back to article Google taps Gmail for more clicks with ad tweak

Google has tweaked how it slots ads into Gmail, so that you need never be short of distractions while reading your email. The world's largest ad broker has done its best to tell Googlemail users that the change is intended to serve its users with adverts that might better meet their needs. But the reality is of course much …


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  1. Darkwolf

    And this is why

    I run my own email server. Lot more control and no dang ads.

    Anyone up for ad free email accounts? lol

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are ads on GoogleMail?

    They must be extremely unobtrusive. I've never noticed them.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Firefox and AdBlock combo

      No thanks: no ads on Gmail, Google, or any other ad-supported website anymore for me.

      1. Jeremy 2

        You missed one.

        IMAP, Firefox and AdblockPlus = magic combo. I rarely use the web interface and when I do (to hunt down an email from 3 years ago, perhaps), ABP kills ads stone dead. Simples.

  3. Daniel Owen


    Ahhh the good old "Google's Stealing all my emails" news article again.

    So let me get this straight, instead of just looking at the email in question and giving you ads related, they are going to look at old emails too.

    And this is news worthy?

  4. adam payne Silver badge


    I don't get any ads thanks to no script in Firefox.

  5. Benny

    Oh well

    If you use it as an IMAP account on Mail, Outlook, whatever, then there are no ads.

    Also, surely if you are on gmail reading your email, then you are hardly likely to go 'ooh, facial wash - just what Ive been looking for' in the middle of reading and replying to said email?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What ads?

      I signed up for a GMail account about two years ago but I only ever access it via HTTP once in a blue moon (when I'm on holiday for example). The rest of the time it's SMTP and POP3 all the way.

      Result? No ads at all...

      Last I looked (years ago) Winblows came with an email client, so who need to see that ads at all....?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Last I looked (years ago) "

        Windows 7 doesn't include an e-mail client. You'll be prompted to download one (from "Windows Live Essentials", though obviously you can get one from wherever you like if you know what you want).

        It's not directly relevant to the issue of GMail of course, but is there any other aspect of IT that ElReg readers are proud to profess their ignorance about?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the floods of '07

    When we were without mains water for weeks, and I emailed my old man (not my cock, I must point out) about it, gmail served up an ad for, as I recall, a water softener. I expect if you were telling someone your spouse had died, Google would serve up an ad for an Undertaker.

    1. Gulfie

      You, sir, sound like James May...

      ... things a little slow in the Top Gear office, are they?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Would he be...

        ...serious too, then...?

        More likely he sounds like me, if indeed there is a similarity. I don't watch the show, not being into cars, or twat tv presenters. I do just about know who May is, these days, and grant he's the only one of the three who doesn't make me want to kick the screen in.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the Best Brains on the Planet (TM)

    are needed to deliver ads that all sensible people never see (AdBlock, NoScript etc, etc). What a waste of space these Googloids are. Dead men walking and they don't realise it yet.

    AdBlock is to virus scanner as Google is to virus writer?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think they mean 'web clips'

    Settings -> Web Clips -> uncheck 'show web clips'. I can't see any other ads anywhere on the gmail site.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Should've gone to Specsavers!

      > I can't see any other ads anywhere on the gmail site.

      Are you blind? Try clicking on an email in your InBox then move your eyes a few centimetres to the right...

      1. Lionel Baden

        I dont see any either

        i click on reply and nothing nada .....

        but i use me phone anyway so dont really care

        When they start incorperating links into my mails i will leave. ^HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH hope google didnt see that

  9. swaygeo


    You mean Google don't just supply email for free?

    You mean that they support all of their free to use products through advertising?


    Looks like I'll be switching back to hotmail, no intrusive ads there...

  10. TJPSolutions

    I like the ads

    I have a Google Apps Pemier subscription with the adverts TURNED ON!

    I actually find them useful, if I'm interested in a topic, google serves up relevant adverts which on many occasions have presented with the information or products I'm looking for, even saved me money by directing me to another site.

  11. DRendar
    Thumb Up

    Ads? What ads?

    Gmail is hardly "ad-laden" as the author describes... Has he even ever used it?

    The ads on there are EXTREMELY unobtrusive - they don't bother me in the slightest - unlike Hotsnail and Yahoo, which have banners frigging EVERYWHERE.

    And if you don't like the ads - block them!

    1. Beebs

      RE: Ads? What ads?

      Agreed, why all the fuss about Googles tiny text based adds, when competing services (I'm looking at you Yahoo!) have got graphical ads that take up nearly half the screen.

      Honestly there's nothing wrong with companies making money from providing services.

