back to article From tomorrow, Google Chrome will block crud ads. Here's how it'll work

Starting tomorrow, Google, which makes most of its money from online advertising, will begin blocking egregious ads in its Chrome browser under limited circumstances – though it would really rather not. The reason, explained Chrome veep Rahul Roy-Chowdhury in a blog post on Tuesday, is that some ads suck. "It’s clear that …

  1. src

    Not half-way good enough.

    So "...pages with more than 30% ad density" ,"Flashing animations", "Auto-playing videos with sound" are fine on desktop? Not around here they are not...

    Ad-blockers forever and f**k all advertisers.

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: Not half-way good enough.

      Ads are a necessary evil. I accept that and act accordingly.

      But I can not, and will not, stand for adverts that are videos and auto-play sound/video.

      They are dispicable. Evil. Threatening our very societies.

      Flash ads, well saying flash is bad is like saying Leprosy is bad.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not half-way good enough.

        I have no problem with Flash ads. They are the best ads from my point of view. Flash doesn't exist on my PC, in much the same way I don't suffer from Leprosy.

      2. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Not half-way good enough.

        "Ads are a necessary evil."

        No they are not. They are a waste paid for by consumers and offer very little in return. It would be much cheaper to pay for content currently funded by advertising.

        I would love to live in a world which banned advertising, the whole world would be 4-5% richer and 3-4% of the workforce would be available to do something useful instead.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not half-way good enough.

          I would love to live in a world which banned advertising, the whole world would be 4-5% richer and 3-4% of the workforce would be available to do something useful instead.

          You don't think that there's nothing useful that marketing people can do? I suppose we could dry them and burn them for fuel. Or use them as food for endangered species.

          1. JLV Silver badge

            Re: Not half-way good enough.

            "Well do you ever reintroduce the tigers?"

            And she goes "Well, no, because their habitat can't sustain them."

            And immediately I thought to myself

            'There's so many extra children advertisers, we could just feed the children advertisers, to these tigers.'

            We don't need them. We're not doing anything with them.

            With txs to Neko Case

            p.s. Wonder how BBC will fare out of this. Lately, at least in Canada, their ads are pretty intrusive.

          2. grumpy-old-person

            Re: Not half-way good enough.

            Quote from Edwin Land (inventor of the Polaroid camera and many other things): "Marketing is what you do when your product is no good"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not half-way good enough.

          It would be much cheaper to pay for content currently funded by advertising

          So you'll be first in line, with a fist full of cash, if this site offered subscription?

          Pull the other one.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Not half-way good enough.

            So you'll be first in line, with a fist full of cash, if this site offered subscription?

            I would - assuming that the subscription was a reasonable cost..

          2. Jan 0

            Re: Not half-way good enough.

            > So you'll be first in line, with a fist full of cash, if this site offered subscription?

            Yes, elReg already knows this and I've told plenty of other sites too.

          3. AlexGreyhead
            Paris Hilton

            Re: Not half-way good enough.

            I've read El Reg since at least 2001.

            I've probably learnt at least as much through El Reg's hacks as I did for my Computer Science BSc (Hons) - although that may equally be a sign of my lack of scholarly attention as it is the Reg hacks' knowledge and writing ability.

            In any case, I would gladly pay a reasonable subscription to get access to The Register's content.

            I suspect most long-term readers would, too - most of us are IT professionals in some guise or other and this site is a good source of relatively unbiased content.

            Paris for no other reason than they managed to shoe-horn her into this week's episode of Grand Tour (yes, I hate myself for watching it, too, but it makes I laugh...).

            /Al

          4. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Not half-way good enough.

            Nice job there, stating outright that you think anyone who answers "yes" is lying.

            Some of us, like myself, already do that when it's an option, and if subscribing means that that the tracking stops.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not half-way good enough.

        "Ads are a necessary evil. I accept that and act accordingly."

        If a site will either not use a third party that can put whatever javascript they want on my page without checking it or they will accept full liability for any nasties served up then I would consider unblocking it - they won't so I will keep blocking. I don't mind standard static ads but I am not going to risk compromise to see them.

