A number of dangerous trends have been sweeping the internet in recent years, and not the fact that the information superhighway has become the disinformation superhighway, what with all the political riffraff, malware, and dangerous websites gone amok.
No, this dangerous trend is more recent, more pervasive, and the solution more problematic. Yet, here we are, half way through 2017, and websites insist upon parking a dozen ads and even more ad trackers on every webpage you visit. How can you defeat the annoying ads, conserve bandwidth, and speed up webpage load times?
Count. The. Ways.
Like it or don’t, we live in a capitalist society, and most websites get their revenue the old fashioned way– from advertising. You know, like newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. The public access internet has only been around since the mid-1990s but still has a wild west, anything goes mentality, especially when it comes to parking annoying advertising all over a website.
Those ads take up screen real estate, often feature annoying animations, and each one spawns one or more tracking scripts that record data about who you are, what you’re reading, where else you’ve been online. All those ads and scripts also take up bandwidth that you pay to use, and website webpages cluttered with ads take much longer to download to your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
What to do?
About 18 months ago we recommended that Mac360’s readers take a look at Ghostery, one of the free blocker tracker apps. Use it to see which website tracker scripts and ads track your while you’re reading. We also recommended the popular AdBlock Plus which can be used to block ads, block tracking scripts, but also whitelist websites where you may want to view ads.
Last year we instituted a No Ad Trackers policy on Mac360. Since then, even iOS has added ad blocker functionality, and now there’s yet another ad blocker for Mac and iOS called 1Blocker. What it does is exactly what you want. Control over which website can or cannot display ads and use trackers, but with very granular controls.
In fact, 1Blocker may give you the most control you can have over what shows up in a Safari tab. It blocks ads, comments, social widgets, share buttons, those annoying EU pop up cookie notices, adult websites, and gives you enough control to create your own custom blocking rules.
That means you get to view what you want, not view what you don’t want, save bandwidth, and speed up webpage downloads.
What’s the danger? Advertising makes the world go around, and without it– or, at least, without enough of it– websites that rely on advertising will close down. It happened to MacNN last year, and it has happened to many others. It’s a dangerous trend. Advertisers have been too greedy and website readers have responded by implementing ad blockers. Effective for readers, but it amounts to a lose lose situation.
1Blocker, and other ad and script blockers, gives you control over what your browser downloads. At Mac360 we trimmed the number of ads to a single display ad, and a few unobtrusive text link ads. We don’t even have a cookie on Mac360.
Fast load time, small page size, no ads tracked, no ad trackers, note even widget scripts. Win, win, win for everyone. There’s no easy solution to the advertising mess and the ad blocker response. What advertisers did in years past has come back to haunt them as website readers and viewers have begun to rebel against the status quo. If you’re going to block, at least whitelist those sites you think are worthy of remaining in business.