I wasn’t surprised to see Google remove ad-blocking apps from their Chrome store. Despite what most people think, Google’s core business isn’t search; it isn’t Chrome or Android. They’re an ad-distribution company albeit an ad-distribution company so successful they get to do cool things like build self-driving cars and AR spectacles.
Before moving on, we need to spend a minute to understand the two legs of Google’s ad platform. AdWords allows advertisers to create ads that appear in search results and across the AdSense partner network. AdSense displays the ads on websites; Google then pays the website for the ads that are displayed and (even better) clicked. Which is why they don’t like it when you – the end-user – block those ads. The problem is that, at worst, display ads can be intrusive and annoying, and at best, irrelevant. Let’s face it, if the ads added more value to the viewer, then utilities like AdBlock wouldn’t be needed.
I use AdBlock but I also understand that the websites I know and love need the income from AdSense to offset some of their costs, so I employ a simple rule:
- if I visit a site more than 3 times, I disable AdBlock for that domain
It might be an oversimplified view of the world but to me it seems fair: I get to enjoy your content (or use your web service) for free, so you get to show me some ads.