Posts tagged business

Update on Ad Blocking and Acceptable Ads

A few weeks ago, we shared about the challenge ad blocking presented to our sustainability and what we were doing about it. On May 4th, Read the Docs was added to the Acceptable Ads list meaning that our visitors running ad blockers who choose to allow unintrusive advertising will see our ads again. The impact to our ad views, clicks, and revenue was immediate.

Estimates around the web vary regarding what percentage of people run ad blockers and it varies heavily by industry. We discussed this figure a bit in our previous post.

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Ads and Ad blockers

Last time, we shared how ethical advertising works to keep Read the Docs sustainable without creepy ad targeting. This time, we will share about one of our biggest challenges with advertising. At the beginning of April, Read the Docs was added to one of the most popular ad block lists: the Easylist.

Getting added to the EasyList had a significant and immediate impact on the bottom line at Read the Docs. Right around April 1, 32% of our ad views simply vanished. At first, we thought we had done something horribly wrong but then we discovered that this was due entirely to ad blocking. Our actual traffic wasn’t down at all.

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Ethical Advertising Works

It has been two years since we first launched ads on Read the Docs. We figured it was time to report on the results that we’ve seen, and say thanks to those who have helped us along the way.

To put it simply:

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