How many times do you come across an ad while reading content on a website? How often do such websites ask you to disable your ad-blocking service or whitelist their website to continue using their website? Websites serve ads blocking content on the page and make it so intrusive to the point that it becomes difficult for visitors to use the website. Some websites block access to their service if they find out that you are using an adblocking service to get around or bypass the ads on their websites. So it’s important to know how to get past Adblock detection.
Right through the middle of the last decade, ad blocker usage spiked. Before adblockers were only used by gamers and techies, the most tech-savvy lot of the internet citizens, to get rid of annoying ads. But times changed, and even average internet users started getting frustrated with multiple ads popping up or ads cluttering their pages when they just wanted to read or watch a video. As a result, millions on the internet started installing adblocker extensions on their browser.
What ensued was an escalating battle between ad-dependent publishers and ad-blocking websites. For instance, the famous online media website, Forbes, started blocking access to its site to some users of ad-blocking software in 2015. Visitors using desktop browser ad blockers were greeted with a firm warning on the welcome screen ad page the website shows before landing on its site. Forbes users were forced to disable their ad blocker to access content on the website’s page. Several large-scale publishers adopted methods to block Adblock detection software.
Another factor that caused the increased adoption of adblocker detection was behavioral advertising. The simplest explanation for this would be that instance when you check out an ad that popped up on your Facebook page and you would see the same ad on a Google page you are browsing as well. What happened was that these tech giants tied up with third-party apps and gave them certain permissions. To serve ads-based behavior, these third-party advertising companies started tracking the users and their activities online.
As soon as this came into, there was a massive outrage of internet users on social media. Users came to know that their privacy was being invaded by advertising companies and famous tech giants like Facebook and Google were privy to this fact. Users were irked to find out that their data was collected without their permission or knowledge and was stored on unknown servers.
Loosening the Shackles
The data privacy scandal had shackled the online users immensely that the governments of various countries came to their rescue. California Consumer Privacy Act forced publishers to be more upfront about the data they collect for advertising purposes. Govt regulations and a spike in the use of adblocking software forced the tech companies to assert more discipline around the display of annoying ads like pop-ups and autoplay videos.
In 2016, a group of companies and trade bodies including Google, GroupM, Procter & Gamble, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and the World Federation of Advertisers formed the Coalition for Better Ads. This diverse industry group identified over a dozen intrusive ad formats that the industry should attempt to avoid. In 2018, Google Chrome rolled out a filter that automatically blocks out ads that don’t meet the Coalition’s ad standards.
History of Adblocking
In the early days, ad blocking was primarily done by browser extensions. Now browsers, themselves, are offering anti-tracking and ad-blocking features. Brave, a new browser automatically blocks all ads, Apple Safari is equipped with Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature, Firefox has Enhanced Tracking Protection and Microsoft Edge is armed with Enhanced Tracker Prevention.
All adblockers want to do their work without letting the website know they’re doing it. But it is a bitter war. Originally, ads used tags that looked like <img class=”advert”>. Adblockers flagged and blocked everything with class=”advert”. When ad companies realized this, they changed the tags and so did the adblockers. This cycle kept repeating.
How to Get Past Adblock Detection?
Adblocking depends on websites and browsers. Here is a list of ways that you can try to get past Adblock detection to consume content online without ad interference.
1. Get rid of pop-ups
You might be familiar with pop-up ads that appear when you click on a link to open up a website. If you are using Google Chrome it is easy to get rid of these pop-ups.
- Go to the three-dot menu and click on Settings.
- Choose the Privacy and Security option and click on Site Settings from the drop-down menu. Go to the Pop-ups and redirects option.
- Find the websites that you want to block the pop-ups from. Tap on the three-dot menu and choose block.
2. Deleting the HTML element
To delete an ad completely from your page, the following method is the best option.
- Right-click on the ad and choose the Inspect option.
- A page opens up on the side which shows the HTML mark-up for the page, with the element you right-clicked highlighted.
- Right-click on the highlighted element
- Choose to delete the element.
Note that some web pages try to prevent Adblock in more sophisticated ways. E.g., sometimes while showing the pop-up, some websites also lock scrolling, so even if you delete the pop-up, you can’t read more than the first few paragraphs.
3. Going Incognito
Most browsers these days provide an incognito or private mode. If you choose to browse on this mode your browser won’t register the browser history or store cookies that can track your online activities. Enable your adblocker and browse on using this mode and you will be able to successfully get through the ad-block detection on many websites. Make sure that you allow your ad-blocker extension to work in an incognito window. For this, you will need to go to your ad blocker settings and enable the incognito option from the extension settings.
6. Reading Mode
If you are on the latest version of Google Chrome you will directly land on the ‘Enable Reader Mode’ option. You will see a default option on the right side. Upon pressing the option you will get a drop-down menu from which you can choose the enable option.
In case the web browsers you use don’t already have a Reading Mode, you can install third-party browser extensions like Easy Reader, Mercury Reader, Just Read, Reader View, amongst others.
7. Accessing Cached Website
Apart from all the other options listed above, you can also try using the cached version of a website to get past ad-block detection. To obtain the cached version of a website enters the URL for it in the search bar. From the list of results that appear, click on the downward-facing arrow located next to the ideal result and tap on cached.
A cached version of the website that you requested will appear after selecting the option. Note that, a cached version is a snapshot of a website at a particular instant of time. A lot of the things will get updated while you spend on the cached version of the website that you will miss.
You can try to block Adblock detection but it is harder than blocking the ads themselves. Ads are easier to block because they are mostly stored on specific ad servers. The number of ad servers to be tracked is manageable because there aren’t that many mom-and-pop advertising services. Adblock detection is mostly a function of individual websites, and each can have its detection method, therefore adblocking can sometimes be a failed attempt.
Ads are bread and butter for publisher giants as well as small-time WordPress bloggers. These are the biggest revenue sources for most of the websites that offer services for free. Most of the websites offer you their content for free and therefore ads are the only way to generate revenue for these online shops to continue providing their services, and eventually grow their platform.
While blocking ads that cover the content you are trying to read is reasonable, ads that are showed on the side of the page without intruding on the content can be ignored. If websites stop ads on their platform either they will have to shut shop or ask you for donations so that their platform can function. Rather a tough choice!
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