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AdSense: Some Visitors Using IE See Download Prompts For Third-Party Add-Ons

   
3:38 am on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My home page is so simple that it seems like the request for Quicktime video installation must be coming from the AdSense ads.

Has anyone else had this problem? I really don't want to install Quicktime. Their software is now bundled with other crap that they force you to install along with the video module.

Incidentally, I got the same Quicktime request on another site, too, so I know it's not just me.

4:22 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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maybe ASA would shed some light on this?
4:23 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I haven't had this happen at all on any site that I've visited with Adsense. I wonder if it's something in the browser's settings.
4:25 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Could this explain today's low AS numbers? Really in the pits.
4:34 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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OK, another test..

I uninstalled Quicktime in my main drive, opened IE7, checked one of my sites, now the bar is saying:

"This website wants to run the following add-on: 'Windows media 6.4 player shim' from 'Microsoft corporation'. If you trust the website and want to allow it to run, click here..."

Before if was trying to run quicktime.

So I'm guessing it isn't Google trying to install stuff that bundles their toolbar.. pretty doubtful Microsoft would bundle their competitors toolbar.

So, that still leaves the question.. what the *bleep* is going on?

(Oh, scanned for spyware.. nothing but a few cookies were reported, even deleted them to be 100% sure .. still showing the bar in IE7.)

4:45 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I did the folloowing:
In the IE 6 Security settings for "Internet Zone" set "Prompt" for "Run ActiveX controls and plugins" setting

Then reloaded my adsense enabled site and got the "Do you want to allow software such as ActiveX Controls and plug-ins to run?" prompt. Then I removed the ads form my site and there was no prompt.

Now why is this happenning?!

P.S. Maybe this should be a separate thread with more appropriate title, like "Adsense script attempts to run an ActiveX control"?

5:07 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"So I'm guessing it isn't Google trying to install stuff that bundles their toolbar.. pretty doubtful Microsoft would bundle their competitors toolbar."

It IS Google. Just most likely nothing with "bad" intentions in it, just a bug or a VERY badly tested new feature (possibility to add video ads or something?).

The acrobat issue affects also users with older windows versions (NT for example) that do not have any new updates installed in last few days. So it does not have anything to do with windowsupdates.

Something has been changed in Google's adsense loader-javascript and it's bugging with IE. ..

5:08 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



ar plugins=new Array("image/svg-xml","application/x-director","application/x-shockwave-flash" ,"audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin","video/quicktime","application/x-mplayer2","application/pdf")
That does not appear in my adsense code.
5:13 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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just installed IE7 on a clean XP SP2 and get this prompt:
"This website wants to run the following add-on: 'Windows Media 6.4 Player Shim' from 'Microsoft Corporation'. If you trust the website and the add-on and want to allow it to run, click here...

Now I consider this creates a bad impression for a first time visitor on my website and is potentially damaging it's reputation.

Google, please fix it and fix it fast.

Incidently, there is no such prompt on google search results with ads.

5:16 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hello all. Found this topic on Google, as I have had similar problems.

I haven't received the security pop-up in IE6 (which is probably because I've disabled it, as far as I know), however my Spybot Search & Destroy is telling me that it has blocked QuickTime from adding itself to the system startup list in the registry database when visiting a page with AdSense (I've set QuickTime to be denied from doing this automatically).
I consider it a fairly major problem that my websites can essentially alter my visitor's registry databases, so I've e-mailed Google about it. No reply yet, but I'll of course post the result when I do get an e-mail from them.

I had a look through the AdSense code, and I noticed something odd. Almost at the end, the AdSense code is trying to fetch a GIF icon (located at <[pagead2.googlesyndication.com ]> - search for '.gif' in the source, since it's a partially generated URL). This icon, which looks fairly innocent, is nowhere to be found on any ads, and it is being fetched through both regular AdSense and link units.
Opening the image itself doesn't seem to cause any warnings, but I can't see anywhere else where Google is fetching material from the srver, and I don't see any QuickTIme initiation in the code itself.

Having tested in both FireFox and Opera, the warning only seems to happen in IE, which doesn't make it any less odd.

Just thought I'd post my observations.

5:16 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That does not appear in my adsense code.

In the show_ads.js file that is included from the last line of the adsense code. I haven't had a reason to look at this file until now either, it's quite interesting.

Hey thanks all you guys for checking this out. It certainly does seem like google made some change to the adsense loader script that is causing IE to want all these software updates.

[edited by: dkoller at 5:19 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2006]

5:18 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)



>>>MPEG Streamclip is free (or can be used with an optional $20 QT plug-in) and can produce very nice video in several file formats. There are programs for $50 or less which will create Flash video for Windows. On the Mac side, there are two inexpensive shareware apps (at least) which make decent Flash video.<<<

those are not the pro apps that i referred to earlier, and they will not create a professional-looking video clip... you need apps like procoder or sorenson squeeze to do it right.

i'm not going to address your statements about video quality, because it's completely off-topic to this thread, and we have already done too much of that.