  12. Connor Garvey

    The price of free

    As a previous commenter noted, you can run your own mail server. And pay for it. If you want free email, lots of storage, free backups and possibly the best email interface available, you have to allow Google to look at your emails and you have to look at (or not look at) tiny ads.

    Also, Google tells us this, not in tiny text in a privacy policy, but in a public posting with a video.

  13. The Indomitable Gall

    Price rises.

    As usual, a bunch of people say "why are you complaining"?

    Google has got to the point where it rarely makes life any easier. Googlemail is presumably already turning a massive profit. If Google are increasing profits without improving UX, then it follows that Google are increasing prices (we are paying for Googlemail by our willingness to accept adverts) at no advantage to the user. It's a classic bait-and-switch: get them hooked on something cheap, then start turning the screw.

    The cunning part of Google's plan is that the customer doesn't even realise he's paying!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    SMTP, adblock, etc

    Surely it's doesn't matter whether you use either of the above to avoid seeing the adverts? Google STILL reads your emails, and charges the advertisers for displaying them (at least with Adblock)?

  15. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Price rises.

    Oh balls, Gall. Gmail ads are eminently easy to ignore, and also provide entertainment occasionally in the form of inappropriate ads based on some Freudian interpretation of one's messages. Googlemail is free. Ads are a fact of life. I don't think a momentary snag on my attention equates to 'payment'. (The sole exception being the Go Compare telly campaign, which is like 1000 Michael Winners assaulting my brain.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      We all pay whether we see the adverts or not

      Part of the money we pay companies for products goes on advertising. Clearly they will stop doing that if we stop looking at or clicking on the adverts, but there is a massive and dedicated industry which is focused on convincing companies that it is worthwhile advertising their products. So if you buy a product, you are paying for that product to be advertised to other people, and therefore the media consumed by those people. A "fact of life"? I wonder what other objectionable phenomena could be justified with such a fallacious argument?

  16. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: We all pay whether we see the adverts or not

    Loads, probably. Why don't you have a think?

    I rely on advertising for my job, in the end, whether I like it or not. This is the case for many people. It's objectionable, yes, but it's thoroughly integrated, and all the smug ad-blockery posturing in the world won't change that. Sorry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ad-blockery can work

      Ad-blocking (smug or otherwise) can "change that" if everyone does it and if people are vocal in saying they do it. Eventually it will get through to advertisers that they're throwing money away, advertising will dry up, and you'll be left relying on paying customers for your job. Not so horrific a prospect, surely?

      1. Paul RND*1000


        Paying subscribers tend to be as rare as hens teeth on Teh Internets, unless you're providing truly unique content which is not available elsewhere. Which more than likely means you're operating in some narrow niche which isn't served by anyone else anyway.

        General/tech news sites aren't likely to survive long behind a paywall. Even one as entertaining as the Register. Not when you have 1000 other sites providing the same basic information in some form or other.

        On the flipside people who actively block web advertising are really pretty uncommon and I bet half of those wouldn't bother blocking ads at all if the damn things weren't so obnoxious and in your face so much of the time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On the otherhand ...

      All the justification in the world won't put ads in front of those of us who choose to use blockers.

      So, while the people that write Adblock, Flashblock etc, remain clever enough, I'm afraid I'm going to remain smug.

  17. jjbd

    Not already happening?

    I already had the impression that the ads i was being served were informed by the rest of my inbox - but maybe that's just an illusion, just like those people who thought they had psychic iPod Shuffles.

    Gmail ads are great though - unobtrusive and relevant.

  18. lukewarmdog

    Ads - no thanks

    I can confidently state I have never clicked on an ad. I've never bought anything just because a big flashing box on my screen tells me to. In fact those boxes scare me, I don't trust them at all. I buy stuff all the time but I do it by shopping around my own trusted sites, not a big random flashy advert.

    I have never been in the middle of reading an email and thought "Oh yes, I really do need to buy some fish fingers, must pop out and get some now". Has anyone? If it keeps my free services free then by all means push the adverts but I can't see that they really work.

    As for Go Compare.. their advert is having the opposite effect to the one they want, I would actively use any service BUT theirs.

  19. Andy Livingstone

    I could use that.

    If I write through Gmail to a certain Scotsman in Downing Street, telling him he is a f******g w****r who should resign now then go s-------f himself in Fife till hell freezes over what sort of adverts might appear?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone else noticed

    That "Alan" appears to have had a recent course of Botox injections ?

  21. mhenriday

    Stop whinging, Kelly -

    ever heard of Adblock Plus ?...


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