Ad Blockers

Ad block is a horrible thing. The internet as we know it relies on advertising to sustain itself, without advertising, you'd have no content. Some medium sized bloggers have enough of a fan base that they can go with premium pay for content, or use some kind of fan funding like Patreon. For smaller bloggers or guys who started a month ago to just write random stuff, like me, we don't have the opportunity, because we don't have the fan base necessary. So, ads help give the new guys some kind of semblance of hope that some revenue might flow in, it's not my preferred method, but it's a good start. Now, there are some crappy ad companies out there, but Google Adsense is among the best, and that's all I use, personally.

Personally, I'd recommend using Ghostery and blocking most ad networks and trackers you've never heard of, but keeping Google Adsense and Analytics (Along with DoubleClick, and other Google services). For one thing, Google's ad services pay the most, and are the most well behaved, and for the most part, keep malware out. (Yes, there has been some slip through, but Google is usually pretty good at keeping the bad stuff out, and removing it pretty quickly once it's discovered. In any case, with Ghostery, nothing is blocked by default, and you can pick and choose exactly which ad networks and trackers you don't want, and which ones you don't mind. This way, content creators can still make money, but they wont be able to overload on ad networks.

The reason they do that is because when Google Adsense doesn't fill in an ad, they use backup services in it's place. Typically Adsense can fill an ad most of the time for most people, but if you turn on do not track in your web browser, then you stand a much higher chance of Google not being able to fill an ad. When that happens, you get the horrible ads that you don't want to see. My recommendation is as I said above, use Ghostery to disable all other ad networks and trackers, then turn off do not track, allowing Google to track you. This sounds scary at first, but it's still all anonymized, non-personal data, and it'll ensure you're only shown ads that you might possible be interested in. (Obviously, it can't get it right for everyone, but as long as you don't goto random sights and search random stuff on every topic known to man, you should be fine.) For instance, I've been looking around for gaming laptops to buy, and, since I've disabled do not track, I actually see ads for similar products, which might be useful sometimes.

Anyway, in regards to ad blocking, you should only do it to block some really bad advertising, and for websites that add 20 ad networks and another 20 trackers, but you should still keep Google Adsense and Analytics, so they can at least make some money. I trust Google to properly vet the advertising, as they have their reputation at stake to do it. I don't think they want to make national headlines over malware ads.


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