back to article Google slaps mute button on stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just looked at

Google says it will allow netizens to block nuisance "reminder" adverts that follow them around across websites. The Mountain View advertising giant said the new feature, launching first on its own sites and in Android apps, will let users rid themselves ads that prod people about products they had previously viewed. You know …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Nice PR

    This should be "Google improves its ad profits by ensuring that ads which WILL NOT BE CLICKED THROUGH never show up". This is anything but "care for the user" - it is care for its own bottom line and improving the service for its ad platform customers.

    1. DJ Smiley

      Re: Nice PR

      Adverts aren't going away, no matter how much you hate them.

      But, if the adverts can at least be relevant (i.e. not the ones I'm never going to click in 1000 years) then this is surely a good thing, even if the point of it is to make more money for google.

      1. Joe Werner

        Re: Nice PR

        Relevant ads... yeah, that would be a new thing.

        How I understand the new feature is that this needs to be done for every single ad, and also for every single autoplaying website. Bloody useful. If you autoplay videos or ads or music or whatever I take my business elsewhere. Exception: the web radio. But adding a single allowed site is easier than muting a ton of idiots.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Nice PR

          If you autoplay videos or ads or music or whatever I take my business elsewhere.

          I use Firefox with "media.autoplay.enabled=false"

        2. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Nice PR

          No execptions for autoplay needed. If I am visiting a website to listen to audio or watch video, pressing a play button is not a big problem.

      2. Lysenko

        Re: Nice PR

        Adverts aren't going away, no matter how much you hate them.

        You can already opt out of adverts. With uBlock Origin (and AdGuard on mobile) the web is essentially an advert-free zone. I also funnel traffic through Squid as well, just in case the opposition find a new way to launch a sneak attack.

        These steps by Google are really just attempting to take the edge off the frustration of the (critical) masses and (hopefully) dissuade them from adopting a scorched Earth policy like me.

        NB: I do whitelist this place most of the time, but the ads are still extremely annoying. If I just reconfigure Squid (or OpenWrt) to allow ads to download but deep six them to /dev/null, are the enemy sophisticated enough to detect that? I'm prepared to add PhantomJS to the mix if necessary to defeat any JS, browser detection, phone home shenanigans if need be (not that different in principle to a webapp test runner).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice PR

          Adverts aren't going away, no matter how much you hate them.

          There are adverts on the internet? I sure don't see any.

      3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Nice PR

        Adverts aren't going away, no matter how much you hate them.

        But, if the adverts can at least be relevant...

        There have been plenty of items I haven't bought (that I had previously considered buying) precisely because the ads started following me around. Amazon and others act like creepy stalkers, and they need a court's "restraining order" to slap them a few times.

        I have NO problem with advertising, I understand sites need to pay the bills too. I just despise loud autoplay ads, and the stalker advertising. Polite ads that don't blare in my face, and are interested in my particular "target audience" rather than me in particular, I might even click through to some. But you offend or piss me off, and you get the finger and close-tab button.

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Nice PR

        "Adverts aren't going away, no matter how much you hate them."

        I don't hate ads. I hate the tracking that comes with them.

        " if the adverts can at least be relevant (i.e. not the ones I'm never going to click in 1000 years) then this is surely a good thing"

        No, it's the exact opposite of a "good thing". In order to do that, they need to engage in tracking -- which is something that is completely unacceptable to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice PR

          Why is tracking unacceptable? Please tell. And don't try to use BS real life analogies that are totally bogus, you already sound like a nutter, don't make it worse

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Nice PR

            "Why is tracking unacceptable?"

            Because I find it unacceptable. That's plenty reason enough.

            "you already sound like a nutter"

            Ah, thank you for relieving me of the need to respond to you further.

      5. RegGuy1
        Facepalm

        Adverts aren't going away, no matter how much you hate them

        Bollocks! I don't get any ads.

        Change your hosts file. Lots of examples out there, eg:

        https://www.howtogeek.com/140576/how-to-edit-the-hosts-file-on-android-and-block-web-sites/

        Of course you need to root your device, which is why the cunts lock you out of your own phone.

