Defeat Ad Blockers With Better User Experience

Updated on: December 19, 2023
In digital advertising, users are the king. Almost everything is decided by the traffic you receive, even your ad revenue. Let’s find out how to use this weapon efficiently against ad publishers' greatest enemy - ad blocking. 

Ready to crack the code on ad blocking? We know that this is a tricky trial. But don’t worry because we are about to explore whether you can flip the script and turn ad blocking to work in your favor by creating an incredible user experience.

First things first – let’s break down ad blocking. 

What Is Ad Blocking?

Ad-blocking software allows users to block online ads on their web browsers, apps, or networks.

Let’s understand this in a bit more detail. Imagine you have developed a fantastic gaming web app, offering users an immersive gaming experience. To keep the app free and accessible, you have strategically integrated ads. However, you start noticing a dip in your ad revenue, and it’s not because players are losing interest. 

You find out that many of your users have activated ad blockers. These virtual guards are blocking the in-game ads that advertisers have paid for. 

Journey to the past tense

How Ad Blocking Impacts Your Revenue?

Ad blockers act like digital bouncers, stopping traditional ads from making it to the user’s screen and causing a direct hit on the expected ad revenue. Decreased impressions mean lower visibility of ads, which also impacts the revenue earned through impressions.

Ad blockers also prevent the collection of valuable user data and analytics, affecting the ability to deliver targeted and personalized content, which could impact advertising effectiveness.

Practical Strategies to Fight Ad Blocking Through Better UX & More

1. Use data to defeat ad blockers

Creative ads effectively combat ad blockers by capturing user attention with engaging visuals. Users are less likely to block such ads when perceived as valuable content, enhancing the overall user experience. To maximize the impact of creative ads, understanding user preferences is also essential. 

Hence, gather more first-party data about your visitors. Know their preferences and share them with your demand partners. This will help them serve more tailored ads to your users.

2. Try different ad formats to beat ad blockers

As a web publisher, you have the freedom to experiment with various ad formats as a strategy to overcome ad blockers. By exploring different types of ads, you can find effective ways to connect with your audience while minimizing the impact of ad-blocking tools. This could involve native ads, interactive formats, or innovative approaches like audio ads. The key is to diversify and adapt to ensure the audience receives engaging content, even in the face of ad blockers.

3. Use server-side ad insertion to counter ad-blocking

You can employ server-side ad insertion as a strategic measure to combat ad blocking. This means putting ads on the server instead of directly on the user’s device, making it harder for ad blockers to stop them. It increases the chances of your ads showing up, improving your advertising strategy, even when people use ad blockers. 

4. Finding a common ground with ad blocker users

In dealing with ad blocker users, you can take a collaborative approach. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) suggests two strategies:

1. Tiered Access: Grant limited site access to ad blocker users, reserving full content for those who allow or turn off the ad blocker.

2. Rewarding Visitors: Offer incentives like credits or gamification for users, building positive relationships.

Take, for instance, The New York Times. The renowned publisher employs a user-friendly tactic. Rather than a forceful approach, The New York Times presents a preliminary page with a relevant quote for non-ad-blocking users. Ad-block users face a choice: disable the ad blocker for an ‘ad-light’ experience or have no access. 

This method showcases a commitment to communication and a potentially less ad-heavy encounter, establishing a positive rapport with its audience.

5. Ad revenue beyond ads with Subscriptions

Say goodbye to the ad blockade and welcome a subscription-based revolution. By offering exclusive perks to subscribers, like an ad-free haven, you secure direct user support and reduce reliance on unpredictable ad revenue. 

Consider platforms like Spotify, where premium subscribers enjoy an uninterrupted, ad-free music experience. This shift caters to user preferences and ensures a steady income stream, shielding your platform from the impact of ad blockers. Ready to transform your revenue game? Embrace subscriptions, provide value, and watch your user engagement soar.

6. Choose the right ad monetization partner

The choice of your ad monetization provider plays a pivotal role in navigating the challenges posed by ad blockers. The best monetization partner will ensure that your ad layouts, formats, and placements are tailored to your users’ needs. Many advanced partners like Automatad use machine learning and data to optimize your user’s ad experience.

