Some 9% of the world’s most popular websites are using anti-adblock scripts in efforts to stave off the rise in ad blocker adoption and protect ad revenue.

As reported by Bleeping Computer, the finding is based on research by the University of Iowa and California-Riverside on the use and evolution of anti-adblock scripts – which detect the use of ad blockers and modify the sites’ HTML – over the last five years.

Fighting back

Scouring through cached copies of Alexa’s top 5,000 websites, researchers looked for use of the two most popular scripts – Anti-Adblock Killer List and Combined EasyList – which detect the use of ad blockers and serve a notification requesting the user to disable the software or whitelist the site in order to access its content.

The results turned out an incremental rise in anti-adblocking scripts in accordance with the software’s growing adoption among internet users and is evidence that publishers “reacted immediately” to the threat of ad blockers on revenue.

According to BC, the results follow similar research undertaken by the same team released in 2016, where it was found that 686 of the Alexa top 100,000 websites “visibly reacted” to ad blockers, modifying the HTML code sent to users’ browsers.

Next month, Google will launch Chrome’s inbuilt ad blocking function, following in the vein of competitors such as Opera, which will block all ads on sites not conforming to the Coalition for Better Ads standards, which would include ad experiences that rank lowest across a range of user experience factors, such as pop-ups, takeovers and autoplay audio ads.