Users of the ad-blocking software Adblock Plus may have been surprised this morning when they loaded up their browsers. Instead of the home page, the image above would be loaded informing users of a change.
Explained by the image as well as a post on the official site, it is stated that a new option allows certain ads to pass AdBlock Plus’s filters and be displayed, despite the software running.
These ads, deemed “acceptable” by AdBlock through a thorough vetting process, will allow users to support sites that depend on ads, and which run ads that are unobtrusive.
The feature will be turned on by default so that “advertisers will have the incentive to produce better ads.” Users can turn it off, but the ultimate goal here is to get to a point where the need for ad-blocking software is negated by sites using better advertising. This is also the goal of the Acceptable Ads Manifesto.
Adblock’s requirements for acceptable adds are quite stringent. In short: ads must be static, preferably text placed in such a way that it never obscures the content of the site, and perhaps most importantly it should also be clearly indicated as advertising so as not to be confused with site content, a widely-despised trick some web advertisements employ to fool people into clicking on them.
These stipulations do not apply to affiliate programmes, in which links are used to generate income through a percentage awarded for users signing up for services and/or buying products.
It’s worth remembering that many sites rely entirely on advertising that is usually blocked by Adblock, acceptable or not, so this is a good move by AdBlock to reach the middle ground.
If you’d like to continue using ad-blocking software, while still supporting sites you enjoy, we recommend reading a section of the site’s FAQ in which they explain this. Remember that you can also externally support sites by purchasing products they offer, participating in competitions, using their affiliate links and suggesting them to your friends.