        1. Skwosh

          Re: Not half-way good enough.

          The-Internet-Advertising-Industrial-Complex: I see you are using an ad-blocker. How dare you deprive content creators of the precious income they need to make great web-experiences. You swine.

          Me: I *really* don't want to deprive content creators of income. If I view this page without adverts on it then roughly how much money is the content creator going to be deprived of?

          The-Internet-Advertising-Industrial-Complex: La la la I'm not listening – and even if I were listening I wouldn't tell you. Please disable your ad-blocker. Advertising is the only way.

          Me: No seriously, I'm good for it. I'd love to be able to compensate the content creators directly. How much do you give them in the end as a result of me looking at the adverts on this page – after the various intermediaries have taken their rake off – is it the order of 0.01p, or 0.1p, or 1p, or 10p?

          The-Internet-Advertising-Industrial-Complex: La la la la la la la la. Not going to tell you already. Please disable your ad-blocker.

          Me: Is there really no way I can just send the money to the content creator directly? Maybe if there were some simple way to make micro payments or whatever, to compensate sites for blocking adverts, perhaps integrated into the browser or something. Could we do it that way?

          The-Internet-Advertising-Industrial-Complex: How many times do I have to tell you? Please just simply disable your ad-blocker.

          Me: Actually, come to think of it, I guess there's probably someone somewhere making money out of collecting all the information about what web-pages I look at too – so I'm thinking we should factor that in as well – and if I pay compensation directly to the content creators then there's not such a strong justification for me having my data harvested in the first place. I mean – if all this stuff is free then I guess people will put up with all the creepy sh*t – but if we start paying the creators then they wouldn't need to be complicit in tracking us any more would they. Maybe some of them wouldn't even need you any more. How does that sound?

          The-Internet-Advertising-Industrial-Complex: Please disable your ad-blocker – and also – you are talking dangerous, impractical and heretical nonsense and shall burn in hell.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Not half-way good enough.

      I run noscript, even for El Reg. I do it for security reasons. Even for El Reg. Reason: things _like_ Meltdown, Spectre, for one. And HOW many articles have been written about rogue ad script being injected by some unknown party into the ad-space of a well known (and well respected) web site? How can you stop it EXCEPT to block the script? Exactly! You block the script.

      El Reg: if you want me to see ads, just don't include script with them. I don't mind, really. I might even click on them.

      'Flashy' ads - would that be ads that have NON-STATIC content in them? They're irritating. That includes streaming ad content, moving GIF files, or any other video, WITH OR WITHOUT sound. Just say NO. And that's on a desktop OR mobile. It's "evil everywhere"

      Here's a thought (for El Reg): Just test the effectiveness of static ads, placed at non-irritating places on the screen, that don't have script on the client side, don't do cookie or invisible graphic style tracking, and simply click through a server that sends you to the appropriate place and logs that you clicked on it. it can capture your IP address, the date/time, a session ID [if you're logged in], or even who's logged in, as well as a browser identification string (like USER-AGENT). that should be good enough for metrics.

      Anyway, looking forward to seeing those UN-SCRIPTED ads when I read El Reg.

      1. BongoJoe Silver badge

        Re: Not half-way good enough.

        I run a popular website. I do have a few static advertising links on my blog in the middle of a well written article. That's fine as far as I am concerned as I am the one making sure that link is simply a static link to a page.

        Then I get these large advertising giants who want me to put my site inside a massive wall of JavaScript. And I mean massive. The script has no line feeds, useless variable names and is clearly designed not to debugged and analysed.

        When I get these JavaScript samples from these advertising agencies I always ask for an version of the code that is human readable and with documentation.

        I have never once had my request granted. I have no intention of letting these JavaScript walls onto my site: I don't even have a Google Analytics script running as I feel that the only JavaScript on a site should be a single line of code to put the cursor into the first text input box.

        Anyway, if these agencies refuse to let us know what they are wanting us to put on our websites then there's no way that I will have them on my website. And if I don't trust them not to put them onto my website then there's no way that I am going to trust them as a visitor to the site.

