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Ad blocking – good or bad?

Thu, 22/10/2015 - 11:37

For the average person surfing the web, being bombarded with advertising is a constant annoyance. You click on a link to an article you’re dying to read and the next thing you know you’ve got a billion ads all vying for your attention. And video ads that start up without your consent, well they’re just the worst.

Imagine sitting in peace and quiet one second and having someone trying to sell you baby wipes at top volume the next. It’s more than annoying, it’s hazardous.

But online advertising has its pros. For example, that article you’re trying to read for free? That’s only free because the website makes money off of advertising. Ads are the main currency online and ad blocking is putting a dent in that economy.

There are pros and cons on either side of the fence, and both deserve to be heard.

Pros

It’s just plain easier for the guy surfing the web

Every day we all search, click, post and share. Less ads simply means less hassle – no bright colourful blocks to ignore, no videos to stop, no miniature X to find on that web banner. It means that the consumer of online content can get to their information quicker, absorb it faster and enjoy it more.

Online businesses can interact with the consumer without distractions

When the guy surfing the web finds it easier to locate and interact with online businesses, they do so more often. Although the average consumer doesn’t often think about how difficult ads make it to operate online, without ads it’s highly likely that the whole process will go a whole lot smoother.

Cons

No money, more problems

As stated earlier, ads are the main currency online and without them a lot of businesses will fail to make money. Online publications won’t have the funds to continue to produce quality content, if they can continue to operate at all. This means that the consumer of online media is made to suffer because there will be less content worth consuming. Worse than that, without advertisers to pay for content, the consumer will have to foot the bill. Basically: paywalls go up and free quality content goes down.

Businesses can’t communicate with consumers

As much as the general public may regard ads as a nuisance, businesses need to advertise their products and services. And people need to be aware that these products and services are available. Print is dead and nobody watches TV commercials anymore. So, online is where businesses go to sell their wares and if you take away online advertising, how do they continue to have direct access to potential customers?

Ad blocking may seem like a good thing to the average guy who surfs the web, but it definitely has its issues. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth sacrificing free quality content just so you don’t have to deal with ads.

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