5:26 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)



>>>just installed IE7 on a clean XP SP2 and get this prompt:
"This website wants to run the following add-on: 'Windows Media 6.4 Player Shim' from 'Microsoft Corporation'. If you trust the website and the add-on and want to allow it to run, click here...<<<

fwiw:

"The last Information Gift described a problem with widely used Windows Media plug-in detection scripts which annoyingly trigger the new ActiveX alert bar in IE7. I recently received word that at the request of the Windows Media Player team, the WMP 6.4 shim control will not be pre-approved in IE7."

5:28 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would really like to hear ASA's explanation regarding this issue.
5:35 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I just sent an email to adsense support alerting them to this thread.
5:43 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I sent a quick PM to ASA with this thread's URL.
5:56 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Started last night here - IE 6, Adaware catches it so I block it. Has anybody actually let Quick Time start to see what it's all about?

Somebody else mentioned Acrobat starting by itself. I'd swear I've seen that a couple times in the last few days, but I didn't associate it with IE.

5:59 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I got an e-mail stating that they're working on it.
6:00 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It is TRUE!

When I start IE6 and go to a site with Adsense ads, AcroRd32.exe appears as a child of IExplore.exe process in the task manager (I use sysinternals process explorer).

This is some QA from Google allowing this code go public...

6:07 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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AcroRd32.exe appears as a child of IExplore.exe process in the task manager

I do see that in my task manager, just didn't think a thing of it being there with relation to Adsense.

6:24 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Oh my goodness, I can't quite believe they are launching Acrobat Reader, but it is indeed true.

If they don't fix that one quickly it could turn into a bit of a PR nightmare.

[edited by: olias at 6:36 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2006]

6:26 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Has anybody actually let Quick Time start to see what it's all about?

I did in IE7, the page reloaded with a new bar across the top:

"This website wants to run the following add-on: 'SVG Viewer 3.02 for Netscape' from "Adobe Systems Inc. (unverified publisher)'. If you trust this website and the add-on and want to allow it to run, click here..."

Accepted that and no more bar, and not seeing anything else loaded. The bar is now gone on all sites with Adsense, even after a browser restart. Reset in tools -> internet options -> advanced - reset and the bar is back.

Hopefully Google fixes this quickly, I've had a few complaints.

6:44 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, since I started this I might as well give you my update. As someone previously mentioned, this all started when AdSense wanted QuickTime to be installed in my IE6. One of my security programs blocked it. However, after that I started getting the prompt to install QT every time I went to ANY AdSense site.

I went into the registry and deleted all references to QT. I stopped getting the prompt for about one day, then it started again. I took someone's advice here and installed the standalone version of QT. The prompt went away but QT never seemed to actually display anything.

This morning I visited a site with AdSense and got ANOTHER message asking permission to add that Qtask program to my startup. This is just like a virus -- I can't get it to stop!

It's almost as if AdSense is trying to make sure that we all have every time of imaginable video support installed before they roll out some new ads or whatever.

6:48 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Beggers,

EXACTLY what I was thinking! We are having the same problems on ALL sites with Adsense as well. It is getting highly irritating.

7:30 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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those are not the pro apps that i referred to earlier, and they will not create a professional-looking video clip... you need apps like procoder or sorenson squeeze to do it right.

I use Compressor (which isn't exactly a freebie app) and sometimes I prefer MPEG Streamclip.

This report [streamingmedia.com] came to the conclusions quoted here [macworld.com].

8:19 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



let's stay on topic.

"This website wants to run the following add-on: 'Windows media 6.4 player shim' from 'Microsoft corporation'. If you trust the website and want to allow it to run, click here..."

i got the exact same prompt in ie7. no quicktime installed on my system.

this is really the worst case scenario.. browser prompt for video updates when people visit a page with adsense plus automatic .exe file starting. how embarrassing is that?
when this is over, i expect an apology from the google team in front of us webmasters.

8:30 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"i expect an apology from the google team in front of us webmasters. "

Yeah and how about the potentially lost ad revenue due to this. Google ads on all my sites have been turned OFF since this morning when the problem was discovered. I really do not want people to have popup applications or security warnings when they visit my site. Naturally there must be something in adsense terms about such situations (that google is not responsible of anything.... :-P) , but this is highly annoying and they should naturally first fix the problems asap (..try disabling the whole video stuff and go back to previous version of the js code..), and then show some good nature and offer a decent explanation and apology (that it will not happen again..) about this.

But Google has not responded to this yet in any way? At least no reply to my e-mail sent earlier and nothing on adsense site or help. Same problem has been also discussed at adsense support newsgroup by the way...

9:47 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



It's pretty annoying that that haven't go a grip on the problem yet. Since our site consists of manually generated pages, pulling the Adsense code for what should be a transient problem is too much work. Fortunately, we don't run Adsense on most of our page views in any case.
9:49 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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OK, now I just got a reply from them.

First asking for more information and then another reply from second person, stating that they've had "technical difficulties with ad servers" ...

They recognized the problem too and said that it has been fixed now.

Also please force reload (ctrl+f5) or clear your cache if the problems continue.

10:21 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well it is no longer opening Acrobat Reader for me, so maybe it is fixed.
10:47 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I too received the same email.
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