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Rusty's Great Statistical Opportunity

By dmarti in Meta
Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 08:49:57 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

How many users really block web ads? No web site has ever published the "blocking ratio." (expected ads - actual ads) / expected ads. Now that kuro5hin.org is running ads again, Rusty can easily calculate it.

Just compare page views to the ad reports. I've asked other ad-mongering webmasters to grovel their logs for the answer, but they're not talking.

If Rusty et al are feeling ambitious, they could break it out by user agent -- are Mozilla users starting to take advantage of the point-and-click feature that lets them block all images from a certain host, forever? If so, that's going to be big news for the online ad industry.

So how about some statistics about ourselves?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Do you block web ads?
o Yes, every chance I get, on every site. 29%
o On big corporate sites but not small cool sites. 13%
o No, somebody teach me how. 4%
o No, I'm too lazy. 31%
o No, I don't mind the ads. 14%
o No, but I hacked my browser to disable animated GIFs. 1%
o No, it's wrong to deny web sites their ad revenue. 5%

Votes: 130
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o Also by dmarti

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Rusty's Great Statistical Opportunity | 21 comments (20 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
That's great, Don (4.20 / 5) (#2)
by regeya on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:29:54 PM EST

The only problem with this is that the only valuable information it provides is how many people block ads on kuro5hin. Anyone who takes kuro5hin's results to be representative of the Web-browsing public is being a little foolish, IMHO.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Users of the future (none / 0) (#6)
by dmarti on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:44:59 PM EST

Good point. But Kuro5hin's current users are more like the average web user of the future than like the average web user of today. And who wouldn't want a peek into the future?

[ Parent ]
This is... the future!! (5.00 / 2) (#10)
by rusty on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 05:20:03 PM EST

I'm suddenly gripped with an image of K5 readers sitting in sleek spartan engineered chairs, in egg-shaped rooms with glowing white walls, wearing silver mylar jumpsuits.

"We're not living in the past or the present anymore. This is.... the future!!"


--Airplane II

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

almost (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by Delirium on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 10:17:43 PM EST

My jumpsuit is actually more of a gold color than silver. And the walls glow a light greenish hue.

[ Parent ]
That's funny (none / 0) (#19)
by regeya on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 03:05:46 PM EST

I actually thought of Logan's Run first.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

The best ads are dead ads (4.00 / 2) (#3)
by MeanGene on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:30:36 PM EST

I'm so used to (mostly) adless web, that I wouldn't know hot to go back to "naked" browsing.

On my home Linux I use Junkbuster
On my office NT I use Junkbuster
On my company's 95 laptop I used to use WebWasher by Siemens (that POS has been gathering dust for about a year).
On my office Sun I don't browse :-)

I'm for it (4.85 / 7) (#4)
by rusty on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:34:47 PM EST

I also hate how close most webmasters are with their stats. I don't think I can break it down meaningfully by browser, because my machine doesn't actually serve the ads. But I can compare hits I got with hits they got, and make some guess about the gap. We may also be able to compare percentages for each browser and see what comes out. Anyway, I think it would be interesting to see what we could learn from that.

Not the real rusty
potential problem... (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by Tumbleweed on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 12:45:58 AM EST

Telling the difference between people who are running an ad-blocker and people who aren't loading any images at all is something to take into account...

[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#17)
by rusty on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 04:05:45 AM EST

I doubt I can give any level of accuracy on what the numbers mean. But even raw info on pages I served vs. ad hits they got would probably be interesting.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
solution (none / 0) (#18)
by Tumbleweed on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 12:18:56 PM EST

Okay, keep track of the # of hits here, the # of ad hits, _and_ the # of hits for some basic, non-ad graphic on the site, and I think that's about as accurate as you're going to get.

[ Parent ]
Problem: cached images (none / 0) (#20)
by Erf on Mon Jan 22, 2001 at 04:27:00 PM EST

This wouldn't be particularly accurate, because ads are reloaded every time the page is viewed, often even with the back button (I don't remember if that happens all the time or not). But the K5 graphics get reused all over the place, so they don't get hit every time.

You'd need something like a page-counter graphic, which changes every time it's hit.

