A bad ad that we would appreciate you reporting if you see it would be considered as:
- Any ads with auto-playing sound.
- Any ads that look like those crazy epilepsy inducing ads of the early 2000s with flashing colours.
- Any pop-ups. We do not use pop-up ads.
- Any ads that “break” the page layout as they’re larger than the space they’re supposed to fill.
- Any ads that automatically redirect the user away from the page. That’s a massive no-no.
- Obviously, any malicious ads (e.g. ones that your anti-virus program says are unsafe).
The ad spaces we use: a 728x90 pixel banner below the top navigation and above the site content, a 300x250 box ad either on right navs or next to the file stats on file pages, a 728x90 at the bottom of the page and a 300x250 at the bottom of the page. If you see anything else, it’s wrong, and we want to know about it!
Personally, I’ve been less than impressed with our ad provider of late. I’ve had many reports of issues that have been too numerous to ignore. I have been applying considerable pressure for them to sort out the issue but, without proper reporting, it’s hard to gauge just how endemic the issue is. It’s our hope that this new functionality will show us the extent of the problem so I can make a more informed decision about what to do next, whether it’s applying the right level of pressure backed up with statistics this new functionality will provide us, or looking for a new supplier altogether.
I understand that talking about ads is utterly undesirable. They are an unfortunately necessary scourge of the internet because there’s just no other way of paying for the servers and staff that keep resource intensive sites like this afloat. This year, Nexus Mods is projected to need £550,000 to keep running ($780,000). A figure that’s more than doubled in just under two years as we’ve continued to grow. We just can’t do it without ads on the site.
With this in mind, we have recently finished work on a slightly improved experience for users of this site who do not use Adblock. We are yet to release this functionality as I want to get a grasp of the current ad situation before I implement a system that incentivises turning off adblockers.
Because any talk of ads brings with it recommendations from certain users in the comments that everyone turn on their adblockers (something I find slightly rude, I won’t lie), I feel it necessary to talk about an upcoming feature we’ll be adding to the sites.
I understand and I get Adblock, and I understand and get why people use it. Whether it’s privacy, security, or just removing an annoyance. But unfortunately I have to sit on the other side of the argument simply because, if everyone used Adblock, then this site wouldn’t be able to afford paying the $780,000 bill this year. Indeed, the only reason why Adblock has “worked” up to this point is because there’s still enough users out there not using it to subsidise the people who are. As it stands, roughly 45% of Nexus users, who aren’t Premium or Supporters, use Adblock. That’s quite a high number. If that number gets much higher, we’re going to have serious issues. The same applies to many, many more of your favourite sites online.
There’s been a recent increase in sites not allowing users who use Adblockers on the site being spearheaded largely by the already dying newspaper industry’s websites online. A high-profile example is Forbes.com. I think we’re going to see more of this sort of stuff in the coming years. It’s a big deal on the internet right now as Adblock user numbers increase. However, I do not plan nor want to go that route at all. Instead, I want to thank those users who do not use an Adblocker by giving them a slightly better experience on the sites, without penalising Adblock users at all. Just to confirm, this new system will not change anything, at all for users who keep their adblockers on. For adblockers, the site will remain exactly the same as it is now and you won’t be locked out of anything you’re not already locked out of now (e.g. Supporter Image Share). Guaranteed.
The idea is to have a tiered system of membership with adblock users, non-adblock users, Supporters and Premium Members offering different levels of advantages. What you have right now, as a normal non-Supporter, non-Premium user of the site will be the adblock user level. So if you’re perfectly content right now, nothing is changing for you. Users who do not use adblockers will get a 50% download speed boost on the sites. Rising from 1MB/second to 1.5MB/second. A thank you from us, to you, for not using an adblocker. Supporter perks will remain the same, except for also gaining the 50% download speed boost, and Premium will remain unchanged as they already have uncapped download speeds among other perks.
The idea is not to punish people who use Adblockers. The idea is to incentivise turning off Adblockers and to thank those users who don’t use them on Nexus Mods. It’s an attempt at a positive reaction to Adblockers rather than the largely negative ones we’re seeing elsewhere online. With the raucous amount of abuse thrown out about advertising online, it’s only right that we thank users who willingly browse the sites with the ads turned on for helping to support the upkeep of the sites.
I’d like to remind users that Supporter membership on the site, which costs just £1.29 (roughly $2) and applies to your account forever (e.g. it’s not £1.29 a month, it’s just a one-off £1.29 to permanently be upgraded) removes all ads on the site for you. Similarly, if you become a Premium Member even for a single month (£2.99, roughly $4.25) you will never see ads on the site ever again, even after your Premium Membership expires. The idea being to make it as cheap as possible to remove the ads on the site, and to negate the often seen criticism elsewhere on the web that “there’s no cheap way to remove ads, so I use an adblocker”. I’m sorry, you can’t use that excuse here.
We’ll likely wait a month or two to release this new Adblocker incentive while we analyse the reports we get on our current ad setup with the new ad reporting system this news post was originally all about. I want to ensure the ads we’re serving are as tight and right as possible before suggesting to otherwise skeptical Adblock users that they help us out by turning them off.