Over 40 million people have downloaded “AdBlock,” a free program for blocking ads on the web. We were skeptical initially but are now converts.
Often, when a web site comes in slowly it’s because it’s loading ads. Lately, Joy’s computer has been so slow, she could put on water for tea and come back before the site had loaded. Then she loaded Adblock, and it helped. It counts the ads it kills and gives you totals; it knocked off 2,500 in the first week.
What made Bob turn to AdBlock was pants. He bought some pants online and by the next day the entire clothing business had ads for pants on whatever web site he called up. It was clear to the nitwits in marketing that this guy obviously had an endless desire for pants. After installing Adblock, they were blocked. (“Honest: I bought two pairs of pants, guys. That’s it. I don’t need more pants.”)
The same thing happens with this column. If we write about printers, every public relations outfit in the known universe starts sending us pitches for printers. It’s like, “Hey these guys are writing about printers, let’s load ’em up. Obviously they are now going to write about printers for the rest of their lives. It’s a no brainer.” At least no brains seem to have been involved.
AdBlock is one of two prominent blocking programs, each made by a different company. Both are free. Adblock works with Chrome, Safari and Opera browsers. If you use some other web browser, like Firefox or Internet Explorer, it won’t work. “Adblock Plus” works on cell phones and any web browser. However, to make money, it began unblocking ads from 70 companies last September. As a result, the Interactive Advertising Bureau dumped it from its annual conference. The company claims it still blocks the most intrusive ads. But if you use Firefox, consider Ublock. For “Edge,” Microsoft’s new version of Internet Explorer, try Adguard, which unfortunately costs $20 a year. To find any of these, just Google their name.
Sometimes, you’ll go to a site that won’t let you in if you want you to block their ads. We ran into that for Forbes magazine. (Okay, you don’t want us to block your ads, we won’t look at your magazine. We fail to understand how that helps you gain readers.)