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Old 06-17-2004   #1
5starAffiliatePrograms
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Exclamation Norton Blocking AdSense Revenue

Hi to all Clickzsters,

I'm new here. Glad I discovered this forum. I mod the Affiliate Marketing and "Domain Game" forums over at WebProWorld as well as several others. Most of you know me as Catalyst.

I am sure many of you already know about Norton Blocking AdSense & Affiliate Revenue from some of the articles I have written on About.com, several other publications and numerous online forums.

Yet almost daily I see people asking why their links don't display or why their Adsense revenue is down.

Here is a pages that shows examples, links to some of the articles and also links to potential fixes that maybe able to help you prevent Norton from disabling your links.

DISCLAIMER: Use your own due diligence using any of these tools for Google. I offer whatever tools people share with me that may help others with this Norton issue. But I have not tested them and I don't use Adsense personally so am not sure about Google's TOS or if any of these tools would affect tracking. I do know that Google is aware of the issue, but I guess they can't do anything about it.

http://www.5staraffiliateprograms.co...s-revenue.html

Hope this helps!

Linda AKA Catalyst

Last edited by 5starAffiliatePrograms : 06-17-2004 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 08-28-2004   #2
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If you want to block users which use ad blocking software from using your site, you may try this javascript code.
It's free
http://www.blue.lu/other/blocker/
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Old 09-17-2004   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepixel
If you want to block users which use ad blocking software from using your site, you may try this javascript code.
I'm looking at this right now, but I'm 1/2 stupid...

Have you installed this? If so can you elaborate on the install? I read it and like it - I don't mind shifting people blocking ads away from my site, but I'm not that technically savvy. I was going to ask in this thread for details on installing it but don't want to 'derail' the thread.

If anyone has any links to any install discussions I would appreciate them!

Last question: Are any search bots affected? I assume not - Just asking.

TIA!
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Old 09-27-2004   #4
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I hope you hasn't waste your time with the script. I tried their test page and had no problem getting it, even though I used Firefox Adblock.
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Old 09-28-2004   #5
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Yesterday I installed the new Norton Internet Security 2005, and it appears that it now defaults to ad blocking turned off (NIS 2004 had ad blocking turned on by default).

Anyone else notice this?

If this is the case, then the Norton ad blocking issue will no longer as big a deal as it once was, at least once people start upgrading to NIS 2005.

I was involved in building some software that my company sells which worked quite well in keeping Norton from blocking banner and image ads, but javascript adsense ads were much more difficult.

As far as I can tell, no one really has a solution to keep Norton 2004 from blocking adsense. Some claim to, but I've tested a lot of different software and haven't found anything that actually does this.
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Old 09-28-2004   #6
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Personally I do not find it very wise to try and fight or prevent users choice of preferences surfing the web. I do think it's OK to politely refuse people to your site if they do not want to comply with your policies but to try and force users preferences or settings to change is not a very healthy long term strategy in my mind. Not for the individual site and certainly not for the web in general.

Don't make the same mistakes the music business have done. If the users tell you they want something - or don't want something (like intruding ads), you should listen to them. Listen very, very carefull. Because, I do think, time has proven that the power of what the majorities want on the web is very strong. Don't underestimate it or the damage it can do to fight it.
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Old 09-29-2004   #7
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I definitely agree with giving users what they want.

In the case of advertising, however, giving users what they want can be tricky. I don't know anyone who enjoys ads, whether those ads are on tv, radio, or web sites. However, without ads, most of the free content on those mediums wouldn't exist.

This forum is a good example. I don't know much about the searcheningewatch.com business model, but I'm betting that those ads for webposition gold 3 and mamma.com that you see to the right of your screen play a significant role in making this site economically feasible. (I'm guessing, I could be wrong).

I don't care for really obnoxious things like pop-up windows, but I can see the necessity of banner ads. Besides, like most of us who spend a lot of time surfing the internet, my brain has a built-in ad blocker that filters most of them out, anyway.
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Old 09-29-2004   #8
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BTW, anyone else notice that Norton Internet Security 2005 is no longer blocking ads by default?