        So, it's adblockers, HOSTS files and subscription sites all the way for me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not half-way good enough.

          ..." And I mean massive. The script has no line feeds, useless variable names and is clearly designed not to debugged and analysed."

          Just a FYI, that is probably script that has been run through a minimiser. It is standard practice for large amounts of javascript as it reduces the size and download time. It is likely to be that rather than wanting it to be analysed, but it does have a consequence of making it difficult to 'read'.

          However why they need that much js to show an ad, who knows, I agree. The issue is also with a simple line of js that an ad company might give you to put on your site (which most do) is that it is just a source link or a small script that writes in a massive chunk of js when the page is rendered by the user's browser. This script can also change constantly and do whatever it wants without the site owner (or user) knowing.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Not half-way good enough.

            "Just a FYI, that is probably script that has been run through a minimiser."

            Yes, this is very likely true. It doesn't make the practice any more acceptable, though.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Not half-way good enough.

          I don't even have a Google Analytics

          That site (and all it's little tentacles) is blocked permanently in every firefox add-in that does blocking in my setup.

          It's way beyond creepy and well into the stalkery territory.

        3. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Not half-way good enough.

          Thank you, BongoJoe. You're one of the good ones!

          Every time I see the argument that we should allow ad networks to run code on our machines because if we don't then we're hurting the websites, I can only think of two things:

          1) Good job, there, advertisers, using web site owners as human shields like that.

          2) Web sites who show so much contempt for their readers that they insist on exposing them to advertising networks like that are web sites that do not deserve consideration or respect. Best is not having such ads in the first place, but trying to convince people to lower their defenses against them crosses the line into being outright contemptuous.

      2. Jedit
        Stop

        "I run noscript, even for El Reg."

        Especially use it for El Reg. The Google Ads script that it uses regularly causes the site to hang or the page to crash in Internet Explorer and Firefox. But not in Chrome, which I'm sure is a complete coincidence and not actually Google's deliberate intent.

        So far as I'm concerned, Google Ads are malware.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Not half-way good enough.

        I run noscript, even for El Reg.

        El Reg is one of the sites that I allow scripts to run on. However, I also run Privacy Badger and Ghostery so I don't see any ads at all.

        As I've said before - if El Reg offered a subscription service I'd happily pay (assuming that it's a reasonable fee!)

        Mind you, the only time I see adverts on TV is during the times I watch the NFL on Sky Sports (and even then, I tend to start watching about 30 minutes after the programme has started recording so that I can fast-forward through the adverts). Just because the advertiser as paid for the adverts doesn't mean that I should be forced to watch them.. especially when the same adverts seem to be on ditto-repeato all through the programme).

  2. imanidiot Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Well behaved ads on the Reg

    Not quite. And I still don't like that 2/3rd of my screen is taken up by a clickable ad. I've quite often accidentally clicked on one of the side banners when navigating around and it's annoying! And I've seen annoying, moving ads here too!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well behaved ads on the Reg

      They are well behaved in that if you make your browser window narrower the side ads get squeezed out and the Reg content remains.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Well behaved ads on the Reg

        To many times I have opened all the storeis I want for Firefox or IE (Corporate machine I have no say in web browser preference before you whine use Chrome or Edge) to go into meltdown using up all the CPU. Hasn't been a while but Reg I hate your fill all whitespace adverts which don't work well when I open 20 tabs

        Edit: Time to dig out the 15 inch 4:3 TFT

        1. Boothy

          Re: Well behaved ads on the Reg

          I find using https://m.theregister.co.uk/ at work to be a better experience than the full site.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Well behaved ads on the Reg

      Please, ONLY 'well behaved' ads on the Reg. set an example, prove it works.

      (see my earlier post)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm curious to see the reaction of the EU to a leading browser blocking by default ads that are not served by the same company as the one making the browser.

