Yearly Archives: 2009

EasyList Blocks Me: Yet Another AdBlock Rant

In the past 30 days, this blog pulled in about 37,000 pageviews. While that’s not an astronomical figure, it’s more than the 30 days before. This blog is slowly, but steadily, growing.

To my dismay, my ad impressions are lower than ever. Only fifteen thousand in the last 30 days. That’s down from 20,000…which is down from 25,000. (A few months ago, the ads were getting over 30,000 impressions!) It seems that my ad impressions are decreasing at a rate that’s far faster than the rate that my traffic increases.

Before I do much complaining, lets get a few facts straight:

  • My ads are served by the wonderful BuySellAds marketplace.
  • As per BuySellAds’ regulations, I don’t run any Flash-based ads. That means no sound, no video, no annoying salesmen dancing across the text you’re trying to read.
  • The ads are six small squares, sized 125×125 pixels, in the right-hand sidebar.
  • I set my own pricing. This means I can charge what I think is fair to both the advertiser and myself, instead of being stuck with pennies. I had been charging $30 for a thirty day period, which at one time had meant upwards of 30,000 impressions.
  • I manually approve the ads before they are shown here.
  • The ads pay for hosting and domain expenses, as well as the hours I put into writing. It’s no picnic pushing 6-7 posts out each week; a constant struggle to meet the daily deadlines without being reduced to releasing subpar-quality content.

Obviously I was not happy when I discovered that only one of my ad spots was still filled, the others having vacated earlier in the day as advertisers checked on their investments and took care of their ad bookings for the next month.

You see, advertisers will only pay for what they see to be a good investment, which is figured with a ratio between the cost and the number of times a banner ad is viewed. $50 for, say, 100,000 ad impressions would be considered a very good deal, as it works out to be about $0.50 CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Now if a website charged the same $50 for only 25,000 impressions, that would work out to be $2 CPM. If you could get more eyeballs for the same amount of money, why would you go with the lower-traffic site?

These aren’t Pay-Per-Click ads (like Google’s) we’re talking about here. The advertisers don’t care too much if their ads get clicked. They’re more worried about them being seen. If the ad views go down, I get a lot less money. Period. I can either cut my rates, and make less money, or not be able to book the ad spots at all, and make less money.

What happened to the impressions? I’m pretty sure it’s a result of AdBlock. I’ve, for awhile, used Thaya Kareeson’s excellent BuySellAds WordPress plugin to prevent my ads from being blocked by the EasyList filter, which had included a line that would block content from That meant that my ad impressions were nearly in line with my pageviews. Guess what happened. I found this little gem in the EasyList filter:

They added a line in to block ads on this website specifically. Here I had been thinking they were just blocking BuySellAds’ ad HTML at the DOM level instead of just blocking the script server, but no, they went and made it personal. Anything with a class of .adblock (which includes ads generated by BuySellAds) is stripped from my web pages. Upwards of four million internet users have the EasyList filter installed and, whether they know it or not, they can’t see the ads if they come here.

BlogBuzz August 22, 2009

Kohana: Cleaner CodeIgniter For PHP 5

One of the major criticisms of the CodeIgniter PHP framework is its continued support for PHP 4. The developers of the language announced two years ago that PHP 4 development, security patches included, would cease by the end of 2007. The CodeIgniter project still…

PHP stdClass: Storing Data in an Object Instead of an Array

Have you ever seen a scenario where you’re accessing data as an object, such as when you’re using WordPress’s database interface or when you’re parsing XML files with SimpleXML? You have something like echo $result->name. Have you ever wondered how that was done? Using…

Pingdom Ranks URL Shorteners

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Project Retweet: Twitter is Adding Native Retweet Support

If you follow social media coverage much, you’ve probably heard already through Mashable or TechCrunch: Twitter is rethinking the retweet, and integrating native API calls for retweeting into the service.

Remember Meet the URL Shortener

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BlogBuzz August 15, 2009

HTML Text Over an Image

Have you ever seen a site where HTML text is rendered over an image? One example of this is Pro Blog Design‘s article headings. The effect looks good, and it’s search engine-friendly. CSS-Tricks has a tutorial on how to create a similar implementation with… Step 1: “Get WordPress”

Automattic recently acquired for their hosted blog service, as you may remember. They still don’t seem to have quite decided what to do with it, aside from redirecting it to Users seem to want their blogs to be available as subdomains…