    2. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: Nice PR

      ... and apparently for it to work you need to be logged into a Google account. So in order to kill tracker ads you need to be logged into account that tracks you anyway.

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Nice PR

      Show us on the doll where Google hurt you.

      C.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Nice PR

        I don't think I've ever seen a doll with an area labeled "massive invasion of personal privacy on a global scale". Can I buy one online? Is there a pr0n version?

        (Don't ask me to google it. Ta.)

        1. Chemical Bob
          Devil

          Re: Nice PR

          "I don't think I've ever seen a doll with an area labeled "massive invasion of personal privacy on a global scale". Can I buy one online? Is there a pr0n version?"

          Google goatse....

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Nice PR

        Show us on the doll where Google hurt you.

        Same place as you - in the ad revenues region. Somewhere near me tenders.

      3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      4. Tikimon Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Nice PR

        Show us on the doll where the bully's taunts hurt you.

        Show us on the doll where being stalked by a stranger hurt you.

        Show us on the doll where your mentally abusive spouse hurt you.

        You, sir, are an ass to make such a statement. Do you tell rape victims to relax and enjoy it too?

    4. Solviva

      Re: Nice PR

      What would be really smart would be Google seeing I've been looking at e.g. a red widgets, scan my gmail inbox for the order confirmation of me purchasing said red widget, and then not pointlessly displaying ads for red widgets for the rest of the week. I only want one!

      1. Lysenko

        Re: Nice PR

        What would be really smart would be Google seeing I've been looking at e.g. a red widgets, scan my gmail inbox for the order confirmation of me purchasing said red widget, and then not pointlessly displaying ads for red widgets for the rest of the week. I only want one!

        Google is smarter than that. They know you're involved in IT, so you understand the value of backups and redundancy. Ownership of (only) one red widget implies you need a hot spare and another couple for your DR site ;)

    5. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Nice PR

      "This is anything but "care for the user" - it is care for its own bottom line and improving the service for its ad platform customers."

      Contented pigs make better bacon.

  2. andyp-random-number

    bit by bit a simple minimal browser is getting more bloat ware. There is already a mute tab. Tracking the ads across all tabs and sites will surely slow it down?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't remember the last time I...

    Clicked on an Ad for anything.

    I actively avoid anything that is advertised to me. I know it is for things that I don't want, don't need and can't afford OR have just bought (hey Bezos, I'm looking at you here!!!!!!!!!).

    For an ever larger part of the population Ads are an irrelvancy and are just a waste of time.

    The growing numbers of us Grumpy Oldies have been there, done that and even wasted money on crap that was advertised to us in the past. We HATE ALL Adverts.

    The sooner all Ad Agencies are nuked the better (In our humble opinion)

    Bah Humbug!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't remember the last time I...

      Well, finally someone is doing something about annoying ads -- too bad I found about uBlock & friends first.

    2. Whitter
      Mushroom

      Re: Can't remember the last time I...

      It's rather odd that given all this personalised ad tracking, they have yet to flag people who just don't click on ads and so don't bother showing them any. A clear win for both the user and advertiser. Google is the only looser. Ah! I see the problem now...!

      1. John Presland

        Re: Can't remember the last time I...

        loser

    3. Guevera

      Re: Can't remember the last time I...

      But nobody cares about grumpy olds. All they do is lower CPM. Online ads aren't quite as bad as TV in this respect, but it's getting there. Depending on the market, the minute you hit 54, or 49, or even 34(!) you're dead to them.

      1. Col_Panek
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Can't remember the last time I...

        I'm 70 and retired, yet I just got shown ads for a trailer hitch for my Focus, in case I need to get a few more!

      2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        Re: Can't remember the last time I...

        "Depending on the market, the minute you hit 54, or 49, or even 34(!) you're dead to them."

        Oh, how I wish.

    4. skalamanga

      Re: Can't remember the last time I...