I just want to make sure I didn't accidentally do something to turn it off when I installed it (almost positive I didn't, but a confirmation is always nice), and I'm loath to re-install it.
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Old 09-29-2004   #9
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If a large percentage of your users blocks ads then I understand you would concerned. If it's only a fraction of a percentage then I don't see any reason to deal with it. Some people refuse cookies, some have JavaScript turned off and some block ads. If the totals are small then it dosen't matter.

However, if a large percentage is actually blocking ads on your site then I think that is a very clear indicaton that you are not using ads in a way your users accept. Simple as that. Maybe your user demographic just hate ads more than the average, or maybe you are using them wrong. In any case, I don't think it's wise to try and fight a large percentage of your users. You will loose. Instead, try and find ways to adapt to your users limitations and find new ways to make your business better. Ads are not the only way to make revenues off a site. Be creative
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Old 09-29-2004   #10
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BTW, I was wondering when Google will add real ad-blocking capabilities to their Toolbar? It seems to be something many users want (in addition to pop-up blocking) and Google claim they are always working for the best of the users, right
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Old 09-29-2004   #11
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We don't run ads on our site, never have (accept for the odd affiliate link). Our revenues are (almost) entirely subscription based. This business model works very well for us.

However, getting a subscription based service off the ground can be challenging, and most people expect content on the internet to be free. Without ad based revenues, I imagine that a lot of the free content on the web would disappear. Same goes for radio and television.

I agree that using ads as the primary source of income for your site is a pretty poor business model, but I think it's the norm, especially for smaller sites, blogs, forums, etc...

Cut out banners, adwords/adsense, and overture and a significant portion of the internet shrivels up and dies.

I'm not pro-ad, personally, I just think they are essential to the continuation of free content on the internet. People should probably learn to live with them the way they do with tv and radio, or they should be prepared to start shelling out a lot more money for their web surfing.

Of course, as you said, if hardly anyone uses ad blocking, then it's no problem. Norton 2004 had ad blocking turned on by default, which many less tech-savvy users didn't realize.

I'm playing a little bit of the devils advocate here. This post isn't meant to read as humorless as it probably does
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Old 11-28-2004   #12
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Norton 2005 allows Google Adsense panels, but...

I have noticed that most Adsense ads will appear on your site, even if a user has their Norton 2005 adblocker on. So, with Norton AntiNet Security 2005's Adblocker enabled, the Google Adsense panels are not blocked by default.

However some of the url's in the ads can be blocked. So, if u spot any missing links within the Google ads panels u can use Google's URL filter to prevent those ads from appearing - thus allow clickable ads to appear instead, thus increasing revenue chances from those with adblockers on.

However, if most webmasters did this, then the blocked advertisers would, i guess, notice that their 'impressions-clicks ratio' drops, hence they will start bidding larger amounts for their clicks. So, if you don't block these ads you could gain from really good click rates from non-adblocking users.

Most blocked Google Adword advertisers, I guess, would not be able to twig the link between a drop in clicks, their URL-to-link-to and adblocking software - so they could end-up spending alot more money than those who do know about these issues. I'm not sure though, i have not Adworded for a while and haven't checked it recently to see if Google filter's their URLs against the adblockers' "default disallowed text-strings list" and offers a warning if a match occurs.

Another point about adblocking software - It causes problems for people who buy advertising too. Some of my 'property for sale' customers tell me that they couldn't alter their billing address or print invoices, even though their ads were appearing on my site. It took me ages to realise that the links like the "Amend your invoice address link" were being blocked by Norton because it passed a variable called 'ad_id'. This was necessary so that the billing details could be linked to the advert. So in an ironic twist, those who used adblocking software were paying money to advertise, but were prevented from getting the full use of our services - then THEY wrote to ME angrily telling me that MY site didn't work. Unfortunately other webmaster who might identify a 'delivery address identification' as 'ad_id',for example, would get the same problem even if the products are nothing to do with advertising. They must be going crazy wondering what the problem is!

Most people think advertising is done by big corporations or annoying webmasters selling potions, smilies and pills - however they often forget that most people benefit from online advertising at some point in their lives. Think of Ebay as 'a website of adverts', for example.