    Well, to be fair, they'll let a bunch of other ads through; I doubt that Facebook is in danger. Still, it's worth noting there's a conflict of interest...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Certainly their banhammer looks to be a bit of a blunt instrument. Does it block all ads on a site it deems misbehaving, or just the misbehaving ones?

      And as you say, Google are the world's number one advertising company. Depending on how you measure it, they may have a global advertising monoply, they certainly have a global search monopoly - and I'm pretty sure they now have a global browser monopoly.

      They need to be very careful to tick the right legal boxes - or they're going to get fined big-time for monopoly abuse. And given their recent levels of arrogance, I wouldn't bet they've done their homework - and will then act all hurt when the regulators come a'questioning. We shall see.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Google don't have a global browser monopoly. People use many other web browsers including defaults shipped with devices. People search using Google search engines possibly because they like the results.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          The legal definition of a monopoly is a lot more complex than you might think. A quick Google finds me a link to the Ministry of Justice that says that you have to have a market share of over 50% to be practically considered a monopoly.

          Though sometimes the term is misused to talk about a small group of firms with a huge market share between them. Which would be an Oligopoly. Or a cartel if they're proved to have been illegally cooperating.

          A quick Google shows that Chrome has a global market-share of a bit under 60%.

          Ergo Google has a browser monopoly. In search I seem to recall it's around 80%. Android is probably also a monopoly by now - though that depends if you count the mobile market by units shipped, or revenue.

          You are correct that people search on Google because they like it. Or at least that's why they originally moved to it. And having a monopoly is perfectly legal. But the EU just fined them a couple of billion for abusing that monopoly to unfairly control the market for price comparison.

          However it looks like I'm wrong about advertising. A quick Google suggests that Google have 40%-odd of the US digital advertising market, but that's actually lower in the UK - where Google and Facebook combined are 55%. Last year I read a figure that Google and Facebook between them had captured 90% of the growth in that market though, so their marketshare is zooming up.

          However it could be argued that they're illegally leveraging their browser monopoly to try to give them a digital advertising monopoly. And so they need to be damned careful that they're not!

          Or that they've covered the evidence if they are...

        2. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Google don't have a global browser monopoly.

          In legal terms, monopoly power is not reliant upon an absolute monopoly, nor upon whether other choices are available. As previous market investigations and "remedies" the world over show.

          With Chrome now reported as 55-60% market share, Google are well over the 25% threshold generally used to indicate a risk of excessive market power.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Google has dominant share in two markets here

            It isn't just browser market share, there is also market share of online advertising to consider. Google has a huge share there as well, and you don't need an actual monopoly to abuse your market position in browsers to help your market position in online advertising.

            Because non-Chrome browsers allow complete ad blocking, even if not all Firefox/IE/Safari/etc. users take advantage of it, web sites have to rely on Chrome users for a greater share of their ad revenue than their share of Chrome users. Thus when sites get the Google banhammer dropped on them they lose the large majority of their ad revenue. If they go to Google and say "we've asked our ad network to not give us those bad ads but sometimes they do, how do we stop them?" Google will say "come into our warm embrace and use our ad network, you will never get blocked!" and suddenly third party ad networks find all their customers fleeing to Google.

            The US probably wouldn't do anything about such behavior other than just have a few congressional hearings, but the EU will put the hurt on them.

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          "Google don't have a global browser monopoly"

          No, they have a browser. And they're going to block ads from competitors, it would seem.

          Skipping the possibly pedantic explanation using a grocery store analogy.

          Anyway, I expect courts to be deciding this at any time in the very near future.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Certainly their banhammer looks to be a bit of a blunt instrument.

        Although - it is well to keep in mind that the advert business in general is happy with what Google proposes so it's can't have that much impact on their profits. Which means it's going to be pretty ineffectual.

        However, the ad business are *most* unhappy that Apple is starting to block cross-site tracking by default.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          However, the ad business are *most* unhappy that Apple is starting to block cross-site tracking by default.

          How sad. Too bad.

          [exits, to the sound of 'Surfing Safari']

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          "However, the ad business are *most* unhappy that Apple is starting to block cross-site tracking by default."