      My personal policy on advertising is that I don't ignore it, I make a note of it. If I ever need the advertised product, I'll hunt around for the advertisers competitors and purchase from them instead.

      It is therefore, in an advertisers best interest that I keep my adblocking router fully up to date, as there will be a 100% greater possibility that I may purchase their goods or services if I have not been subjected to their ads.

  4. werdsmith Silver badge

    Irrelevant Relevance

    I think it's about time the idiots stopped pushing me adverts for stuff I've just bought and won't be buying another because as I'm already the proud owner of one I don't need to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Irrelevant Relevance

      Don't be dumb, you need to buy another iPad, in fact you need at least 45 in your life.

    2. skalamanga

      Re: Irrelevant Relevance

      I remember getting bombarded with email ads for car stereos, by a site I just purchased a car stereo from. Logic just escapes some people

  5. jake Silver badge

    Personally, I put the mute button on google.

    Google's entire IP-space has been shunned here for over ten years ... hasn't affected my so-called "internet experience", near as I can tell. Try it. You might like it.

    dig TXT +short _netblocks{,2,3}.google.com | tr ' ' '\n' | grep '^ip4'

    That's not an exclusive list, but it's a good start ...

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: hasn't affected my so-called "internet experience", near as I can tell.

      How would you know?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: hasn't affected my so-called "internet experience", near as I can tell.

        The phrase "near as I can tell" has meaning. Perhaps you should parse it?

        One thing I'm 100% certain of is that I don't have any of the google-angst displayed in this thread.

  6. Milton Silver badge

    Does Google really not get it?

    Even from comments here it's obvious I am far from being the only one who simply ignores adverts. I don't mean "Take a look, then ignore": I mean I barely even notice them. There are too many. They are too rubbish. They're cheap, shoddy, stupid. They are not relevant. Even when I do notice an ad, often as not it's something I already bought, or looked at and have already decided not to buy.

    It's some kind of mindless stupidity that decides that if ads aren't working, you'll hurl more and more truly awful ones in front of people. Google and the imbeciles who pay it for ads are actively deterring and annoying the thing they dearly want: interested, engaged eyeballs. By this point many of us, forced to notice a particularly annoying advert, actually develop antipathy towards the seller, achieving precisely the opposite of what was intended.

    It's wise for Google to be diversifying away from advertising, because even its most gullible customers must be figuring out that they are on a loser: if internet advertising is less and less effective every single day—why is anyone seriously paying money for it? Do they actually trust Google's and the agencies' repeatedly-debunked lies about clicks, visits, sales and the rest? With the entire ecosystem infested by robots, and businesses specifically devoted to ripping people off?

    It's a grossly overused quote, I'm afraid, but perhaps it's used a lot because people are, in fact, so bloody greedy and stupid: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (—sometimes attributed to Einstein)

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Does Google really not get it?

      The surprising thing is, Google only makes money when people click on ads... And Google makes a shitload of money. So yeah, somewhere, somehow, there must be a lot of people clicking on ads. I don't know who they are either.

      As for why people are paying for ads... Well, maybe it's working for them. Or they're stupid. Who knows? In any case, Google is definitely getting it. The money, I mean.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Does Google really not get it?

        "As for why people are paying for ads..."

        I think the saying - 50% of my spend on advertising is wasted, I just can't tell which 50%

      2. ArrZarr Silver badge

        Re: Does Google really not get it?

        @Ratfox There is also the "Cost per thousand impressions" (CPM, don't ask me why it's an M) model which works like it sounds.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Does Google really not get it?

          @ ArrZarr

          Maybe its an M because M is Roman numeral for a thousand

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Maybe its an M because M is Roman numeral for a thousand

            Not very SI, is it? Should be CPk :-)

            CPM is clearly an old operating system, er, I mean, Cost Per Mega-impressions :-)

        2. Guevera

          Re: Does Google really not get it?

          Cost per mille. It's Latin afaik. That's why, but it still makes zero sense.

          And yeah, some ads pay only on click, but those are the minority.

