What is an Adblock Allowlist?

Don Don | September 30, 2020 | anti adblock, adblock recovery articles

An allowlist provides adblock users with a way to exempt specific websites from adblock functions. Adblock users can manage this list easily, usually with just a click or two. "Allowlisting" gives users the ability to disable an adblocker for particular sites they want to support - without disabling their adblocker for all other sites they visit.

(The adblock industry is moving from the term whitelist, to allowlist; please keep this in mind if there are still articles or references to whitelist in searches and blogs; they are likely referring to similar functionality across adblock vendors. Google Search reports suggests many people are still searching for help using the original label.)
At its core, adblocking is about providing users more choice over their web experience. Some users prefer to block ads on sites with annoying or excessive ads but allow them on sites with a more balanced ad experience. However, surveys have shown that often users are either not aware they have an adblocker running in their browser, have not reviewed or adjusted the settings, and/or were not the person to put adblocker on their system. An adblock allowlist ensures those users can easily adjust when and where they want to apply adblock functions.

Some users want to support their most favored brands, blogs, and content that rely on ad revenue. In those cases, the allowlist is a good option to differentiate between a user's favorite websites, and the rest of the internet, in terms of where their adblocker blocks ads. To view allowlists in the context of visitor ad experience, adblocking, best practices and revenue recovery, see our comprehensive Adblock Revenue Recovery Guide.

How can a publisher help visitors add their website to an allowlist?

Most blocker software enables adding a website to an allowlist with just a couple clicks on the blocker extension.  First a website publisher should engage the user to share the option to allowlist, the benefit of doing so, and how easy it is to do. Admiral has a solution for publishers to enable visitors to add their website to an allowlist in a single click. The solution would first detect if the user had adblock technology turned on, and then provide them a friendly prompt to add the current website to the allowlist in just one click.

Additionally, instructions for how users can add a website to their allowlist across 27 popular adblockers and browsers, can be found in this Ultimate Allowlist Guide. Publishers are encouraged to post information about how their users can add them to an allowlist, and the benefits for doing so.

(Admiral regularly conducts research with thousands of adblockers and has more domain expertise in anti-adblock solutions, adblock analytics, and adblock recovery than any other technology firm.)

What are the benefits of an allowlist?

  • When visitors support a publisher by whitelisting, it unlocks the publisher’s full ad stack, including the most valuable — and typically highest quality — direct, video, and other ad campaigns. As a result, whitelist-based revenue recovery yields the highest revenue per thousand pageviews (RPM), more than ad reinsertion methods.
  • Whitelist campaigns work for all browsers, all blockers, and all visitors; giving them a consent-based way to support the publishers they choose.
  • Whitelisting allows users to keep their adblockers installed for poor quality sites, while allowing ads for a site they love.
  • Some websites may not function properly with an adblocker running, so adding them to the allowlist can help improve the user experience in those situations.

Is an adblock allowlist-based solution the best method for adblock revenue recovery?

Allowlisting is a key component of adblock revenue recovery but is best used in combination with ad reinsertion solutions, as well as value exchanges with adblockers to drive deeper more long-term engagement. When applied together, revenue recovery can exceed 100%. 

Here's a great allowlist recovery case study showing how there was a 9x revenue recovery lift when Allow-list recovery was added alongside reinsertion and Acceptable Ads based methods.


While the industry is transitioning the term and establishing the definition for allowlist, you may also find spelling as allow-list or "allow list".

To find out more about adblock revenue recovery, and to get your FREE revenue analytics dashboard showing block rates, revenue potential, and adblocker impact, contact Admiral today.

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