          Indeed. I applaud Apple loudly for their efforts with this stuff. It's an excellent move! Google's effort is, in my view, worthless.

  4. Lotaresco Silver badge

    Static ads good, javascript baaaad

    The recent ICO et al cryptocurrency mining debacle demonstrates why it's a bad idea to permit third parties to execute code in your browser. For this reason I don't block ads, but I do block javascript. My firewall also blackholes all Amazon Adsystem cruft because I find it creepy to have a completely unrelated website to echo back to me what my recent purchases on Amazon were.

    Oddly this thoroughly sensible security policy also removes 99.999% of all ads from all sites. This is the evidence that the vast majority of ads are not "well behaved".

    No matter how desperately someone wants to sell me things, it is not a reasonable expectation that my computer should be used to execute their software without my permission.

    1. shade82000

      Re: Static ads good, javascript baaaad

      "I find it creepy to have a completely unrelated website to echo back to me what my recent purchases on Amazon were."

      So this is not entirely about ads because I use a blocker and it currently doesn't stop the "How about these items" on Amazon and eBay ... so why is it that they insist on giving me recommendations for things I have already bought?

      These companies obviously spend a lot of money and time developing algorithms to suggest items for people to buy but in my experience over the last 20 years it just doesn't work.

      It's not that I don't buy much stuff online - I'd say we have a Prime delivery every other day and eBay stuff landing from various countries 5 days a week, so it's not like they don't have enough info to build a profile of the kind of stuff we buy and what else might be useful.

      So, to illustrate some of the items I recently bought are: a rounded nut removal tool, 18x 200g bags of Kenco, 2x e-cigarette batteries, 24x packs of dried noodles and 6x boxes of Nairns oatcakes.

      So, you'd think that these COMPLETED purchases might trigger some algorithm that figures I might appreciate a set of cheese knives, maybe some coffee cups, or a set of bowls, chopsticks, some e-cig tanks / juice, or a ratchet handle.

      Nope, they want to sell me EXACTLY the same items that I have ALREADY just bought. Not even similar items, but endless clickable images of exactly the same items from various sellers.

      That is truly annoying.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Static ads good, javascript baaaad

        I'm sure they could but would Amazon want to send every transaction up to a third party advertising service? They would have a gold mine of information that only Amazon currently has.

        I have noticed in the past that the best way to get information about your competitors is get friendly (as in pretend you are interested in an account) with a sales guy who does advertising for or with them and they will tell you everything about that company - number of sales/impressions etc.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Static ads good, javascript baaaad

        > Nope, they want to sell me EXACTLY the same items that I have ALREADY just bought

        Amazon seems to be particularly good at sending me "hey, we though you'd like these..." e-mails for things that are generally of a "one-off purchase" nature, in the gap between me (a) buying the item from them, and (b) them posting it to me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Static ads good, javascript baaaad

      I too have set a block list in my FW. I was doing it on the PC/browser for a while, but on the FW it takes no CPU resources :) and works for all my systems.

      One thing google won't block, is their own adds - but I do LOL

      Anyone that uses chrome - the agreement you accept during install is allows them to monitor "all" activity within the browser. If you read it, and understand it, you won't use it.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Static ads good, javascript baaaad

        "The agreement you accept during install is allows them to monitor "all" activity within the browser. "

        There's no such agreement in Chromium however. :)

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Static ads good, javascript baaaad

      "For this reason I don't block ads, but I do block javascript."

      Ditto.

      Although I do have ublock, I hardly ever activate it, except for the most annoying stuff that gets past noscript (which to be honest is few and far between)

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Static ads good, javascript baaaad

      (topic)

      my sentiments exactly.

      Ads can be displayed via an ad server with some kind of non-persistent method of determining what ad you're viewing and where to send you when you click on it. No scripting, no persistent cookies nor offline data.

  5. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Devil

    Doublespeak...

    "Google's goal... is not to filter any ads at all but to improve the experience for all web users."