          Major advertisers are trying to build brand awareness as much as anything. They don't think you'll buy a widget today. They just want you to think of their widgets when u finally do.

          The 'half my advertising is wasted line was from a Philadelphia department store mogul way back in the day. He wasn't wrong. But for advertising quotes I prefer the line from a NY Post ad pitch: 'But your readers are our shoplifters.'

        3. Col_Panek

          Re: Does Google really not get it?

          M = mille, one thousand. Your French lesson pour aujourd'hui

        4. jake Silver badge

          Re: Does Google really not get it?

          "don't ask me why it's an M"

          It's a holdover from the printing world.

        5. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Does Google really not get it?

          "don't ask me why it's an M"

          Because it's short for "mille", which is Latin for "1,000" This is also where we get the prefix "milli-", meaning 1/1000th of something.

        6. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: Does Google really not get it?

          "There is also the "Cost per thousand impressions" (CPM, don't ask me why it's an M)..."

          What's the Roman numeral for 1000?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Does Google really not get it?

            "What's the Roman numeral for 1000?"

            To the Romans it was the Greek letter "phi". This was later stylized into CIƆ, which in Medieval times was changed to the easier to write (carve, chisel, whatever) letter "M". Note that "M" being an abbreviation for "mille" is purely coincidental.

            "M" is used instead of the seemingly more obvious "K" when the user means "per 1000 units or impressions" in various industries for the simple reason that those industries existed long before the new-fangled metric system was an itch in Simon Stevin's pants.

            HOWEVER, when ordering a lot of small parts make absolutely certain that the vendor actually means "per 1000" and hasn't "helpfully" "modernized" the use of "M" to mean one million. If you don't, you'll wind up with an argument over who owns 10,000,000 3" nursery pots ... I got the shipment stopped at about 1,000,000 delivered or in transit. We settled out of court, with me purchasing the shipped lot at manufacturing cost. I'm still using them over ten years later ...

      3. John Lilburne Silver badge

        Re: Does Google really not get it?

        > So yeah, somewhere, somehow, there must be a lot of people clicking on ads.

        Well if you stuff enough ads on a page chances are that someone will miss mouse or tap on it. Then HEY PRESTO you have a click.

      4. hellwig Silver badge

        Re: Does Google really not get it? (clicking ads)

        So, who clicks ads? Probably bots and scam networks, or even competitors with no intention of buying, but driving up their competitor's advertising costs.

        Why do companies pay for the ads? Well, someone is clicking them, so it must be working right?

        It's the same with the Bitcoin bubble. Why did the price go up? Because people kept saying the price would go up, so more people bought bitcoin, driving up the price. Then when people stopped seeing their returns, they sold off/stopped buying, lowering the price, priming it for a nice price increase, assuming people start buying bitcoin again in the anticipation of increased prices.

        I could go on, but you see the pattern, right?

        1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

          Re: Does Google really not get it? (clicking ads)

          "Why do companies pay for the ads? Well, someone is clicking them, so it must be working right?"

          Going back about 4 years here, but I did come across someone who reckoned that for every pound he spent on Google he got seven pounds worth of sales.

          I could believe it with his line of business, but am doubtful about others.

    2. Lysenko

      Re: Does Google really not get it?

      if internet advertising is less and less effective every single day—why is anyone seriously paying money for it?

      Like Lemmings, online advertisers are engineering their own Malthusian Catastrophe. The available 'advert space' is finite, and that's not a question of the number of web pages, it's a question of the number of people.

      If we make up some (grossly inflated) numbers, there are 7 billion people, each online for four hours a day and they will each pay attention to/tolerate one ad per hour. That's 28 billion ads, worldwide every 24 hours - Google alone exceeds that by well over an order of magnitude and is locked onto an ever-upward trajectory. Human eyeballs are a renewable resource, but no conceivable birth rate can keep pace with Google's rate of consumption. The end game is obvious. Just look at the Lemmings.

    3. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Does Google really not get it?

