Most of the internet runs on advertising. Website pages are filled with ads that blink, animate, pop up, crawl, overlap, hide, obscure content, and even worse, track your every move online and send captured information back to advertisers and ad networks.
The big dawg in the online ad game is Google because that’s where the bread and butter is. Ads. 95-percent of Google’s revenue and profits come from advertising, and the ad industry is under assault from the very people their ads have assaulted for years. Ad blocker apps for Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad, and other mobile devices have grown in popularity as website advertising has grown in annoyance.
Apple, which makes most of its money the old fashioned way– by making and selling a physical product– got in on the trend by allowing ad blockers on iOS. What an ad blocker does is simple. It blocks ads. It blocks tracking mechanisms spawned by ads It makes website pages load faster (without ads), and saves you money by limiting how much bandwidth those ad-heavy websites use.
Ever quick to recognize when Apple helps a new trend, Samsung decided to get into the ad blocker game and put up their own app called Adblock Fast on Google’s Play Store. In other words, Samsung didn’t just want to allow ad blockers on Samsung smartphones and tablets, it made sure an ad blocker was available.
Guess who gets stung the most when ad blockers are used? The king of online ads. That would be Google, who just happens to be the arbiter of whatever apps show up on the Google Play Store for Android, and after a few tens of thousands of Samsung’s ad blocker were downloaded Google did what everyone expected.
It pulled the plug.
Samsung’s Adblock Fast was banned from the Google Play Store.
In a staredown of epic proportions with Samsung, Google’s best Android device maker, Google blinked. Google is afraid of ad blockers, and must be upset that Apple allows ad blockers for iPhone and iPad (they’ve been available for the Mac for years; I recommend Ghostery).
Wait a minute. Isn’t the popular Adblock Plus in the Google Play Store? How come that didn’t get banned, too. Actually, it did, but now it’s back. Why? Supposedly it’s because Adblock Plus blocks ads from within its own browser, but it doesn’t matter. Blocking ads on Android also blocks revenue from Google which diminishes profits, and the only reason Android exists is to track your online usage and website visits so Google can make more money by using your data and selling ads.
Of course, ad blocking is a problem for online publishers, websites, and bloggers, including yours truly, who rely on advertising revenue to exist, so you can see why ad blocking is such a problem as it takes away revenue from the ad networks and publishers. Tests confirm that ad blockers are in use between 15-percent and 40-percent of all website visitors, and about 25-percent for Bohemian Boomer. In recent months I’ve done away with Google Analytics, the tracking mechanism Google uses to track nearly everyone who traverses the internet, and have a plan to get rid of all third party tracking, including Google’s ads.
In the meantime, of course, we always appreciate it when sponsors are visited, but this battle between users and advertisers is far from over.