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NEWS28 June 2016

Ad blockers can slow mobile load times

News Technology Trends UK

US — While many internet users install ad blocking software to speed up browsing, analysis has shown that they can have the opposite effect on some mobile sites. 

The study, from Catchpoint Systems, involved analysis of load times on the mobile sites of 20 leading brands operating in the news, retail, financial services and travel sectors. 

It looked at the time it took for content to load with ad blocking software — specifically Pi-Hole, a DNS-based ad blocker —  switched off, and then compared this with the time taken with it installed.

It was found that while load times were improved for the majority of brand websites when the blockers were switched on, they were slower on seven mobile sites, in particular for brands in the financial services and travel sectors.

"The industry needs leadership to focus not on the economic problem, but on the customer experience problem and the performance problem [of ad blocking]," said Mehdi Daoudi, CEO and co-founder of Catchpoint Systems, in a blog post on the company’s website. "The IAB is in position to take the lead here, set and enforce standards, and make sure that ads do not interfere with user experience, whether they’re part of ecommerce sites, news sites, or any other sites.

"Consumers aren’t waiting. They’re taking action and blocking ads, and if the industry doesn’t wake up and fix this soon consumers will have already solved it – and not in a way that the advertising world wants."