      Even from comments here it's obvious I am far from being the only one who simply ignores adverts

      So much so that if a site I visit has the information I'm looking for in a banner that superficially looks like an advert I just don't see it.

  7. Harry Kiri

    Goodbye cookies

    Someone mentioned on el Reg about a week ago a cookie delete add-on for Firefox which I then started using. It deletes cookies 15 seconds after you close the tab. That sorts out cross-site advertising.

    What is amazing is some sites can have upto 250 cookies tracking your activities and the moment GDPR kicks in I shall be having a word as to why a site needs to inform 250 third parties about your activities...

  8. unwarranted triumphalism

    Adding the ad-serving domain to my hosts file fixes that.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "stop a site from autoplaying material"

    Stopping autoplay should not be a per-website opt-in - it should be a browser setting default and you can opt out per website where you actually want it.

    But that would put control back in the user's hand. Can't have that, now can we ?

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    Autoplay videos are a pox

    Every US news website does this BS and it's so annoying. If I want to watch the video I will click to the play the video. It's bad enough that it plays the video without asking, but then if I scroll down they'll put the video in a little floating frame and it will follow me all the way down the page.

    And if that's not enough, when the video finishes, it'll start playing another video.

    Just STOP IT.

    Autoplay should be a whitelist. The browser shouldn't autoplay anything from a site unless I've granted that site permission to do so. Default to off.

    1. GregC

      Re: Autoplay videos are a pox

      It's not set by default, but in Firefox at least:

      about:config

      set media.autoplay.enabled to False

      Done.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Autoplay videos are a pox

      "It's bad enough that it plays the video without asking, but then if I scroll down they'll put the video in a little floating frame and it will follow me all the way down the page."

      Right click it, then select "Block element" from the context menu. Bam, video player gone.

      You'll need uBlock Origin or something similar for that.

  11. Dan White
    Flame

    Mute after purchase?

    I'm not too bothered about ads for something that I went to the trouble to look up in the first place. However, what I really want is for the ads to stop once I have made a purchase.

    If they can track you across domains to serve you the same adverts, it should be fairly trivial to no longer send me dozens of ads for an electric toothbrush/pressure washer/coffee maker after I already bought the bloody thing!

  12. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I am caught between not liking ads but realising from running my own websites that you need ads if your offering something for free and want to be able to make some money from your content.

    There are of course other options other than ads, going behind a pay wall is one, but it is not really suitable for most websites as people are used to getting stuff for free online so even charging 10p to let people access your site would probably send 99% of people away.

    Asking for people to make a donation, you might get people donating if your site is a forum or other 'community' but for other types of site I doubt you would even get enough people donating to cover your hosting costs.

    Using crypto coin mining scripts is another option but these are frequently getting blocked by AV software and ad blockers now. Also to make the same amount as you can get from ads with coin miners you need more visitors spending longer period on your site.

    At the moment there aren't any viable alternative for smaller sites to make money from their website without ads.

  13. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Should block ads for stuff you just BOUGHT

    I can see why you get ads for stuff you just looked at, it makes sense from a commercial point of view, but what really gets my goat is when I see ads for stuff I’ve just gone and bloody bought!

    If I buy a coffee machine, why the hell would I want to go and buy another one right away? Do google and amazon or whoever I just used really think I’m that gullible? Oh yes, I’m really going to think “I’m so glad I purchased that drill, I think what I really need now is to go and buy another one! And come to think of it, I was so pleased with the replacement toilet seat I got the other day I think I’ll buy some more!”

    1. Nick L

      Re: Should block ads for stuff you just BOUGHT

      This is exactly the scenario that got me reaching for an ad blocker. All this analytics, all this information, all this behavioural tracking... And then an ad for something I hadn't seen an ad for, but I bought based on need, follows me around for weeks. That shouts about everything that's wrong with online advertising. And no doubt someone somewhere is paying for that, too...

    2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: Should block ads for stuff you just BOUGHT

      "And come to think of it, I was so pleased with the replacement toilet seat I got the other day I think I’ll buy some more!"

