Many site owners still operate with the false mindset that digital marketing is somehow outside the scope of the public’s attention. In fact, it has become so much within the spotlight of public attention that the venerable New York Times published an extensive Mobile Ad Blocking article about the ways consumers can block mobile ads to keep digital marketing outside of their field of view.
On September 9th Apple released new iPhones and trumpeted the release of iOS 9, which includes support for apps designed to block ads on mobile devices. Ad blockers are not a new technology and have been used by an increasingly large segment of desktop traffic for years to combat the often-intrusive ads that blink, flash, make noises or include eye-catching content designed to distract a reader away from the main body of the webpage they chose to visit. However, mobile traffic has remained a stronger option for many merchants due to a dearth of ad blocking options for phone and tablet browsers.
Now, iOS 9 and Android are putting mobile browser blocking technology on equal footing with desktop ad blockers and offering their users simple ways to remove all ads with just a few clicks in their settings options. The technology works on all webpages by removing ads from view and showing only where an ad used to be, or showing the alt text of the images.
Some argue the move is a disingenuous attempt by handheld providers and platform creators to drive traffic sales from Apps since ad blockers do not block ads within any app provided by the app stores. Others see these as payback for years of overly popups and popunders that have plagued internet users in the past and lined the pockets of aggressive marketers.
What is now undeniably and unanimously accepted by website owners is the fact that banner ads and other image based traffic drivers are quickly becoming obsolete – across all desktop and mobile devices. Many have already transitioned toward contextual text ads in the body of site content, some have chosen to outsource their ad budgets, buying traffic from brokers and CPA networks – and many are now resigned to the idea that consumers are gaining much more control over what they see, where they see it and how they interact with it online.
As this trend accelerates, business owners will need to continue evolving their marketing methods to include opt-in ads, app development, social networking and the kind of ads that people prefer to see. It’s unlikely anyone will ever make a device that blocks ads during the Superbowl, because those ads have become as interesting to viewers as the big game itself. Now it’s time for Internet advertisers to up their game or be left on the sidelines by potential customers who no longer notice or respond to desperate blinking calls to action on the sidebar of every website.