've had jobs like the one it sounds like you have, @Leela13, and was miserable in them. Now I'm a consultant, and the culture at some of my clients is such that you take time now and then to read a story on the web and then talk about it with your coworkers. More often it's about Obama or some garbage from Fox News, but sometimes we get talking about video game consoles too. It's called "socializing", and it develops rapport among team members. Also, it's part of being a normal human being.

Given that, GayGamer without ads is safe for the workplace. GayGamer with ads is not safe for the workplace. It's as simple as that. I've already developed a custom stylesheet that makes Flash invisible and all images 16 by 16 pixels, which sucks when I want to see a screenshot but takes care of the NSFW aspect of GayGamer's seamier ads.

Thiago said:

Guys your podcast is great, I hope you get sponsorship for that.

People with ad-blockers are unlikely to turn it off, I'm afraid. But I reckon most people do not use that? I don't. If banners on a site bother me, I'll probably sooner give up the site.

Anyways, I've never seen guy in underwear ads here and it wouldn't bother me. Str8s open sites at work with ads featuring scantly clad ladies and it's not a problem as long as you keep it non-XXX. Or you could beef up your profiles to encourage dating/meeting and save the raunchier ads to that hornyland lol

Selling games and things like your amazon store seems to have the most potential... but please mind your viewership overseas, we don't like to order from the US! Here in the Netherlands we like to order from the UK :)

I'm curious to see how this will develop, u can do it :D

mixvio said:

It's worth reminding everyone that the ads are sent in by Google, not anything anyone on staff goes out looking for deliberately. The ads also depend on a bunch of things, like where the person viewing the page lives, the content on the page itself, and the time of day; two people refreshing the same page aren't going to see the same stuff, which makes it hard to narrow down if an ad is particular bad or not.

If you do come across something offensive or NSFW, please email someone on staff and we'll take care of it. We've prevented ads from running in the past when they were inappropriate, but unfortunately given that this is classified as a gay website it means the majority of ads we're going to get sent from Google-- other than the game ads-- are personals sites and underwear stores.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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mixvio on Ad Blockers Hurting The Sites You Like To Visit... Like This One: It's worth reminding everyone that the ads are sent in by Google, not anything anyone on staff goes out looking...

Thiago on Ad Blockers Hurting The Sites You Like To Visit... Like This One: Guys your podcast is great, I hope you get sponsorship for that. People with ad-blockers are unlikely to turn it...

raindog469 on Ad Blockers Hurting The Sites You Like To Visit... Like This One: I've had jobs like the one it sounds like you have, @Leela13, and was miserable in them. Now I'm a...

Maverynthia on Ad Blockers Hurting The Sites You Like To Visit... Like This One: I don't like ads at all for any reason. I get enough ads on the radio, tv, before my DVD...

Lucrece on Ad Blockers Hurting The Sites You Like To Visit... Like This One: I don't mind the more subtle banners. Anything too flashy or that gets in the way and likes to pop...

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