...doin' the things a particle can...
[ Parent ]

blocking k5 ads (4.25 / 4) (#5)
by Seumas on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:35:53 PM EST

Well, it doesn't shed any light on statistics, but just so ya know, I block advertisements at every site except K5. Anything from k5ads.osdn.com is allowed through. And since that limits information on me to this website, I don't particularly fear OSDN or anyone culling information on how long I stare at each page or such (besides, that kind of thing is not only harder than people suggest, but gives you little useful informatin).

I don't like advertisements, and I'm not thrilled about them here. But if I can help K5 make a few pennies by allowing their ads through my proxy without doing any extra work on my part, then that's fine with me.
I just read K5 for the articles.

I don't block K5 ads (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by klamath on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:53:06 PM EST

This would be fairly cool to do, except for one thing: unlike most websites, I don't mind the ads at K5. I use Mozilla so blocking k5ads.osdn.com would be trivial, but for now, I'm happy to put up with the ads in exchange for being able to use K5. On my other sites (e.g. Zdnet), I block ads and cookies mercilessly.

Another factor is the audience: most K5ers no doubt have the technical knowledge to block ads. But the audience at, say, askjeeves.com would be much less likely to know (or to care).

Another aspect of the equation would be the type of site: in a site like K5 where you load lots of different pages, ads are more irrating/noticeable than at places like google or askjeeves, where you usually load 2 or 3 pages and that's it.

only evil ones (3.80 / 5) (#8)
by jbridge21 on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:55:30 PM EST

I have simply blackholed all IPs beloging to DoubleClick.

Other ads, I do not mind.

a mostly ad-less web (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by homeless on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 04:56:43 PM EST

I've found that a well-stocked /etc/hosts and some intelligent RedirectMatch directives in httpd.conf greatly improve the quality of the web.


/etc/hosts: ads.doubleclick.net

RedirectMatch ^/ad/.*

transpix.gif is a 1x1 transparent pixel gif. Now, I haven't tried junkbuster, but this works for me.
'SYN! .. SYN|ACK! .. ACK!' - the mating call of the internet --Bert Hubert
I don't block ads, but... (1.00 / 1) (#11)
by danny on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 05:25:20 PM EST

I don't load images, either, unless I have to.

[900 book reviews and other stuff]

No, I have never thought about it either ... (none / 0) (#12)
by gullevek on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 06:35:52 PM EST

... or I am to lazy? To be honest, at work I somehow don't care much about those ads. Only if the ad host is so slow and the browsers waits so long for an answer and stalls the whole page. But actually when you have a fast connection to the web, most ads are just there and I don't care about theme. Even at home where I only have ISDN (8k) I haven't thought a lot about them. The only point where I start swearing around is when I browser with my "cookie on" option and I see a page setting 10.000.000 cookies every time I click somewhere on that page ... yeah ... that's life ... mfg, gul
"Die Arbeit, die tüchtige, intensive Arbeit, die einen ganz in Anspruch nimmt mit Hirn und Nerven, ist doch der größte Genuß im Leben."
  - Rosa Luxemburg, 1871 - 1919
Rusty doesn't have all the numbers (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by supine on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 07:56:32 PM EST

Notice the ads are served from osdn.com which means that probably the only log for ad loads is at osdn.

So, rusty can tell you how many times the html is served but he doesn't necessarily have the ad logs to compare it to.

my 2 cents

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
what I use... (none / 0) (#14)
by Tumbleweed on Sun Jan 21, 2001 at 09:33:03 PM EST

is AtGuard. It's a personal firewall/ad blocker for Windows.

It works *great*. It's discontinued as 'AtGuard' now, but Norton has licensed it, and it's in Norton's Internet Firewall product, with enhanced functionality (you can apparently drag and drop to eliminate ads - much handier than AtGuard's manual method). Pretty slick.

The unfortunate thing about AtGuard (and perhaps the Norton version of it) is that you can't tell it to allow ads on certain sites - at least, not that I can figure out. *shrug*

Guidescope (none / 0) (#21)
by rajivvarma on Wed Feb 21, 2001 at 07:53:19 PM EST


I recommend Guidescope for blocking ads. In addition, it also blocks cookies. It is very easy to use and not intrusive or invasive.
Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

Rusty's Great Statistical Opportunity | 21 comments (20 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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