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'Hide These Ads' - visitors have the option to turn adsense off?

     
8:51 am on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Two different sites I visited tonight displayed adsense and instead of the small up and down arrows under the ads I saw a link that says "Hide These Ads". Curious I clicked on the link and sure enough every adsense ad on the page vanished, replaced with a "show ads" link.

Is this really a feature Adsense may implement to everyone eventually?

I believe these two sites featured special rules adsense accounts (left sidebar had 18 ads in a single unit, one on top of the other, and others had custom CSS applied) which I'm guessing means the feature is only in testing? Personally I'm placing ads on my site because I AM showing ads, not offering an option. Please don't force implement this to all adsense units, i'm not wanting to show optional advertising. Unfortunately not displaying ads is simply not an option. More info would be great though.

1:29 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm with you on this JS
+1
2:08 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What was the ad format? I don't see that option on any of my text ads.

I wonder if the browser retains the setting and continues to hide ads when the person returns to the same website another day? I also wonder if the setting is retained from one site to another within the Google ad network.

If a person has to specifically "hide ads" every single time they visit a site, then this is brilliant. Most people will soon lose interest in repeatedly hiding the ads, and meanwhile the feature will draw a lot of attention to the ads.

Also, if a person has to hide the ads each time, the feature can be seen as a nice gesture to make the viewer feel like they have some control over their browsing experience. But in reality it is training them to click on the ad space. It's giving them a "safe" place to click on the ad. After they've done that a few times they might actually feel comfortable to click on the ad itself.

2:26 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen any "Hide These Ads" option, but I think tim222 makes some good points about why it might be better than it sounds.

As for the site with 18 AdSense ads in a single unit, I can easily understand why a reader might want to hide those ads.

4:55 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Haha.. yes I would hide them too...

Perhaps that's SPECIAL just for them..

Are you sure it was adsense implemented or was it implemented using AJAX on the websites part? I am sure a special account would have the freedom to alter the code or put the code in a collapsible div!

5:08 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen the "hide ads" feature but as you, I've seen sites with 10+ and up to 20 Adsense blocks of ads, AND with FULL clickable AREA... why?
5:38 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Also, anyone that would hide the ads would never want to click them. Might as well remove ads for people who would never click ads in the first place.
8:24 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Are you 100% sure it was Adsense and not just a similar looking ad block from another ad provider?
9:16 pm on Aug 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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These 'hide these ads' buttons will give some people the idea to search for other ad blocking options.

They will find ad blocker software and plugins they might never have thought to look for before.

1:18 am on Aug 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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These 'hide these ads' buttons will give some people the idea to search for other ad blocking options.

"Hide these ads" could be a great headline for an ad-blocker ad. :-)

3:10 am on Aug 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Might be better to let them turn off ads where the ads annoy the visitors than to have them install ad blockers indiscriminately.
5:03 am on Aug 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Did OP view source to see what the "hide ads" click really did? How cool to make a black hat "feature" to hide ads ... while forcing a click on an ad...

</tinfoil hat off...

4:28 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The more I think about this feature (if it really exists at all) the more I like it. I like what it could do to improve trust and quality.
4:36 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if that was an Adsense feature or a cunning plan by the publisher to all attention to the ads?
It shouldn't be too hard to display the ads in a way that would permit them to be hidden.
4:54 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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AND with FULL clickable AREA... why?

Are you sure ?
The premium publishers I have stumbled across now have the same clickable area as we plebs do.

5:53 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi. This is Jack, the founder of wikiHow. I'm assuming the site you are talking about that has the "hide these ads" feature is wikiHow. As far as I know we were the first site to do this, and are still the largest site doing it.

Opt-out ads are not a Google Adsense feature. It is something we created to improve our user experience. When you click "hide ads" on wikiHow, the ads turn off for 24 hours. If you don't want to see ads on wikiHow ever again, you can register an account and login as we don't show ads to registered visitors. Some people just hate seeing ads and we wanted to empower those users to turn off our ads if they didn't want to see them. As dibbern2 says, letting users turn off ads improves trust and quality.

Here is the surprising thing: Doing this didn't really hurt our monetization. People who hate ads, don't click them anyway. Opt out ads improves user experience and doesn't cost much. I don't understand why more sites aren't trying this yet. Give it a try!

6:19 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So where's the wikiHow page showing how to do this?
7:01 pm on Aug 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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> as I know we were the first site to do this, and are still the largest site doing it.

The political blog DailyKos has been doing it for years too. They have a 'Hate ads? Subscribe.' link right at the top.