Webmasters can change their variable names to prevent problems with text strings that are blocked by default. But as each users adds more 'disallowed' text strings to thier ad-filters then the problem would start occuring for more and more innocent uses of those strings.

Last edited by thesuit : 11-28-2004 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 11-28-2004   #13
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I don't mind shifting people blocking ads away from my site
I have to ask what the logic of doing that is?
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Old 11-28-2004   #14
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Originally Posted by Dave Hawley
I have to ask what the logic of doing that is?
I considered it. The reason is simple - My site is basically a free information site. In an earlier post one person here commented about business models. In my case my site - qs9000.com originally, now elsmar.com - was advertisement free from January 5, 1996 through December 22, 2003. It's not a business site per se and I found the cost was ever increasing. And not just for a server. I end up spending at least 20 to 30 hours a week keeping the site up, responding to e-mails (people having problems logging into the forums, people wanting personal help for free, people wanting files like example quality manuals {which most site charge for}, etc., etc.), you name it.

All I have is Google's adsense, but it's enough to 'repay' me for my time. My reasoning is I started my site out as a 'calling card' and for something to do in hotel rooms (I traveled extensively when I started it). When I first announced I was closing it down I got a flood of e-mails asking me not to. I tried 'donations' which went over like a lead balloon. I tried charging for some content - I did better but it still wasn't worth it. My 'last resort' was adsense and I was pleasantly surprised. Very pleasantly surprised, actually.

Not everyone sees their web site as entirely a 'for profit' business. And some, like me, have no qualms not allowing access to those who not only want everything for free, but with no advertisements to boot. If someone doesn't want to look at the Google ads I'm not interesting in their taking up my bandwidth and time.

Let's take this forum and site - How long would it last if 50% or more of the people who visit blocked all advertisements? Yet - it's a very useful site (at least to me it is). I don't mind the ads. In fact, I sorta feel it's my 'duty' NOT to block ads, especially in forums and on sites like this. Free info in exchange for the presence of advertisements. Yup - It's worth it to me.
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Old 11-28-2004   #15
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Not everyone sees their web site as entirely a 'for profit' business.
But isn't that exactly what are hoping do to by blocking those you assume will never earn you $$'s?


It's of course your site and you call. However, I too have many thousands of pages of free content and I have yet to find a way to differentiate, between freebie hunters and those that end up earning me $$'s. I could dump these pages (I never would though) and half my bandwidth (from about 30GB per month). But we are talking a very small saving on bandwidth and the risk, for me at least, would outweigh any benefit.
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Old 11-29-2004   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hawley
But isn't that exactly what are hoping do to by blocking those you assume will never earn you $$'s?
As a main response, if 'they're' never going to 'earn me $$$$', please explain why I would want 'them'... Should I register somewhere as a charity?

Maybe I sorta consider myself akin to a library. Your 'tax' to visit my site (librarys are financed by something or someone - typically federal, state and/or local taxes) is to not block advertisements. If you are not willing to 'pay the tax', then please don't bother to come. You're coming only increases the cost(s) to maintain.

Again I ask you - How long do you think this site would stay online if everyone blocked advertisements? AND - What is the incentive to allow access to people who are not willing to see, and possibly respond to, advertisements? Would YOU like to loose this site as a resource because so many people blocked advertisements that it became 'unprofitable'?

Few people are willing to do informational web sites like this for free. In my case it has little to do with making a living, although I do admit the extra money is nice. In part, to me, it's a hobby. In part it is a 'business card'. But - If I get no $ in return for my time I can just as easily do something else. As it is I have to 'be in touch' with my site every day and I know I'll spend at least 1 to 4 hours (minimum) each and every day to keep things going. Not so long ago (during late September, as I remember) it was 4 am when I got a call from a 'regular' visitor that the site was 'down'. I had to get up, call ServerMatrix and resolve the issue, and then verify and rebuild my databases. I asked myself - Do I need this hassle? I'm not a doctor - Why do I have to get up at 4am to fix something? Financially I'm OK. Is it worth being 'on call' 24/7/365'?