The story doesn’t end here. Providers like Automatad have a special partnership that enables publishers to retrieve their lost revenue. 

Bonus – How to Detect Ad Blockers?

Detecting ad blockers involves implementing various techniques. 

Here are some methods you can consider:

1. Ad element checking: Check for typical ad elements on your page, such as <div> containers, <iframe> elements, or scripts associated with ad networks. This is a straightforward approach to confirm the existence of authentic ad-related elements on the webpage.


<div class=”ad-container”>Advertisement Content</div>


2. Bait Content:  Unlike ad element checking, bait content involves deceptive elements that trick ad blockers into revealing their presence. Web publishers can strategically use bait content by placing them within pages, appearing as ads to ad blockers. The code checks bait content visibility after page loading.


<div class=”banner_ad”> </div>


3. JavaScript execution: Use JavaScript to detect if certain ad-related functions or scripts are allowed to execute. Attempt to load a test ad using JavaScript and check if it renders on the page.


if (adScriptAllowed()) {

    // Code to load test ad



4. Network request monitoring: Monitor network requests to known ad servers or domains associated with ad content. If requests to these domains are consistently blocked, it may indicate the use of an ad blocker.


if (isRequestBlocked(‘’)) {

    // Handle ad blocker detection



5. DOM inspection: Inspect the Document Object Model (DOM) for changes associated with ad content. Look for the presence or absence of specific ad-related elements in the DOM.


var adElement = document.getElementById(‘ad-container’);

if (adElement) {

    // Ad element detected



6. Anti-ad blocker scripts: Implement anti-ad blocker scripts on your website. These scripts can display messages to users, restrict access to content, or prompt users to turn off their ad blockers.


if (adBlockerDetected()) {




7. Filter list comparison: Compare the list of loaded resources against known ad blocker filter lists. If your resources match entries in these lists, it could indicate the presence of ad blockers.


if (isResourceInFilterList(‘ad-resource’)) {

    // Possible ad blocker detected



8. CSS manipulation detection: Check if stylesheets associated with ad elements are being manipulated or overridden. Ad blockers may modify styles to hide or block ad content.


var styles = getComputedStyle(adElement);

if (styles.display === ‘none’) {

    // Styles manipulated, possible ad blocker



9. Page load time analysis: Monitor the page load time with and without potential ad content. Ad blockers may lead to faster page loads due to the prevention of resource-heavy ad loading.


var loadTimeWithoutAd = measurePageLoadTimeWithoutAd();

var loadTimeWithAd = measurePageLoadTimeWithAd();

if (loadTimeWithoutAd < loadTimeWithAd) {

    // Possible ad blocker impact



10. User interaction tracking: Track user interactions with ad spaces or elements on your website. Lack of interactions may suggest the use of ad blockers.


var adInteractionCount = trackAdInteractions();

if (adInteractionCount === 0) {

    // Users might be using ad blockers



11. Fingerprinting techniques: Consider using browser fingerprinting to identify characteristics associated with users employing ad blockers. Exercise caution with fingerprinting due to privacy concerns.


Consider browser fingerprinting cautiously to identify users potentially employing ad blockers. Example:


var userFingerprint = generateUserFingerprint();

if (isFingerprintAssociatedWithAdBlocker(userFingerprint)) {

    // Possible ad blocker usage




12. IAB Script: The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) extends a solution for ad blocker detection, offering a tested script compatible with various browsers. Publishers can access this tool directly from the IAB’s GitHub page to obtain detailed information and implementation instructions. Publishers can gain community support and updates. This proactive tool helps maintain revenue streams by addressing ad blocker challenges. Follow the instructions on GitHub to leverage this script for a sustainable and profitable online advertising environment.

Users Decide Your Success

Know that website visitors aren’t inherently against ads. Instead, they are against those ads that disrupt their user experience, prompting them to use ad blockers. 

A better user experience (UX) can solve this battle against ad blockers. With an organized, intuitive, and inviting website, users will likely appreciate ads and be less inclined to resort to the ad-blocking defense.

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