Google may soon force ad blockers to pay for the websites they read – here’s how it works

Google has announced that it will soon be expanding its Funding Choices programme to 31 countries around the world in a bid to fight ad blockers.

In a blog post published this week, Google said it would be giving publishers the ability to ask visitors from those countries to choose between allowing advertisements on a site, or purchasing an ad-removal pass through Google Contributor.

It added that it has also started a test that allows publishers to use their own proprietary subscription services within Funding Choices.

“When people encounter annoying ads, and then decide to block all ads, it cuts off revenue for the sites you actually find useful. Many of these people don’t intend to defund the sites they love when they install an ad blocker, but when they do, they block all ads on every site they visit,” Google said.

“While Funding Choices is still in beta, millions of ad blocking users every month are now choosing to see ads on publisher websites, or “whitelisting” that site, after seeing a Funding Choices message. In fact, in the last month over 4.5 million visitors who were asked to allow ads said yes, creating over 90 million additional paying page views for those sites.”

How it works

Google explained that Funding Choice gives publishers a way to have a conversation with their site visitors through custom messages they can use to express how ad blocking impacts their business and content.

When a visitor arrives at a site using an ad blocker, Funding Choices allows the site to display one of three message types to that user:

1. A dismissible message that doesn’t restrict access to content.

2. A dismissible message that counts and limits the number of page views that person is allowed per month, as determined by the site owner, before the content is blocked.

3. A message that blocks access to content until the visitor chooses to allow ads on the site, or to pay to access the content with either the site’s proprietary subscription service or a pass that removes all ads on that site through Google Contributor.

“On average, publishers using Funding Choices are seeing 16% of visitors allow ads on their sites with some seeing rates as high as 37%,” Google said.

“Ad blockers designed to remove all ads from all sites are making it difficult for publishers with good ad experiences to maintain sustainable businesses.

“Our goal for Funding Choices is to help publishers get paid for their work by reducing the impact of ad blocking on them, and we look forward to continuing to expand the product availability,” it said.

Read: Google launches new app in South Africa – aimed at reducing data costs

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Google may soon force ad blockers to pay for the websites they read – here’s how it works