The rise of ads on websites has led to a robust market in ad blockers. However, these ad blockers are often more trouble than they’re worth – especially with fashion blogs. In terms of ad blocking, nearly 40% of US users have ad blocking software on their browser, and Chrome is now equipped with ad blocking capability. For some, this is a great experience. Fashion blogs are not cheering the rise of ad blockers, though. Instead, the growth of the ad blocker has an obvious effect on the bottom line of these blogs.
Monetizing a blog is the dream of every blogger. Fashion blogs are no different, and the best way to earn money for a blog is by selling advertising. Because not as many ads are being viewed, this leads to less money for the blog. For blogs that rely on visuals to sell ideas, this is entirely antithetical to how they should try and make money. Furthermore, one can find a free pop up blocker with ease; it’s harder for the fashion blog to find a way around all of the ad blockers.
Who Uses Ad Blockers
The most significant reason money is being lost thanks to ad blockers is directly related to who is using them. 41% of people ages 18-29 are using ad blockers of some sort. This is a problem for fashion blogs because they rely on young people to be the tastemakers. If the ads are being blocked that cuts out a revenue source and also the link to buy items are usually featured on these ads. The affiliate marketing revenue is also lost thanks to the ad block. Going up to the age group of 30-44, only 26% use ad blocking. This helps, but fewer folks this age are interested in fashion blogs.
For fashion blogs, there are other consequences. AdWords is the platform used for lots of SEO functions. When ad blockers are used, they alter the work that ad words do because there aren’t as many clicks on ads. Therefore, if a business is trying to build a site and use AdWords to its highest capability, they will be disappointed because the work AdWords does is skewed. This skewing affects the bottom line, as well.
The problem is when the target market is trying to avoid ads, and the fashion blog is trying to use AdWords to get the right information about what verbiage they should use, no one wins. Revenue otherwise derived from AdWords is blocked from heading into the blog’s coffers. Ad blocks also take up space as browser extensions, and many of them, ironically funnel ads to users as well.
How Ad Blockers Work
Ad blockers are mostly virtual bouncers. What third-party ad blockers do is prevent the browser from downloading unwanted elements. Instead of a user connecting directly with the desired site, the site and user find the “invisible wall” of an ad blocker. This controls what is downloaded from the website. All the unwanted elements – such as ads, will be glossed over or left blank.
This is very difficult for fashion bloggers. Because their work is so visual, if an ad features their styling, it would get blocked. Instead of the public seeing their designs or tastes, they’re left with gray screen – something not attractive at all to fashion blog viewers. Eventually, the site would slowly but steadily lose visitors.
The Ad Blocker Response
Naturally, ad blockers are not popular with big websites, so right away these sites started to develop systems in which folks who were browsing couldn’t look at products without enabling pop-up ads. This seems like an excellent idea for fashion blogs, but there’s more to it than that.
A large web site with millions of clicks each day can afford to lose a bunch of folks not keen on ads. For a smaller fashion blog, this isn’t as clear a choice. Alienating people following the blog by requiring those viewers to turn off the ad blocker is a great way to get them off the site for a while. For fashion blogs, where every click counts, the disaster of losing a bunch of folks because of an ad block issue is not worth it.
How Google is Affected by Ad Blockers
Google is of the mindset that if you can’t be the ad blocker, then joint it. Google recently has rolled out an ad blocker on its Chrome browser. Ostensibly the goal is to give users more control over the sites, but Chrome has what is essentially a third-party ad blocker built into the browser. The browser counts the number of unwanted elements on a site’s page as it loads, and often will leave the field where the ad would be empty. The way this works is Chrome rates the usability of a website and from there works the algorithm to figure out where the ads are and block them.
Google is mostly trying to build a list of sites that don’t have excessive ads. While the list is growing, fashion bloggers are in the unenviable position of needing ads to further their brand. That will lead to Google rating the blogs as less trustworthy than more established sites – just because there are ads.
By wading into this ad blocker situation, Google clearly understands that public sentiment is against ads. Fashion bloggers, unless they can encourage readers to disable the ad block, will continue to lose revenue because ads are not featured nor can someone click through the advertisement from the site itself.
Fashion bloggers have a lot of unique challenges in their work. In terms of revenue, becoming an important voice begets increased dollars. However, the dollars can’t come if the fashion blogger is unable to large amounts of site visitors seeing the ads and/or clicking on the ads. Therefore, it is imperative that fashion bloggers disable ad blocks for their sites. This is one way that can help stem the tide of lost revenue.