Companies serving advertisements have a few different ways of billing you, with the most common being CPI (Cost Per Impression) and CPM (Cost Per Mille [Thousand] Impressions).

When placing an advertisement with one of these networks you are billed, and the company tracks the number of impressions your advertisement makes.

However, what if the user is using an adblocker? Will/should the impression still count? I feel it's pointless buying advertising* when users can block them using an adblocker and you still get charged for that particular non-impression.

There's already been.. much discussion on other sites in the SE network, but there's surprisingly few results (outdated) when I searched for the answer.

* I plan to place an advertisement on a popular gaming website to boost the popularity of my gaming service, but however am quite limited on budget (the particular website bills before the ad is placed, so no risk there) and do not want to pay for non-impressions.


Regarding one of the most popular advertisement services, Doubleclick, to have an ad impressions, there should be a call initially in the javascript script tag to retrieve the ad content.

Some ad blockers prevent the http request blocking specific domains, while others may be blocking images.

If the ad blocker filter by domain then it won't count as an impression as non request is being made.

This is the full ad measurement process

The JavaScript ad tag GA_googleFillSlotinvokes an HTTP request to the ad server. The ad server selects an advertisement and then delivers a "200" server code with JavaScript content directing the browser to the advertising content, whether a Google hosted creative or third-party ad tag. Counting occurs when the ad server acts upon the ad call and issues the ad content. In this implementation, measurement occurs based on the ad servers selecting and returning the ad content, and in advance of the ad being displayed to the user.

Popup blockers

Ad impressions delivered via pop-up or pop-under ads (collectively referred to as pop-up hereafter) may be blocked from displaying by a pop-up blocker. When DFP ad tags are properly implemented by the publisher, a pop-up blocker, which would prevent the pop-up window from opening, would also prevent the ad tag (which also serves as the measurement asset) from being requested, and therefore, the ad impression would not be recorded. However an impression will be recorded if the ad creative opens up a pop-up although the pop-up might be blocked by a pop-up blocker

Full ad measurement statement when there is an ad blocker:

Ad blocking software: With certain browsers or tools, users have the ability to block content (including advertisements) based on the domain from which the content is being requested. This may include either image blocking from the selected domains, or the exclusion of any requests being made to the designated domains. Ad blocking techniques or software that prevents any requests to the DFP domain may have no impact on the impression measurement as this situation may prevent both the ad request and the measurement, resulting in an accurate count of zero impressions. However, ad blocking software that blocks images or content from the creative server, but not DFP ad servers, may result in an overstatement if the ad request is processed and counted, but the browser subsequently prevents the display of the ad creative. Additionally, certain ad blocking tools may also be customized by the user to block content based on the image size. The software compares the size of the image/creative to the set parameters of the filter and if it matches the parameters, the image is blocked, potentially resulting in overstatement of the impression



  • 1
    That seems to cover URL based blocking completely; but what happens with DOM based blocking rules? ex Blocking a div called "adContainer" on every site. Jun 24 '16 at 15:48
  • 1
    tl;dr If the source is blocked, it doesn't count. If the effects are blocked, it does count. Hiding DOM elements counts as "effect".
    – Sumurai8
    Jun 24 '16 at 16:33

Google calculates Impression only when an ad call is made from the browser after reading your webpage code. When an Ad Blocker is switched on with the filter to block ad server or domain. Then browser will ignore reading the tags, hence there will be no call made to Ad server. So it won't count as an impression as non request is being made and hence you won't be charged.

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