WHAT IS 'Ad Blocking Software'

Ad blocking software, often known colloquially as Adblock after the most prominent brand, comes in several forms, the most common one being a browser plugin. It maintains the function of disabling advertising content on visited webpages on computers, tablets and smartphones. The use of this software is increasing, as it is easy to obtain, generally free, and nearly effortless to use. However, as many webpages depend on advertisements to generate revenue, ad blocking software can be harmful to online businesses. In response to this, some websites deploy countermeasures, such as software which automatically detects the use of ad blocking software and does not allow the page to be viewed unless the user disables their ad blocking software temporarily. One notable website which uses this method is Forbes.

BREAKING DOWN 'Ad Blocking Software'

Ad blocking software blocks ads on webpages, so the ads aren't displayed when the viewer visits the page. This software provides multiple benefits, including security. There have been several cases of advertisements on high-profile browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox using advertisements to disseminate computer viruses, steal personal information and even spy on users. By blocking advertisements proactively, ad blocking software acts as a prophylaxis against viruses. Another positive effect of preemptively disabling advertisements is the ability to avoid annoying or obnoxious ads, which can often block portions of the screen, play audio, or flash in a distracting manner.

The average person sees over five thousand advertisements daily. As of 2018, the overwhelming majority of these are from online sources. Sometimes, these ads can, subconsciously or otherwise, influence people, as is alleged to have occurred during the 2016 US election. These problems can be avoided by using ad blocking software. On the other hand, ad blocking software tends to negatively affect revenue for online businesses. Many websites rely heavily, and often completely, on advertisements to generate revenue, and the rising popularity of ad blocking software has taken a significant slice out of their advertisement revenue. This negatively affects everyone, because websites have begun charging for premium services in order to compensate for the drop in revenue. Some websites and online content creators politely ask their viewers to disable ad blocking software.


Ad blocking software first came to prominence in 2004, when one of the early developers and proponents of ad blocking software, Michael Gundlach, crowd-funded a $55,000 advertising campaign, including a billboard in Times Square in New York City, to promote the concept. Gundlach is the developer of one of the most popular advertisement blocking plugins, AdBlock, which he sold to an anonymous buyer in 2015. Since then, AdBlock has participated in an event with Amnesty International, where, on March 12, 2016, instead of blocking ads, AdBlock showed ads linked to Amnesty International’s anti-cyber censorship campaign.

  1. Block (Bitcoin Block)

    Blocks are files where data pertaining to the Bitcoin network ...
  2. Orphan Block (Cryptocurrency)

    Orphan blocks are valid blocks that are rejected from the blockchain ...
  3. Block House

    A block house is a brokerage firm that specializes in locating ...
  4. Block

    A block is a large amount of the same security bought or sold ...
  5. Block Trading Facility (BTF)

    A block trading facility is a wholesale trading facility that ...
  6. Block Height

    Block Height indicates the overall length of a blockchain.
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Will Google's Ad Blocker Hurt Its Advertising Business?

    Google's controversial new ad-blocking tool may be about blocking other ad blockers.
  2. Investing

    P&G Wants to Make Digital Ads Suck Less

    A P&G-backed coalition urges the marketplace to halt frustrating digital ad experiences.
  3. Small Business

    Trends And Growth In The Digital Advertising Industry

    The rapidly expanding digital advertising industry is leading a shift towards content and demanding forced innovation.
  4. Tech

    Blockchain Unlocking Advertisers’ Profit Potential

    In online advertising’s current paradigm, there is an unavoidable conflict of interest. Enter blockchain.
  5. Small Business

    Advertising From TV To Internet: An Industry History

    Changes in television consumption habits have forced advertising to target audiences through new means, namely Internet advertising.
  6. Insights

    Google May Add an Ad-Blocking Feature to Chrome

    The new tool, which could be announced in a couple of weeks, will reportedly block ads deemed unfit by industry trade body the Coalition for Better Ads.
  7. Investing

    Snap Rolls Out Mobile Ad Tool Aimed at Facebook

    Snap takes on Facebook in mobile ads, rolling out the ability for advertisers to target users.
  8. Investing

    Facebook Is Putting Ads ... Everywhere

    It's looking for ways to boost revenue growth and so it is placing ads all over its platforms.
  9. Small Business

    How The Internet Web Ad Industry Works

    Over the past 10 years, advertising strategies have evolved as a result of technological development as the internet has provided new channels for advertisers to reach a larger audience.
  10. Tech

    Blockchain Is a Game-Changer for Online Advertising

    In the massive world of online advertising, blockchain will be a force to reckon with.
  1. How does Twitter make money?

    Learn how Twitter earns revenue, including how the social media company uses three targeted advertising streams, data farming ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the "bait & switch" technique?

    The bait and switch is a advertising technique which can be considered illegal, but in most cases is merely looked upon as ... Read Answer >>
  3. How Do People Make Money on YouTube?

    Are you interested in making money on posting videos on YouTube? Learn how YouTubers monetarize their videos through ads ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are some examples of preferred stock, and why do companies issue it?

    Understand the difference between preferred stock and common stock, and learn the primary reasons why companies issue preferred ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    Gross profit is the profit a company makes after deducting the costs of making and selling its products, or the costs of ...
  2. Diversification

    Diversification is the strategy of investing in a variety of securities in order to lower the risk involved with putting ...
  3. Intrinsic Value

    Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, and may differ ...
  4. Current Assets

    Current assets is a balance sheet item that represents the value of all assets that can reasonably expected to be converted ...
  5. Volatility

    Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
  6. Money Market

    The money market is a segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities ...
Trading Center