How to serve ads to visitors who use Adblock

Adblock is blocking nearly every advertisement. A few years ago this wasn’t a big problem because the percentage of users using adblock was low. But today these numbers are high and speaking in 2016, they are still increasing.

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I found a workaround to serve ads, even for users with adblock.

This is a tutorial how to do this.
I am using wordpress but you can transfer it to any website or cms.

1. We are all affected

For bloggers, publishers and any website owner, adblock is life-threatening.

The old model – create impressions & serve ads is about to die off. It is still possible but things are getting harder. People are searching for solutions and workarounds.

Today it is more save to not rely a 100% on ads. It should be replaced or combined with another revenue source.
I will not cover them in detail here but available alternatives are:

• Your own product or service
• Affiliate prodcuts
• Memberships
• Google Contributor
• Other conversions

The good thing is that users who got adblock, can still be served with something out of this list. Read on how to do this.

2. How many users are using adblock at all?

It is hard to give exact numbers. According to the media millions of users got that cheesy little programm installed and numbers are growing.

At first only very web affine people who are online 10 hours a day and more installed it, but then it got popular. The web media and also the local media (I live in Germany) pushed this subject. Even the anti debate and every post in the internet that is writing about adblock (like this article 😀 ) is attention for adblock. This is just ridiculous, but hey let’s deal with it.

Today even user groups like the 50+ generation, or women without much technical experience got adblock installed.

Well we even got it ourself dont we? Video ads and popups are making it impossible to go without…

What I can tell by experience is, that the percentages are still topic centered. In one user group nearly all of them got adblock, in another user group it goes to zero. Everything that is related to tech, games, apps and media will have users with higher numbers. Topics related to real-life things will always have a lower adblock ratio.

Don’t fight against it, absorpt the lost potential and convert it to something useful!

3. How do I know how many of my visitors are using adblock?

There are a lot of tools to detect this. These tools are sprouting up and there are even wordpress plugins and big website apps & tools to analyze this.

I would not recommend to use any extra tool to analyse this.

A simple way how to do it:
Compare the website impressions with the counted impressions of your advertisement software within the same timeframe.
For example I compared Google Analytics and Google Adsense Numbers:

Google Analytics Screenshot:
Google Adsense Screenshot:

Google Analytics: 101.094 Pageviews
Google Adsense: 86.868 Pageviews

This means 86.868 of 101.094 visitors have seen google adsense ads. A percentage of 14% who are using adblock. Like this you can quickly check, if your site is giving away potential. I lost 14.226 people seeing ads. These values are not 100% accurate, but this is sufficient to draw conclusions.

It’s just an example. On one of my pages I got an adblock percentage of 60%! The numbers differ extremely. It depends like shown above on the target audience and how web affine a user group is.

4. How to serve advertisment to visitors who use adblock

Now comes the interesting part, how to show advertisement to someone who got an adblocker?

Is this even possible?

Yes, it is. Here’s how:

1. Detect if a user got an adblocker
2. If yes, show him a self-created image or text to advertise anything you want (for example an affiliate product)

This is a bit technical but only needs a few min to setup. I am using this on my wordpress pages, but it is not limited to that.

Step 1: Create a simple javascript file and name it “ads.js”

var isAdsDisplayed = true;

Upload this file to your wordpress theme folder or into the theme/js/ folder.

Step 2: Create a request if the user is allowed to see that ads.js file
Every adblock software will not allow to open the ads.js file, because of the word “ad” (advertisement).

So what we do is, to call a variable and set it to “true”.
What happens if an adblock user cant open the file? The variable is not set to “true”. Its “undefined”.

Just before any of your advertisement (for example the google adsense code) place this:

//this tries to load the ads.js (check the correct path)

//when the variable is undefined, we know that this user got adblock

//Google Adsense Code goes here

This is how to detect adblock and serve something for this user.

Instead of the text ‘You got an adblocker’ you could place an image or a html div box inside the quotes.
To test this, turn your adlocker on & off and see what happens. Try it out!

Important: Like you just saw, adlockers block any words related to “ad”. Name files or divs that you want to serve instead, with names/words that don’t get blocked!

I hope this works out for you too.
I’m here to help if you got any question.

Have a good day!