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Google Reportedly Paying AdBlock To Whitelist AdSense
German-Language News Site Horizont Claims Google Has Paid Eyeo

 9:34 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google has reportedly paid the makers of Adblock Plus, the single most popular browser extension on Chrome and Firefox, to look the other way when it comes to its web advertisements. According to the German news site Horizont, Google and other unnamed companies are paying to be included on a "whitelist" that prevents their pop-ups, banners, and display ads from being blocked by the free service.

Apparently ad blocking is making a dent in AdSense income and Google is striking at the source. Of course people not wanting to see those ads can blacklist them anyway or simply switch to a different ad blocker.

If Google really wants to address the problem head on they'll confront visitors on Google directly about that ad blocker they can detect in the browser.

People will get annoyed with all this and head straight to Bing...



 10:54 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't think Google has a problem with annoying people. Every time I visit youtube while logged in to my google account I get a popup telling me to switch my youtube name to my real name. When I decline I end up with a second popup that gives me the option to accept or learn more... but no decline option and no way to close the stupid popup.

I reload the page and log out. Google gets an extra pageview but annoys me just a little more each time.

As for ad blocker - paying for inclusion is evil.


 11:02 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

As far as I can tell, you can choose to ignore the default whitelist anyway. ABP is used by the kind of people who configure things their way, and if it stops being useful they will be the first to jump to another utility.


 1:09 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

>Apparently ad blocking is making a dent in AdSense income and Google is striking at the source.

But they have only paid for pass through the ads from the search pages. Adsense is still blocked ... of course.

>People will get annoyed with all this and head straight to Bing...

Hopefully. I switched after the last "multiple update week" and adsense ctr disaster this week. Enough is enough.


 5:42 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

As for ad blocker - paying for inclusion is evil.

Not really. Taking money for whitelisting is evil.


 6:13 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I must be easily amazed but this is one of the wilder things I have heard in a while. What next spammers paying Norton or McAfee to be on a whitelist. It seems some legalities should be in play.


 12:22 am on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hum ... Maybe that'll be my next project, write an adblocker and give it away for free. Then ... let Bing and Google bid for access. For an extra million or two, the loser of the bidding becomes perma blacklisted by the product with no way for users to whitelist them. LMFAO


 2:51 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, this is a brilliant business decision. I don't criticize it. The fact remains, anyone, and history is there, that anyone can be bought.

Now, I don't use any ad blockers, but let's get to the real question.

Out of the box, what is the default setting? White list enabled? Was is always that way or did that default setting change since this deal? Is the white list setting just now available after this deal? Just wondering.


 4:28 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Adblock Minus?



 9:02 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Upgrade to Adblock Deluxe to block the ads you really want to block. Upgrade still further to Adblock Pro to block all ads ... including google."


 9:06 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Out of the box, what is the default setting? White list enabled?


Was is always that way or did that default setting change since this deal?

was always that way.

Is the white list setting just now available after this deal?

no, for a bit longer.

it's just one click to disable the whitelist, but more importantly: people still love adblock plus, even if they get to know that the company behind it are blackmailers.

it must be the most evil internet business concept i've ever heard of: making money with advertising by preventing others from making money with advertising.

the sad truth is that most people - and especially adblock users - have no moral scruples and will continue using this add-on. they don't give a [expletive deleted] about this story.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 12:06 am (utc) on Jul 8, 2013]
[edit reason] expletive deleted [/edit]


 10:23 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

most people - and especially adblock users - have no moral scruples

Some people - especially those who work in advertising and sales - have few moral scruples when it comes to making money, will happily deploy misleading statements, distortion and outright lies to persuade others to part with their cash, have no qualms whatsoever about being annoying, will use any form of manipulation they can get away with (including spammy techniques), and can't believe that anyone else wouldn't act the same way.

People who use adblockers are like Eskimos who don't want to buy a fridge.

Hope this helps.



 10:55 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

People who use adblockers are like Eskimos who don't want to buy a fridge.

disagree. ask around. people who have come to use adblockers do so because they have been annoyed by a) certain types of ads or b) the sheer volume of advertising on certain web pages. it's a quite concrete reason. if advertising was decent all over the place, we as publishers wouldn't have to face this problem.

the guys who overdo it are the triggers and everyone in the advertising business loses. people stating that they hate advertising in general is only the consequence of these particular issues.

adblockers are set and forget. no one takes the hassle to disable ad blocking for certain types of ads or certain websites. everything will be blocked by default. but to assume that therefore adblock users hate ads in general (in your words: that all advertised products or advertising forms are fridges) is the wrong conclusion.


 12:17 am on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

adblock users - have no moral scruples

You've got it backwards, it's the advertisers, spammers and hacers with no scruples.

