Is your ad blocker killing the sites you love?

In an article titled "Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love," Ars Technica Editor-in-Chief Ken Fisher is making clear a subject that is probably foggy in all of our minds: what happens when you block the ads on a site? With ad blockers becoming easy to use and install, what impact does it have on the websites you visit regularly that rely on that ad revenue?

"There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won't hurt a site financially," Fisher writes. "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."

Fisher isn't mad at you, though. Nor is he admonishing you so that you'll unblock the ads on Ars. It's part plea, sure, but at its core it's an informative look at the consequences of ad blockers. The decision is yours.

The site did run an interesting experiment with people who were blocking ads, however: "Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."

How did it go? While some people subscribed and others showed support, "there was a healthy mob of people criticizing us for daring to take any kind of action against those who would deny us revenue even though they knew they were doing so. Others rightly criticized the lack of a warning or notification as to what was going on." Ars was only blocking the content temporarily and is no longer doing so. Those who deny Ars ad revenue for free content can still view that content. — at cost to the site.

Head on over to Ars to see Fisher's take in full.

Via Ars Technica