Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 19th Sep 2015 14:37 UTC
Internet & Networking

Let's talk ad-blocking.

With the arrival of iOS 9, ad-blocking is coming to mobile in a big way, and it's causing a lot of talk all over the web. It is highlighting the internal struggle some feel about the practice, but also the hypocrisy of some of its staunchest proponents. So far, it seems like the real 'bloodbath' isn't taking place where people thought it would be - namely, publishers - but among personalities.

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How to get around ad blockers
by cannikin on Sat 19th Sep 2015 15:43 UTC
cannikin
Member since:
2015-09-19

I'm surprised this hasn't happened already, but it seems like the ad networks could do two things to get around all ad blockers right now:

1) Have sites create CNAME records to the ad network image serving delivery networks. Now the ads are coming from cdn.theverge.com instead of adwords.doubleclick.net. So the ads themselves can't be blocked without blocking all other assets on The Verge. Ad networks can (and probably will) be able to upcharge for this.

2) Create server-side proxies for the tracking scripts. Rather than serving ga.js from Google's servers you serve a similar script from your own server. Rather than sending the analytics back to Google directly via the JS you send them to your own servers. The data that comes in then gets sent to GA via API calls. Tracking services, or third parties that make this software, will DEFINITELY upcharge for it, making them even more money. (Someone building this software right now and letting the big publishers know about it while they're most frightened is probably going to make a TON of money.)

So it seems like the web we all know and hate could be back in six months or less if the ad networks and tracking services took these steps. And there'll be no blocking them this time.

As a web developer this solutions seems pretty obvious to me...am I missing something? How come I'm not hearing this theory more often?

Reply Score: 3

dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

As a web developer this solutions seems pretty obvious to me...am I missing something? How come I'm not hearing this theory more often?

Because it is almost as trivially blocked as blocking domains.

Virtually all web service calls go through XMLHttpRequest. The game just changes to blocking those requests instead. As you point out yourself, most websites would use a 3rd party vendor to create these APIs and that means for each such vendor you need one detection string. Just like with todays CDN domain blocking.

Reply Parent Score: 4

cannikin Member since:
2015-09-19

Nope, I'm suggesting that everyone make XMLHttpRequests back to their own domain. The server side (outside the realm of ad blocking) just forwards that tracking data back to Google, et. al. Unless ad blockers start blocking all AJAX requests, whether to a third party or local, but then you'll get some severe performance degradation on most modern sites.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

1. seems like a lot of work and a potential security problem for your own site. But it might work.

2. doesn't work.

The ad-networks are afraid you'll just sent them more requests than the visitors you get on your site.

Reply Parent Score: 3