How misleading ads ruined the Internet

Advertising is not something new. Before Google Ads webmasters tried to monetize their websites in a way or another.

After Google became the most popular search engine, their advertising service named "Google Adwords" allowed everyone to buy ad space or if you were a website owner to sell ad space through "Google Adsense".

All with just a few clicks away.

Everything worked great for several years until some advertisers realized that they could make more money using some shady marketing tactics. Misleading and deceptive ads started to show up everywhere.

A tiny part of website owners were frustrated. The same with visitors, not everyone was happy to be redirected or download something they didn't intend.

Unfortunately, greed won the battle and principles were left behind.

Instead of trying to realize what is going to happen on a long-term, most webmasters allowed these advertisers to run their crappy ads.

The more they were allowed to list their ads, the more money they made, growing bigger and forcing the whole industry into what I call a "misleading trend."

The ad-blockers started to become more popular. As they gained traction, the site owners response was awful. They began to deliver more ads per page or used several advertisers per page so that they can compensate for the losses of ad-blockers.

Out of topic but it is the same thing that leads to climate changes, and yet, we have people trying to find any other reason.

As a webmaster, you should understand one thing when it comes to advertising. Ads are like a place where others compete for a chance to place their ad on your space. The more of them, the better, it means that you will make more money.

Once you start placing multiple ads, you will more likely make more money but that only on a short term. If this is your strategy on a long-term you will loose for at least one of the following reasons:

A. You assume that things will not change and will always run like this
B. The advertising industry will continue to grow.
C. Visitors will not try to change their behavior and install an ad-blocker or try to look for an alternative.
D. Herd mentality, if you followed what everyone else did, you will experience a slow death along with them.
E. Your site will be slower: it will drive away visitors, and it will load slower than your competitors.

FossHub approach in the last ten years was always to show a single ad and block misleading and deceptive ads along with their advertisers. We also used only one program: Google Adsense. It was the most successful advertising program and more comfortable to have primary control over the ads.

While every other similar site had a dozen ads and advertisers FossHub was different. We did not blindly follow the rest of the industry.

The actions of everyone else managed to hurt us.

Some people believed that we were the one placing misleading ads. The truth is that we put an enormous amount into blocking such ads 24/7/365.

There was no Christmas, birth date or New Year celebration without blocking some nasty ads.

In an ideal world, we would show no ads and rely only on donations received from individuals, however, we could not afford to pay our bills.

So, we predict that ad-block technology will become even more popular and smarter. The advertising industry is clearly in a downtrend and only those who are not greedy and focus on building a service to serve their visitor will survive. All the other sites will have a slow death.