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Ad Blocking Is Not Going To Stop Google's Momentum

Website administrators have the last say on ad blocking, not site visitors, not advertisers.

Investopedia joins the anti-ad blocking campaign. This investment site detects and warns Safari ad block users.

Google will continue to earn billions annually from search advertising on the iOS platform.

Apple is making a mistake by letting third-party apps affect the sales of mobile e-commerce sites.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has not made any overt action to directly help website operators address the annoying problem that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) started in allowing third-party browser extensions in iOS 9 Safari. AdBlock Plus developers have admitted they are accepting payments from 70 companies to whitelist their ads.

The Wall Street Journal has identified Google, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Taboola as some of those 70 companies who are paying to get their ads exempted from AdBlock Plus. While Google is using some of its cash hoard to allow its ads to pass through the filters of AdBlock Plus, it has not yet released a free tool for website owners to detect and block site visitors who use ad blocking browser extensions.

Consequently, advertising-dependent sites like Investopedia and hackintosh.zone, took action themselves and either bought or developed their own anti-ad block solutions. While there are now people making big money selling ad-blocking software, there are also others who sell PHP scripts to webmasters to detect and block ad block users.

German firm Eyeo GmbH created the for-profit AdBlock Plus software. However, there are also some Germans actively giving away free anti-AdBlock Plus scripts, and also offers a premium version that offers longer lasting protection against future ad block browser extensions.

The Wall Street Journal story wisely pointed out that the ad block and anti-ad block industries are multi-billion new growth industries.

Google investors should therefore not worry too much about the fallout from Apple's recent pro-ad block stance. There will always be smarter programmers who will try to make money by creating anti-ad blocking scripts.

Investopedia, one of my favorite investing sites, now warns ad block users to whitelist its site. This is true for both desktop and mobile versions of Safari browsers. I bought the $0.99 Crystal ad blocking extension for iOS 9 Safari and Investopedia immediately detected it on my iPhone/iPad.

(Source: Alcaraz Research)

Website Owners Have The Last Say

I want to make it very clear that it is the website owner/administrator who has the last say over the ad blocking issue. It is not Apple, Google, or the people who visit sites that decides of whether to allow or not to allow ads or ad blocking.

The owner can warn and/or prevent users from accessing content of his site because he has the ultimate right to do so. Investopedia is forcing site visitors to whitelist its site because it is not willing to give money to greedy ad block developers.

Investopedia's action is laudable since some ad block developers are plainly just extorting money or being recalcitrant on the issue of whitelisting. The developer of Crystal ad block extension, Dean Murphy, only promised to whitelist a select number of e-commerce sites that won't load when people enables Crystal.

Fortune proved that the for-profit Crystal ad blocker is corrupting or not properly loading the sites of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Lulemon (NASDAQ:LULU), and Sears.com. Murphy and Apple continue to sell the Crystal app in spite of it being bugs-ridden.

If I were the American site owner of sears.com, I would sue Murphy and Apple now. The blank website on Crystal-enabled iOS devices prevents me from making sales to big-spending iPhone/iPad shoppers.

(Source: Fortune.com)

Any self-respecting site administrator will immediately boycott the products of Apple for its tolerance of greedy ad block developers.

My Takeaway

GOOGL is a Strong Buy. Advertisers will still spend $100 billion on mobile users this year in spite of ad blocking. Google's will continue to earn billions of dollars per year on iPad/iPhone owners. The only good thing that is coming out of the ad blocking issue is that it is forcing Google and its advertising clients to be more creative in making less-annoying ads.

Google's advertising division should also be having a good laugh right now. Apple is still unaware of its precarious situation over its continuing decision to allow paid ad blocking apps hurt the online sales of mega cap corporations like Wal-Mart and Sears.

The issue of ad blocking is all about money. It is not an altruistic/moral question over web surfing people getting ad spammed. The people who sell ads to help sell products, and the people who develop ad blockers and anti-ad blockers, are all in it for the money.

My previous assertions that Google is paying off block developers are supported by The Wall Street Journal story. If Google is willing to pay to AdBlock Plus developers, there is nothing preventing it from also paying Mr. Murphy and other iOS Safari ad block extension developers.

I am therefore again dismissing the ad blocking issue as a minor inconvenience/expense. I am only envious of Mr. Murphy - he could earn millions from selling Crystal to Apple customers, and also from the advertisers/site owners who might pay him to get their ads/sites whitelisted.

I am again long on GOOG.


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