    Le sigh... as usual, hiding behind the wall of altruism. This is again about (ab)using a dominant market position (itself gained largely by similar activity in another market that Google has a practical monopoly in) to attack potential competitors and acclimatise the end users towards increasing acceptance of Google's control over what web content is easily accessible (ie: that conforming to Google's criteria), and what will be buried away or potentially censored.

    "Google has grasped the depth and breadth of the resentment created by the ad industry's unrepentant bad behavior." - however, they're still doing their level best to condition the end user against their control and data-slurping.

  6. Timmy B Silver badge

    Auto playing videos is one thing.....

    The worst is those that create a sub window that follows you round the page as you scroll and don't respect the fact you've paused the main window.

    1. enormous c word

      One in the eye for Bacefook

      I wonder if this is more about hurting the competition than protecting users. I suspect the majority of FBs advertising will fail.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg has ads?

    Who knew?

    I guess I'm just very used to my ad-blocker by now.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Stop

      Re: El Reg has ads?

      It's fine that you block their source of revenue. People don't like ads, we get it.

      But you don't have to be an arse and gloat about it.

  8. iron Silver badge

    And of course they leave out the worst thing about adverts. Sure flash, video, noise, interstitials, etc are all annoying but trackers are evil. But trackers are how Google makes its money so they get a pass.

    Screw you Google, I wouldn't use Chrome if it was the only browser available and I will not remove my privacy protection and allow your evil tracking.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      but trackers are evil. But trackers are how Google makes its money so they get a pass

      I suspect that Google is going to start getting very annoyed at Apple then (given that cross-site tracking is going to get blocked by default soon).

  9. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Genie....bottle

    I used to allow ads on some sites. I even clicked on some, randomly, from time to time. But they got so bad that I went for full block everything. Yes I know the content relies on ad revenue. But the content also relies on users wanting to use the internet.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Genie....bottle

      "The content also relies on users wanting to use the internet."

      'Do not piss off the customer, for they are your source of income'

      The question I'll ask: Are you the customer, or are you the product?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Genie....bottle

        Are you the customer, or are you the product?

        The two are not mutually exclusive.

  10. Lee D Silver badge

    I don't care about ads. I have no reason to allow them to be viewed. Nope, not even on The Reg.

    I tolerate their presence if they are tolerable, much like I used to tolerate newspaper ads (don't read newspapers any more, but same principle).

    However, distinguish ad controls from "unwanted shite" controls is the path to madness. Do I want things to be able to make sounds on a page? No. I don't care if it's an "ad" or not. Whether it came from another domain or not. Whether it's a certain size or not.

    Do I want things to create popups, open tabs, be layered over the top of content I want to read, etc. No. I don't care whether it's an ad or not.

    If I want those things on some sites, I want controls and questions to enable them, not disable them. I want click-to-play for ANYTHING that makes a sound or animates. No click, no sound. I want NOTHING to open new tabs or windows. Nothing at all. There's no need for that in this day and age. Nothing. If I want to do that, I'll middle-click the link/button/image and ASK for that specifically.

    Opera understood this, and enforced it. But Chrome and Vivaldi don't. Stuff still pops up in a new tab, and even switches to that tab without me asking for that. Stuff plays sounds WITHOUT me asking it to. That shouldn't be happening. VIDEO AUTOPLAY SHOULD BE BANNED, for every movie and animated GIF out there, unless I make an exception.

    Sure, it's slightly more tricky with HTML5 and dealing with things layered on top using CSS but I can't fathom why it's still that difficult.

    But the point is... every one of those things stops me visiting your site. Whether it's an ad or not. Do it often enough and I'll just go away and not come back which will hurt your ad revenue harder than showing me a plain boring ad rather than a flashy video one.

    But it's nothing to do with ads, and everything to do with browser security controls and user interaction applicable to ALL content shown. The fact that things can STILL pop up in a background tab (usually a click loads a second tab, tab 2 loads the original page, tab 1 then redirects itself to some other random ad/page/site, but the page my mouse is on ends up going to something not reflected in the original link) on the most up-to-date Chrome/Vivaldi really annoys me.

