What’s the problem with online advertising? It’s not so much advertising as it is all the tracking we experience, webpage load times, bandwidth usage, and the damage to our privacy. I get it. Advertising makes the world go ’round. Websites need advertisers to survive. My own website has a few advertisers. What PixoBebo lacks is trackers. That’s why pages load so quickly and use so little bandwidth.
Do I use an adblocker? Yes. On my Macs, iPhone, and iPads, I use 1Blocker. Once it gets set up on each device it just works and that makes it worth the nominal price tag because website pages load up much faster which saves time, and on iPhone and iPad, also saves bandwidth.
Let me give you an example of how that works. My website, PixoBebo, has been around a few years, readership continues to grow but a few years ago I dispensed with Google’s AdSense advertising scheme, and dropped Google’s Analytics tracker. Why? Advertising became less and less relevant over time, while tracking mechanisms increased.
I took a different approach. No trackers. Check out these PixoBebo scores from GTMetrix.
That’s fast and it includes all the goodies mentioned above, but with 1Blocker installed on my Mac.
Now, check out Jason Snell’s popular Six Colors website and compare the scores.
Now take a look at an even more popular Apple-oriented website– Macworld.
Whoa! What happened?
Fully Loaded Time took more than 30-seconds, Total Page Size ballooned to more than 9-megabytes, and the Macworld webpage made 714 requests, and the Google PageSpeed and Yahoo! YSlow scores are abysmal. What happened?
The Macworld webpage was not overloaded with images but spawned plenty of advertising and background trackers. 1Blocker blocks both. PixoBebo still has advertising but most are more discrete and advertising images are limited to one per article. And, importantly, no trackers. No ad trackers, no analytics trackers, and not even a website cookie to worry about.
Try it out yourself. 1Blocker has little impact on my website’s download speed, but it turns other websites into speed demons that load nearly as quickly as PixoBebo and with far fewer trackers and ads. Wait. Isn’t it wrong to block advertising? After all, that’s how those websites make a living, right?
I understand the issues and it gets complicated.
This problem has multiple components. Ad blockers are used because too many advertisers have become greedy– Google, I’m looking at you— and insert more tricky tracking mechanisms other than just a display ad or two. Site visitors got fed up with the tracking, reduced privacy, slow download times, and took action by installing ad blockers. Revenue from ad clicks has dropped because visitors don’t click as often as they once did.
In my case, small is beautiful and less is more.