      You can never have enough toilet seats.

      They'll come in handy when you build yourself a football stadium.

  14. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Linux

    middle click in Firefox

    Slightly off topic;

    When I'm reading Google News articles I middle click the link.(opens in new tab)

    It seems to bypass Google's referral and go directly to the linked site. Hopefully that means less tracking.

  15. Nick Kew Silver badge

    OK, I'm curious.

    I block many but not all ads. Basically if an ad doesn't do anything annoying - like animate, or obscure page contents, or form part of an excessive lineup of clickbait - I'll accept it. Not click it, but not rush to block its source either.

    Yet I don't recollect ever seeing the kind of ad described in the article. The worst I get from google are "shopping" results in some searches.

    Who really gets these things? Are they going to be people capable of using a browser feature, unless perhaps with the help of their (grand)kids?

    1. Neil Charles

      Few will use it

      People who want to block ads will block ads, people who don't know about blocking won't discover Google's new feature either.

      My guess is that's exactly what Google would like to happen and this is part of their response to GDPR. "They can easily opt out if they want to yer honour".

  16. Craig5

    I think were going about this incorrectly

    Would it not make sense to have a plugin that randomly clicked on adds for you and also opened random websites (i still don't want to see any - it can do it in the background) - this way it will create a completely false impression of who I am and what i'm interested in at the cost of a small amount of network bandwidth.

    At the moment - the more you try to hide actually exposes your real interests when you do get tracked

    Also total plausible deniability for anything dodgy - it must have been my 'ad clicker'

  17. Craigie

    Personalisation

    The few ads I do see (on YouTube and in apps mostly) got far more interesting once I reset my Google advertising ID and opted-out of any personalisation.

  18. stu 4

    startpage search

    startpage is available for most browsers. no ads at all - always over https. no tracking, no adverts, no recording and selling everything you do.

  19. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Ads still don't work.

    I see an awful lot of ads for a site I visit at least once a day anyway, the rest are totally irrelevant.

    For all their data collection and processing power, they still can only hit the barn door when their nose is pressed right up against the grain and splinters, otherwise they miss by a mile...

    No audio playing ads guarantee is welcomed though.

  20. Mark 85 Silver badge

    A "mute" button... how quaint...

    I'll see your "mute button" and raise you... no speakers on my PC and a headset that's seldom plugged in. As for the ad... Adblocker, Noscript, and a hefty HOSTS file of banished sites. Peace and quiet here.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: A "mute" button... how quaint...

      "no speakers on my PC and a headset that's seldom plugged in."

      Mine's a different problem. I often listen to either music or current affairs radio programs on my system, and I definitely don't want those interfered with by some random website turning the combined output into a cacophany.

  21. JohnFen Silver badge

    Gee, thanks

    "Google says it will allow netizens to block nuisance "reminder" adverts that follow them around across websites."

    Thanks, Google, but I've already got that covered.

    1. John Presland

      Re: Gee, thanks

      Many people who are not IT professionals but are interested in IT look at El Reg. For their benefit could you explain how?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Gee, thanks

        Sure, I use NoScript to prevent scripts from running, and I block access to all of the ad companies that I know about. If the ads can't track me, then they can't follow me from site to site.

  22. simonb_london

    And the stuff I just bought?

    Can they can adverts for stuff I just already bought yesterday too?

  23. onefang Silver badge

    Reverse advertising?

    For all those people saying that seeing an advert means they will deliberately not buy the advertised product, or not buy from the advertiser, or buy from their competitors, ... perhaps Google's analytics could recognise that behaviour in people, and sell targeted adverts for competitors products, to drive sales away from their competitors?

    I'm in two minds about this, am I giving them ideas, or should I just grab the popcorn?

  24. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "...stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just..."

    ...bought.

  25. whbjr

    "Alphabet said that $24bn of its $27.7bn company revenues came from advertising."

    Clearly, this is false - or, as we say in the Dark Days of the United States, "Fake News." There's no way that the Googlebet gets $3.7bn from non-advertising sources!

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