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Asked by: Mike Cherichetti 721 views User Questions
It seems that all ads served by AdvertPRO adservers are suddenly being blocked on one of my machines. This seems to have happened after the latest MS security patch. Does anybody else have this problem?
on Jan 10, 2006 Log in to Reply
We’ve not had any other users report this problem. Which version and service pack level of Windows and Internet Explorer are you running?
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cstock109 on Jan 28, 2006 Log in to Reply
I’m having the same problem, although, I can confirm that it’s McAfee’s Ad Blocker that’s blocking the ads and not a Windows security update in my case.
I have tried several techniques to circumvent ad blocking software to no avail.
Is Renegade working on a solution for this? I know that I’d be willing to pay for a workaround to ad blockers. McAfee can’t seem to block MSN ads so there must be some solution.
on Jan 30, 2006 Log in to Reply
There really isn’t a permanent solution to work around blockers. You can change the domain name and directory you’ve deployed AdvertPRO to so they don’t contain keywords like ‘ads’ or ‘advert’. However, all the blocker software needs to do is add paths in our URLs then to block them again (i.e. /servlet/view/camapign). We could then change our URL paths (which means you’d have to redo the AdvertPRO tags on your site), but again since we’re a major ad server it wouldn’t be long before they picked up our new URLs. And it’s more complicated if you serve third party ads from agencies like DoubleClick because their ads get blocked too. Given the small percentage of visitors that are using blocking software, it’s too much work all around to justify for a small gain.
Also, I’m not sure how the MSN ads are not being blocked. They contain the keyword ‘ads’ in their URLs. It would not surprise me if Microsoft is paying McAfee not to block their ads.
cstock109 on Jan 30, 2006 Log in to Reply
I’m surprised you’re not more concerned about ad blocking software.
What percentage of people do you think use ad blocking software? And don’t you think that it’s only increasing? It has recently come to my attention that McAfee Anti-Virus Software is shipping on new Dell machines with the ad blocking option turned on. It is also distributed for free to all Comcast subscribers as a download. This is just what I’m aware of and I’m not doing any research.
I hear where you’re coming from, but as a Web publisher who relies on ad revenue I have to be concerned about threats to that revenue stream. Several of my advertisers can’t even view their own ads because they have ad blocking software and don’t know how to disable it.
To me, we’re in the same boat. What hurts me hurts you as the developer of ad serving software. I have to figure out a solution to this issue, and as your customer I need to know if you see this as an issue and if you will be developing a solution.
I agree that there is no permanent solution to this issue. At least not one that is obvious today. As developers figure out ways to circumvent ad blockers, McAfee and the likes will modify their software accordingly. It’s a never-ending battle, and as such you should bill accordingly.
Ad blocking software is much more complex than looking for the word “ad” or a particular server path. Likewise, the solution will be complex. It seems that the weakness that ad blocking has is that it has to allow “non-ad” images and text to appear. The more that you can mimic the display of ads as non-ads, the closer you’ll be to finding a permanent solution. But I digress.
You guys have a great solution. The best afforable solution on the market in my opinion. But if my user’s can’t see my ads then I can’t stay in business. It sounds like you are not going to ever pursue a solution to this issue. Please let me know if this is the case.
I’m not exactly sure how many users have ad blockers installed. Some of the reports I’ve seen showed 1-3% of users have them. Other reports have been as high as 10-15%.
If there was a solution, we’d have implemented it already. It is not practical for us to implement something that’s only going to work temporarily. The turnaround time for us to develop a new version, put it through test cycles, have customers deploy it, and then have customers re-tag their site(s) is just too long compared to the amount of time it takes the blocking software vendors to foil our efforts.
As soon as we find a solution though, trust me, we will implement because it is in our best interest to do so.
I have some doubt that the deployment rate of ad blocking software is ever going to get as high as the deployment rate of popup blockers. If it does get to that point, it would not surprise me if we find some of the largest ad networks taking up law suits against Norton and McAfee. Altering the content of a web site in the manner these blockers do should be illegal, but hey I’m going way off-topic here.
There are some alternatives to banners that we can move to and I think that’s the most practical solution because we’re pretty limited by what we can do with HTML to really come up with a workaround that cannot be easily foiled.
Take a look at: http://www.sitepoint.com/ After the page loads you’ll get an ad that slides into the bottom of the page. Something like that is more difficult for the blockers to remove than banner ads. PointRoll has something similar that opens up in the corner like a postage stamp: http://www.pointroll.com/products/foldover.asp These can be run with the dynamic media type in AdvertPRO. And I’m pretty sure that the blockers can’t block our dynamic ads right now as long as you haven’t deployed AdvertPRO to a directory named “/advertpro”.
There’s also text ads in the fashion that Google AdSense is doing them. AdvertPRO already supports delivering multiple text ads in a horizontal or vertical column like they are doing. We’re going to be making it easier to style the text ads with CSS in the next version of AdvertPRO. And again I’m pretty sure that the blockers can’t block our text ads right now as long as you haven’t deployed AdvertPRO to a directory named “/advertpro”.
cstock109 on Jan 31, 2006 Log in to Reply
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your insight on the situation.
It’s definately a tough one.
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