By Erin Schroeder

The topic of ad blocking is causing quite a stir in the marketing industry lately.

For the customers who want an ad-free experience when they’re online to browse the news, shop a bunch of retailers or watch videos with minimal interruption, the concept seems to be a win. For the businesses that pay to place their ads on the web and now face dwindling viewership of those same ads, it’s creating a huge predicament.

But no matter which camp you associate with, aren’t we forgetting something major within the “to block or not to block” battle? Shouldn’t the focus still be to provide the best web experience for the user?

As we consider how the digital advertising world has evolved and how ads factor in to a visitor’s typical browsing session, maybe we need to take a step back … perhaps we need to look a little closer at why so many people are opting to install this ad blocking software in the first place.

Disruptive ads – Those ads that totally take over the page you’re on or have no obvious “close now” or mute options when they auto-play? Yep, visitors really loathe these ads and will often abandon the page they’re on as an instant escape route.

Privacy concerns – It’s one thing to have ads display wherever you navigate to without any control, but quite another when your detailed browsing habits are being tracked and logged in the process.

Irrelevant content – Delivering ads that aren’t relevant really irritates visitors. People who come to a site with a certain goal in mind have little patience for multiple product placements that pop up and don’t relate to their mission.

Ad volume/system slow-down – Another common frustration? The sheer volume of ads displayed. Along with that, the effect some ads can have on load speed and system performance is a growing concern.

According to PageFair, ad blocking grew by 44% globally in the last year alone, and it will cost publishers an estimated $22 billion in 2015. These are some staggering stats, yes, but something just as important to consider is why this tactic has become so common if our universal goal is to give web visitors the best experience possible.