Common Things that can Trigger Ad Blockers on Your Website


Occasionally ad blockers can inadvertently block things on your website that have similar keywords to those that trigger ad blockers. 

A Run State client of ours recently logged a ticket report that some customers on their ecommerce website (but not all) were not seeing product images. After a bit of investigation, our QA team figured out enabling/disabling ad blockers would block their product images. It turns out they’d included the initials “A” and “D” (innocently, also the initials for their company) together in their image filenames, and having “ad-” in there caused some ad blockers to trigger.

Statistics show that more than 25% of internet users in the United States have some kind of ad blocker enabled. Ad blocking is a built-in feature of Firefox, Brave, and Opera, and there are easy extensions for Chrome, Edge, Safari and all other browsers. If you’re inadvertently triggering an ad blocker then some of your visitors could be missing important parts of your site.

How do you prevent ad blockers from triggering on your website? We’ll dig into some common causes.

How do ad blockers work to review my website?

Ad blocking software isn’t particularly “smart”, it generally works by scanning a website’s code as a page loads in your browser and comparing it against a list of keywords that should be blocked. So it doesn’t really “know” that something is an ad—it’s guessing based on matching patterns. So it’s not always perfect. 

How do I prevent ad blockers from targeting my website?

There are a few things you can do to avoid your widgets, images, and other elements from being targeted by an ad blocker.

  • Choose widgets that come from reputable third-party providers. Seek out companies that create widgets that will work seamlessly with our site. You can always ask the company how their widgets handle ad blockers if it’s not immediately clear.
  • Most importantly, make sure the words you’re using in your code for widgets, images, and other elements are not going to trigger ad blockers. The section below contains a list of common words that will trigger ad blockers, so you can avoid them.

Common words in website code that trigger ad blockers:

  • Ad, track, sponsor, etc.
  • Banners, adv, ad, etc.
  • Image dimensions in file name (example: sample_image_300x250), especially if your image size is a common ad size as seen in section 2.2 of this article.
  • Anything in this widely used regex list, called EasyList (txt. download)
  • EasyPrivacy (.txt download)
  • EasyList Cookies (.txt download)
  • Fanboy’s Social Blocking List (.txt download)

Hopefully, after reading this you have a better understanding of why elements can trigger an ad blocker and what to do to prevent this issue. And feel free to reach out to us if you still have questions.