As an FYI - I have watched as Danny Sullivan's Search Engine Watch has evolved. I subscribed to Danny's newsletter years ago. I did it back then because all this was new to me and I wanted to know what was going on. But - I didn't subscribe long as I didn't want traffic. I rapidly gained a good, small, interested group of visitors. **Note: My site was and is essentially a 'forum' environment.** I don't even know know how those few found the site except to say in 1996 the search engines didn't have so much fodder - thus I was listed in most (my DMOZ listing goes back to the late 1990's). I kept 'outgrowing' servers. Last December I was really, really ready to dump the whole thing when someone talked me into something I philosophically refused to do previously - 'allow' advertising on my site. Previously, going back some years, I had a lot of inqueries. But - My position was that to allow advertising would dilute the 'neutrality' of my site.

Luckily, in my case, I'm semi-retired. I don't have to work as I have several good investments which provide income. And I try not to schedule more than 2 days a week to 'work' (I'm a consultant). I'm not trying to make my site a source of income I depend upon. But I don't want to keep it up at my total expense. And if you're not willing to view the advertisements I really don't want you visiting.

My feelings are people should be happy that sites like mine continue online. My perception of the future is that the internet will become like TV - All FOX, All the time. The money will rule.

My 2 cents.

Last edited by ISO9000 Guy : 11-29-2004 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 11-29-2004   #17
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As a main response, if 'they're' never going to 'earn me $$$$', please explain why I would want 'them'...
Because when you said "Not everyone sees their web site as entirely a 'for profit' business" I was naturally under the impression you were reffering to own business.

Quote:
Again I ask you - How long do you think this site would stay online if everyone blocked advertisements?
But people cannot block text link, ads or not. So I would say it would last just as long. My own forum has no advertising that could be blocked and it's free.
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Old 11-29-2004   #18
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All I have is Google's AdSense. I know it can be blocked because 2 forum moderators asked my why the sidebar was blank where the Google ads should be. They turned off their ad blocking and the ads appeared. I don't know what ads you run - I only run AdSense and know they can be blocked.

I even made a 'sticky' which explains that advertisements are determined by Google and that they are not vetted to maintain my neutrality.

Now - You say you have text links - which is fine and dandy. I don't want to jump through hoops. I jump through enough as it is. As I mentioned, I only do Google's AdSense - Quick and easy, but can be blocked. Had this not 'worked', to me it would have been easiest to shutter the site - I'm not making any significant money from it.

My site is not a 'for profit business' from the aspect that I don't expect to make my living from it. But then again, I don't see the expenditure of my time and money to be total 'charity'.

If someone wants to block all advertisements, they're not particularly welcome at my site. I do not block those with advertising blocking turned on, but if there was a simple, quick and accurate way to do that I would without a second's hesitation.
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Old 11-29-2004   #19
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Yes I know AdSence can be blocked, this is why I stated text links.

Why not add some text links as an affiliation with another business? These, as I said, cannot be blocked.
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Old 11-29-2004   #20
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ISO9000 Guy, I very much disagree with your motivation for running a free website. I have been running free websites for years, I write books (that dosn't pay much directly either), moderate here (which you probably guessed dosn't pay either), speak at public events (often for nothing) but it's all a very important part of my personal branding. And THAT pays well. What is a good brand worth? To mee, at least, it has turned out to be far more worth than any ads could have ever paid me.

Quote:
Maybe I sorta consider myself akin to a library. Your 'tax' to visit my site (librarys are financed by something or someone - typically federal, state and/or local taxes) is to not block advertisements. If you are not willing to 'pay the tax', then please don't bother to come.
I am not sure what part of the world you come from but that is certainly not the way it works here in my country, Denmark, and most others I know of.

Even if you don't pay your tax you are welcome at the libraries here, you are welcome to vote and do just about any other thing every other citizen is. Even if you are convicted and jailed for not paying your taxes you are still intitled to the free healthcare taxing provides and your pension when you get old. The duties and the benifits are not directly connected and personally I don't think they should be.

Just last week a young politician here came up with the idea that people that don't pay tax, people on wealfare, students etc should not have the right to vote. It took 2 days before she had to leave politics
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