    1. Boothy

      When using Chrome, I change the autoplay settings under chrome:/flags to disable HTML5 autoplay.

      Does mean sites like YouTube etc need an extra click to start playing, but that's a minor issue that I'm happy to accept in order to avoid misbehaving sites.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I tolerate their presence if they are tolerable, much like I used to tolerate newspaper ads (don't read newspapers any more, but same principle)."

      Interestingly, I found a Punch cartoon from around 1905 which showed complaints about advertising plastering every available surface were around even then.

      Perhaps we had a Golden Age of reduced ads in the latter half of the 20th century.

  11. chivo243 Silver badge
    Devil

    too late for me...

    I've been using ad blockers for sometime, what a pleasant place the intertubes can be without annoying ads. I recently went a step further when the browser cryptomining rage hit and installed a Pi-hole at home. I have no need for a browser based blocker with the Pi-Hole at home...

  12. wjake

    This is so wrong

    "It could also have been called a belated step to replicate the mute button already available on many keyboards."

    I want to mute one ad or one tab, not my whole computer! Like so many on this site, I use ad blockers and flash blockers to keep that annoying stuff out. I read the web, if I wan to watch video, I have a big screen TV for that.

  13. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Dynamic stalemates seem to be a thing now ...

    this weird dynamic stalemate that ad-slingers and ad-blockers has morphed into some weird alternate universe where the elephant in the room: that nobody wants adverts is ignored.

    I'd pay £<x> a month to not get ads. Anywhere.

    Amazon and Netflix have twigged, whilst Sky et al seem to be stuck in the 1980s where people pay a premium and get ads.

    Especially in a professional context, I could see an ad-free (no sponsored results, no SEO engineered cruft) Google subscription going down well commercially. After all, most searches are horribly inefficient and getting worse.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Dynamic stalemates seem to be a thing now ...

      Especially in a professional context, I could see an ad-free (no sponsored results, no SEO engineered cruft) Google subscription going down well commercially.

      I see three problems here:

      1) Google create a problem, and you then pay them to suspend it for you?

      2) Google set the price they want off you? And you'd trust them to be fair?

      3) The content sites get paid.....well, they won't, will they? Google will sit on 90% of the revenues, dole out 5% to create a smokescreen, and then spend the remaining 5% lobbying against regulation or change.

      The only way that we will see an ad-free internet is when there's a couple of widely available, trustworthy, low fee micro-payment services, and content creators can easily offer a free-with-ads version, and a PAYG no ads version at virtually no incremental web-publishing effort. But that would mean that website owners would want to block non-paying ad-blocking visitors, which might be a retrograde step for many. Not to mention that Google may be the top ad-spewer, but they aren't the only one. And what about embedded self-run videos on the content sites?

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Stop

        re:The only way that we will see an ad-free internet

        I wasn't talking about an "ad-free" internet for everyone.

        Just for me.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: re:The only way that we will see an ad-free internet

          "I wasn't talking about an "ad-free" internet for everyone.

          Just for me."

          If you go to places like Thorpe park, you'll find that so many people are now paying to skip the queues that there's a substantial queue in the queue skipping queue, so they're offering a premium service to skip the queue skipping queue.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Dynamic stalemates seem to be a thing now ...

        "The only way that we will see an ad-free internet is when there's a couple of widely available, trustworthy, low fee micro-payment services"

        It still amazes me that this doesn't exist on the internet, when it exists in many places in the physical world. Even my laundromat uses a micropayment service.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Dynamic stalemates seem to be a thing now ...

      @JimmyPage

      "After all, most searches are horribly inefficient and getting worse."

      It is, isn't it? I just thought I lost my googlefu

  14. shade82000

    There are two type of ad that I really hate ...

    1 - When a page has loaded and I move the cursor away from the window so I can read the page. The page detects the mouse has left and pops up a 'Wait, before you leave ...' graphic that I have to close. Normally I just use the back button and try the next site.

    2 - When a page is loading and it seems like they have timed it so that the last component to load pushes everything down the page a bit. Just enough so that the ad gets moved to the place where the Search button was. There are so many mainstream sites that do this it can't be coincidence.

