With the increase of people using Ad-Blockers, whether it be a standalone system, or a browser plugin, the age of Internet based advertising, is coming to an end.
So, I hear you ask, how does that affect websites, and businesses whose entire profit model (or the greater majority) come from selling advertising (Google, Facebook etc...) - Well, for these companies it means they are going to have to take drastic measures to actually remain profitable...Google, not so much a they DO have other options available to them (Countless patents, Augmented Reality, Self Driving Car and such)
Google's Augmented Reality Glasses
However, the downfall of Online Advertising does mean one very good thing for the rest of us...it means websites are going to have to focus more on great content to pull user's into their space. Of Course, this does not mean that ALL Online advertising will die, but it will be much more reliable in the sense that it will have to be done in ways such as plugging a product in a blog post...and if the blog post is uninteresting, a user won't instantly have the belief that said product is better than the rest. (A rough example of this type of advertising, is how DonationCoder.com mentions products and websites within post's and reviews.)
A competitive review of Word Processing Software from DonationCoder
Internet | People on the Web neither want, need nor trust advertising, writes Eric Clemons, an information management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, in a much-commented-upon post at TechCrunch. And the reason they don’t like ads is simple: they can find out what they need to know about whatever they want to buy via other virtual means — “community content,” professional and peer reviews and the like. They certainly don’t need Google search results that advertisers pay for, he says, calling that a form of “misdirection.”
So take note, news and other sites relying on ads for salvation: there won’t be enough revenue, even after the recession, for with so many sites competing for ads, “prices will be driven lower and lower, for everyone but Google.” And for those expecting a “free lunch” of ad-supported content, as the Economist observes in a separate article, “the lesson of two internet bubbles is that somebody somewhere is going to have to pick up the tab.”
Internet Advertising is certainly not the first industry to fail, and will most certainly, not be the last. An example of another dying/dead Online Trade, is Website Design. It used to be, a designer could charge HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
of dollars, for what was essentially, a very basic website design, and then came along Dreamweaver and Online Builders (Wix.com etc) - and now, Designers basically have to beg for contracts at a price that is just not sustainable.
So, where does this leave the end user?
I personally think that this leaves the consumer (end user) in a much better position.
Although, thats not to say that website owners are not fighting back. Back in 2010, Ars Technica wrote an interesting article about an experiment they ran:
An experiment gone wrong
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. We tested just one way of doing this, but have devised a way to keep it rotating were we to want to permanently implement it. But we don't. Socially, the experiment was a mixed bag. A bunch of people whitelisted Ars, and even a few subscribed. And while others showed up to support our actions, 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.
We made the mistake of assuming that everyone who is blocking ads at Ars is doing so with malice. As it turns out, only a few people are, and many (most?) indicated you are happy to help out. That's what led to this hopefully informative post.
In summery, Advertising in the general sense, is a dying trade, so find other ways to help the sites you love. Consider donating to them instead of clicking adverts (At the end of the day, even if you only donate 1c for every link you would have clicked or seen, you should feel safe in the knowledge that if everybody donates $5/10 each to the sites they love, they will actually have MUCH more money to provide better content, and not actually need to rely on said advertising. We know this works, because it works right here at DonationCoder.com - You will not find a single paid advertisement on this entire website...and thats because it is community driven. What started off as an experiment has turned into over 270,000 members and 285,000+ Posts. So, advertising is not the be all, and end all of a website, there are certainly many more means of supporting your favorite sites, so please do!