A study says 30.5% of most popular websites use anti-adblockers
A recent study by University of California, Riverside, and University of Iowa reveals that 30.5% of Alexa top 10K websites use anti-adblock scripts to detect adblock users. You might be surprised by such a great number. The thing is that not all the websites â€œshowâ€ they are using anti-adblock scripts. While some of them might block content with adblock or paywalls, others are using anti-adblockers silently â€“ they detect adblockers and either switch ads or report statistics to their back-end servers.
The researchers state that their results show that anti-adblockers are much more pervasive than previously reported. Their anti-adblock detection results are approximately 5-52Ã— more than in prior studies. The researchers manually inspected 1000 websites. They found that 66 websites have visible reactions (warnings) and 934 donâ€™t, which indeed represents a huge disparity.
The research found news and media websites are much more likely to use anti-adblockers, as advertising is a key source of income for such publications. The investigation also showed that most websites choose to outsource anti-adblocking to dedicated third-party anti-adblocking service providers.
The research team also revealed some techniques used to maximize the chances of detecting adblocker. One of the approaches is called a â€œbaitâ€. Baits are elements, images, or scripts which are being monitored and stored. All the information is used to understand how the ads are filtered.
Some scripts use the â€œpixelâ€ technique, which loads a small piece of anÂ image and then drops a browser cookie for future inter-domain ad re-targeting. This ad re-targeting technique allows publishers to ensure that their ads are served only to people who have previously visited their site. The pixel often contains ads-related keywords in its URL path, and therefore can be used as a bait object to detect adblockers. Most of these scripts also silently report adblocking.
The researchers anticipate a further escalation of the technological battle between adblockers and anti-adblockers.
The full report is available here.
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