Articles tagged in ozbargain

  1. State of Ad-Blocking on OzBargain

    Last month, after the iOS 9 release which included content-blocking mechanism for Safari, someone made this poll on OzBargain -- Dilemma: Ethics of Using Ad Removal Plugins. I am not going to discuss the ethical side of it (although I did wrote about it in the discussion thread). However I am interested to find out how the current state of ad-blocking is affecting OzBargain.

    So I coded some detection function in Javascript and loaded on the site for 2 days. After analysing 1.5 million page views on OzBargain, here are some stats on the number of pages that are "ad-blocked".

    Desktop 44.76%
    Mobile 6.81%
    Users 44.54%
    Guests 29.66%

    Overall around 32% of ad-invocations are blocked on OzBargain. Detection is done via Javascript that fires 3 seconds after DOM is ready. It would log "ad-blocked" if DOM elements for display ads are hidden (display: none via CSS for example). It would not be triggered if ads have been explicitly disabled from user-settings.

    Some thoughts:

    • At 32% and almost 45% for desktop users, the percentage of ad-blocking users is shockingly high. That's almost one out of every 3 page views. Before the experiment I was thinking of maybe ~10% but it seems that I'm just oblivious to all the development lately.

    • Ad-blocking on mobile phone still has pretty low penetration. I guess most of the 6.8% would be iOS 9 with content blocker, although ad-blocking was previously achievable with Firefox, rooted phones or local DNS forwarder.

    • With the high percentage of ad-blockers, I'll say most won't even bother white-listing a relatively harmless site like OzBargain, which uses exclusively AdSense. I don't think "acceptable ads" would succeed at all, as for ad-blocker users, any external resources that slow down the website from loading would get labelled as "unacceptable".

    • Almost 50% of ads on OzBargain are CPM based (according to AdSense report). Them not loading at all one in 3 pages -- I can imagine the dent it has placed on our revenue. Google would have something under its sleeve, wouldn't it? I hope it's more than just paying off the racketeering money to get into the acceptable ads program.

    We'll see.

  2. Gifts from The Orange Pigeon

    Surprise this morning when I checked the mail -- some gifts, ie 2 pens and 2 wrist bands, from The Orange Pigeon. They are a charity organisation based in Melton VIC that grants wishes to those who are terminally ill. They were one of the recipients of OzBargain's Christmas donation. We've also made some larger donations last June to some larger charity groups (Cancer Council, Beyond Blue, RSCPA), and had other givings to Beyond Blue in the past years -- The Orange Pigeon is the only one that responded with a thank you letter and information pamphlet.

  3. Two are better than one

    For the past 12 months OzBargain has been running on a single Linode 720 at Linode, in their Fremont data centre. I thought it was pretty good for a Drupal website getting 5 million page views per month, especially renting that VPS is pretty much free to me :) Due to surge in traffic as end of financial year draws close, it has been struggling though. Loadavg will go over 1 regularly during day time, and can peak at 3-4 in evening hours. It was so bad at one stage that Nginx would stop serving FastCGI requests.

    So I went and got another Linode 720 at Fremont running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and migrated the database (~700MB so far) at 1:30am yesterday morning. There was around 10 minutes of downtime for me to copy the database around and reconfigure the files. And now OzBargain is running on two $39.95/month servers, one running Nginx + PHP-FastCGI, and the other running MySQL. Here's the loadavg of the web server (taken from Cacti)

    Alderaan Load

    Note the big drop of load on the 12th. Two are indeed better than one :)

    Looking at hitting 6 million page views this month and I know everything is going to die down a bit until around October/November. Let's see how long this setup will last.