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OKCupid Asks Customers to Help Remove Ads From Site

This story appears in the July 2013 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One day in 2012, OkCupid, the ad-supported site with well over 7 million members, uncovered a puzzling problem. The site's internal ad-impression numbers weren't jibing with those of an advertiser, which were lower. OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagan recalls the brainstorming session when someone chimed in, "Well, there are ad blockers …" Bingo.

Ad blockers are free web-browser extensions that, once installed by individuals, prevent ads from appearing on every web page visited. For the millions of ad-driven sites on the web, they make dollars disappear. In fact, more than 9 percent of all online impressions in the U.S. are eaten by ad blockers, according to Israeli startup ClarityRay. Ouch.

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