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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Why Do Ad Blockers exempt Amazon?
    I searched but could not find any other discussion about this topic, so I thought I'd create a new thread (let me know if there is another thread for this already).

    More consumers are beginning to use "ad blocking" technology, usually without any comprehension of different levels of ad blocking.

    What I want to know is, what's so special about Amazon? As I've tested different ad-blocking technology, I've discovered that most (but not all) ad-network links are "erased", and many (but not all) direct-affiliate links are also being "erased" by the ad blockers. However, I have not yet found a single ad-blocking technology that "erases" any text or product-image affiliate links.

    Of course, I'm annoyed because much of the content (yes, content) on some of my directory sites is being garbled by these ad-blockers. For example, if a teacher finds my site after searching for "Huckleberry Finn lesson plans," she will see many available resources that are stand-alone (free) web pages, and she will also see any resources that can be purchased from (along with product images, if she chooses to view them), but all text links to other products from most other merchants are "erased," so that my directory appears to have gaps, holes, and incomprehensible information. (Alas, all links to a series of inexpensive downloadable lesson-plan resources are erased for visitors with ad-blocking technology; and that one product line from a single affiliated merchant generates sales nearly equal to my TOTAL Amazon sales.)

    But with each new release, ad-blockers are targetting more affiliate links, while appearing to grant Amazon a "free pass" for its text and product-image affiliate links. I have mixed feelings -- as an Amazon affiliate, I am relieved that I'm not losing that activity, also, but at the same time, I am upset at the unfair treatment.

    Hence my question: why is Amazon so special? Is anyone aware of any ad-blockers that DO strip out Amazon's affiliate links? (I'm not concerned about blockers that strip out banners or buttons, but those that also strip out product images and text links.)

    Is it possible that Amazon or other large merchants may actually apply pressure to receive this favorable treatment? Or do ad-blockers selectively block "advertising" based on some other criteria (for example, do any ad-blockers refuse to block ads for their OWN affiliate links?)?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    North Carolina
    Most adblockers block certain sizes of images and links from specific domains. In most cases, the links point to domains of known affiliate networks, ad servers etc. In contrast, Amazon links or images are from either Amazon domain or served by the affiliate. Some of the images which are served by Amazon are non-standard size (e.g. product links). You may also have links to Amazon which are not necessarily for affiliate relationship. I'd guess ad blockers do not want to block all Amazon links. They basically fail to distinguish which is affiliate link and which one is not. I have not tested, but I think ad blockers will block any image which are of standard size (e.g., 468x60), Amazon or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Kcedit
    They basically fail to distinguish which is affiliate link and which one is nott.
    The real issue, for me, is why all Amazon text links are exempt, while direct-affiliate links to other merchant sites are blocked. For example, I discovered that MovieGoods links are blocked "wholesale" by several different blockers, even though these are direct links. (This removes one key benefit of having a "direct" affiliate program.)

    It may be that there is a specific flag, such as the inclusion of a string like "/affiliate/" in the URL, but this does not seem to be consistent.

    And of course, yes, images in certain "ad-standard" sizes (certainly 468x60) appear to be consistently blocked by most ad blockers. What I can't comprehend is why an image-link to Amazon surrounded by an Amazon affiliate link is somehow LESS offensive than an image-link to MovieGoods surrounded by a moviegoods affiliate link.

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