I had been using the AdBlock Plus extension in Firefox for years to keep advertising off of the Web sites I visit. AdBlock was always one of the first things I grabbed when doing a new installation. I never thought much of it, thinking that since I never click on ads anyway, it wasn't hurting the Web sites I visit because they got paid by the click. It turns out that's not the case, as I learned from an Ars Technica article the other day:
There is an oft-stated misconception that if a user never clicks on ads, then blocking them won't hurt a site financially. This is wrong. Most sites, at least sites the size of ours, are paid on a per view basis. If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us (bandwidth being only one of them), but provide us with no revenue.
As someone who works for a newspaper with a Web site that has a lot of advertising, this immediately hit home. Web advertising doesn't bring in nearly enough revenue to support a newspaper staff, but with how bad things have gotten, we need every penny we can get.
So do all of the Web sites we visit every day, from niche blogs to The New York Times. As someone who hopes to make a lifelong career in journalism, I know that online advertising will always be a part of where my salary comes from, be it a large part or a small part. So please, if you do want to keep seeing quality content on your favorite Web sites, please read the article, and please consider turning off your ad blocker.