People used to like internet advertising because it led them to new things on the web, the CTR used to be phenomenal.

Then some advertisers and spammers got greedy and made nothing but pages loaded with ads and really annoying things like pop-ups, pop-unders, etc. that messed with the visitor environment. Some even created pages you couldn't exit without loading more pages of ads that looped endlessly trapping surfers and forcing them to kill the browser and restart.

Then hackers started hacking some of the shakier ad networks and the next thing you know banner ad servers are trying to download software into machines.

Then we have the bottom feeding MFA sites that spam the web with junk websites for the sole purpose of getting an AdSense click as the pages have no value and Adsense is the only escape from the page.

Adblock is practically an anti-virus for the web as most of the junk out there poses no threat if it's not loaded in the first place.

Adblock users trying to protect themselves from all the advertising scum and hackers are NOT the problem, it's the scum that drove them to need Adblock in the first place.

If Google AdSense maintains a decent and clean network, which they do for the most part by banning the scum that abuse the system, then their sites should get a pass from Adblock IMO because they aren't the types of sites Adblock really needs to protect people from in the first place.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 4:15 am (utc) on Jul 8, 2013]


 12:29 am on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

to assume that therefore adblock users hate ads in general

I didn't suggest that they hate ads, I suggested they are not interested in them.

I know this is anathema to advertising people, who convince themselves that the punters would definitely be interested if only they could see the wonderful ads, but as they are happy to brand me as a person with no moral scruples because I am not interested in their marketing I am content to leave them to their ignorance.



 1:55 am on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

no native english speaker here, quite a few words are taken from dictionary. so chill and don't be too hard on me.

@incredibill: that's all correct - we have no contrary opinion here. but perhaps i should clarify

no moral scruples

which you and @samizdata have taken out of context (and maybe go back on topic after that, as this thread is not about the reasons of ad blocking, but the shady practices of one adblocker provider).

i just think most people lack of moral integrity. in this case, i wanted to point out, that in general, if a product is cheap or good enough, most consumers won't consequently boycott it, even if it's made by known exploiters or extortionists. and so people will still use adblock plus regardless of this story.
but it doesn't concern the usage of adblock plus in particular, you can see this consumer behavior everywhere (for example, we still buy cheap t-shirts even if we know they are produced in sweat-shops by child workers etc.)

apart from that, it seems to me, that adblock users in particular show by means of usage of this product, that they don't care too much about other people's (webmaster) problems - in this case how a product they consume for free is monetized and how a free web service is kept alive in order to still provide it for them in the future.

if you don't know the underlying issues, i suggest you let the whole discussion in german media concerning eyeo gmbh and adblock plus run through a translator in order to comprehend the story as i'm too lazy to sum it up for you.

I didn't suggest that they hate ads, I suggested they are not interested in them.

and i didn't suggest that they are necessarily interested in them, but that they don't mind unobtrusive ads. i don't know on which side you are (reminder: this is the adsense forum), but as far as i'm concerned i'm a webmaster and publisher. i'm dependent on making money with advertising. so this is a critical point for me.

again: the fact that people block ads completely no matter what is in many cases not motivated by complete advertising aversion, but by the technical issue that it's simply the most practical solution to block everything everywhere by default. even if most of the people don't feel bothered by certain advertising forms, they will get blocked anyway. yes indeed, they will never know if there is something interesting for them.


 3:44 am on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's pretty simple in my mind. These guys can track their users can't they? Can't they track their users data somehow? How many disable the whitelist? If they aren't able to track their users settings then they are playing with half a deck. On second thought, perhaps it's best they don't disclose how many users disable the whitelist. If they know 90% of their users disable the whitelist then Google paid a bunch of money for that 10%. Perhaps that was part of the discussion. If you don't track, then you can't make smart business decisions. Knowing what people do is beneficial.

Personally I hope this turns out better for Google. I would think less blocked ads means more Adsense revenue for me. I'm still waiting for that, but this is a move in the right direction. It can only help.


 6:04 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

It sure sounds like Adblock sold out.

Can we still manually apply the filter to block Google Adsense and Analytics? Especially with all the data Google is sharing with the NSA, I don't want to give them anymore information then I have to.


 9:26 am on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Adblock - PLA for ads :)


 5:18 pm on Jul 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't base my income on ads hosted by third parties like Google in the long run.

In five to seven years we will be back to self hosted ads.

It is always the same thing: There is a great business model and then it is destroyed by greed. No, it is not enough to show an ad related to a search term or to a website topic. No, we have to track the user across the internet and fill our database with every website he has ever visited.

Sorry guys, not with me. I opt out.

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