The simple answer is: maybe, sometimes.
Let us explain how ad blockers work and what you can do to prevent them from blocking your ads.
Ad blocking arrived in the early 2000s as a way for people to block adverts before they loaded on a website.
Websites with ads frequently take more time to load, so using and ad blocker users can browse the web much faster.
How do ad blockers work?
Ad blockers are able to identify what an advert looks like, and therefore block ads from loading.
How do ad blockers know what an advert looks like?
Quite simply, most ads contain similar words that are typical of promotions. For example, these are words like “discount,” “sale,” or “50% off.”
Ad blockers put these words into ‘filterlists’ which then tells the website which parts to block.
The diagram below shows how the typical ad blocker works:
Today it is reported that there are more than 50 million people using ad blockers.
So if you’re spending money on Facebook ads, you’re probably wondering, are any of my ads being blocked?
Your Facebook Ads & Ad blockers
There is no clear-cut answer as to whether your ads are actually being blocked or not.
Currently, there’s an ongoing battle between Facebook and the most popular ad blocker, Adblock Plus.
Adblock Plus wants to block your Facebook ads, and Facebook is trying to stop it.
Ever since Facebook made advertising possible, news feed ads have existed and are the most popular type of Facebook ad. So one of the first changes Facebook made in this battle was to safeguard the news feed ads.
These ads previously had specific features that made it possible for ad blockers to identify and then block them.
However, Facebook now “hides” these features by masking them as “native”, which the call “Sponsored Ads”.
So why can’t native ads be detected by ad blockers?
Well, native ads have some features that are more or less identical to a regular Facebook post.
The only slight difference that you will notice is that these ads have a small “Sponsored” beneath the page name.
Facebook also made another change, by allowing users to customise their “Ad Preferences.”
This means all users can select which types of ads they want to be displayed.
Therefore, people will then only see adverts that they have an interest in.
What does this mean for Advertisers?
All advertisers can now actively target their audiences by specific interest.
Anybody that has selected a specific interest is highly unlikely to report or block an ad about it.
Although the battle between AdBlock Plus and Facebook continues, there are a few steps you can take to help ensure your ads are still being shown.
Improve the quality of your ads.
Ad blockers do not completely block all adverts. They do actually let a certain number of ads through their filter.
These ads are ones which are deemed as “non-intrusive”.
Why would ad blockers do this?
Well, the main reason people block ads in the first place is that they find them “annoying,” “irrelevant,” or even “disruptive to their social experience.
Your ads won’t be considered as annoying if you follow the criteria of an “acceptable ad.”
Adblock Plus’ criteria for acceptable ads:
- Static ads only
- Preferably text only
- Ad placements:
- Ads shouldn’t obscure page content
- Ads should not be placed in the middle of a text piece/article
- Ads should not require users to scroll down
- Paid search results should never occupy more space than organic results
- Side ads should leave enough space for the main content
- Ads should always be clearly marked as such
- Hyperlinks must not lead to any website except the one specified.
- 2% of words or less must be hyperlinked.
- Shouldn’t be formatted to behave differently to other types of links.
- Shouldn’t be misleading in content or placement.
Use Interest Targeting
As mentioned above, people can now choose which types of ads they want to see in their “Ad Preferences.” So your ads stand less chance of being blocked if you target people based on their selected interests.
For example, if you run a dog grooming company, you can target people who have listed “dogs” as an interest.
Request to be put on the Whitelist
Adblock Plus do allow ads from certain advertisers to always be shown.
These advertisers are part of what Adblock Plus call a “Whitelist.”
To be put on Adblock Plus’ Whitelist, you can submit a request here: https://adblockplus.org/en/filter-cheatsheet#exceptions2
It’s also worth noting, that 90% of advertisers on the Whitelist do not pay to be there.
So to conclude, should you actually be worried that your Facebook ads are being blocked? Probably not.
Facebook relies on ads just as much as you do, so you can rest assured they will invest heavily to ensure that your ads continue to function as seamlessly as possible.