    For me it's not necessarily the adverts or their content, but the tactics they use to force mouse clicks.

    Until these tactics are blocked I'll block them myself along with everything else, thank you.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry in all these years reading el reg not once seen an advert. To be honest i wasnt even aware you had them.

  16. The Alphabet

    I'm surprised that "ads that cause device resources to be rapidly consumed" isn't on this list, because there's several who nag me to turn off the adblocker then as soon as i do Firefox baloons to 7-10gb RAM use.

    It seems that ad-content seems to miss that serving me ads is a two-way relationship; serve me ads in a manner that does not upset or interrupt the content of the site i'm on, or the device i'm using to view it on. If you can't do that then that relationship fails and you dont deserve to serve me ads.

  17. Patrician

    The thing that really surprises me is that ad agencies really do seem to think that they provide valuable service and can't understand why we can't see that. The article in first link in this story says:

    "....Ad blockers are also exploiting a real vulnerability: the erosion of stimulating consumer experiences online....."

    They think that advertising can provide "stimulating consumer experiences"? Seriously? The only thing that adverts, anywhere, stimulate in me is anger. I hate that I pay more than £12.00 to go to the cinema but still have to sit through 20 to 30 minutes of inane bull sh*t ads before the film; pay more than £70 per month to VM but still have to sit through adverts; total waste of my time.

    And that is the bottom line; it's not my bandwidth, it's my time they're using up and they don't ask me if they can.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      "The thing that really surprises me is that ad agencies really do seem to think that they provide valuable service and can't understand why we can't see that."

      This always gets me, too. They seem to have a baseline assumption that ads are of value to normal people, not just advertisers.

      Conceptually, this could be true, but ads as they exist today (regardless of the medium they appear in) are light-years away from that.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Well who wants to admit in public that their job is to make the world just a bit worse for everyone? When instead they could self-justify by talking about all the funny ads they've created or the companies they've helped to grow.

      Although obviously the more credible argument for them to make would be that they try to make the least annoying ads possible that will fund the sites and TV content that people do want to watch.

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      I know the ad agencies get on their high horses about sites missing valuable revenue. but somewhere over the years the ad model has shifted from earning money byplacing ads on web sites to seeing the sites as a vehicle for carrying ads. i.e the content has become secondary in the eyes of the ad producers and placers. Which is why we have so much click-bait crap. It's an attempt to place ads without having to bother about any real content.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Terry 6,

        It is true that good journalistic sites use clickbait articles sometimes, because it's cheaper than proper journalism. And that's their fault for having given away the crown jewels for free online, and built the expectation in their customers (who used to pay for their papers) that this new model was totally free. Oops.

        But clickbait sites like Buzfeed have always done that sort of thing. And people click on it. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it. We as consumers are training the content producers to make shit content. Because those are the articles that get clicked on.

        I now make a conscious effort to try and avoid click-bait. So I read the Guardian, despite disagreeing with more than 50% of it. Because it's good to read opposing points of view. But they've now reduced themeslves to trolling their readers, in exchange for clicks. And I don't want to be part of the statistics that tell them that lots of their readers like this. It works. And that's not advertising's fault. It's the public's. Even if they were paid for entirely by subscription, because on a website they know what articles people read, they're going to produce more of those, to keep their readers happy.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          No other argument from me, other than to say that, as in Gresham's Law, clickbait is forcing out decent content.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        It's an attempt to place ads without having to bother about any real content

        One universal truth is self-evident - if there is a way to make money, someone, somewhere will abuse it to maximise their revenue at the cost of morals and ethics.

        In this case, it's a whole lot of someones.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      it's my time they're using up and they don't ask me if they can

      Ding! Give the honourable gentleman a ceegar! (Other rewards are available).

  18. lukewarmdog

    Adverts

    I realised a while back that adverts on TV annoy me. We're in the process of cancelling our VM package and I'll just download what I can't get on Amazon (Prime member) or Netflix (the amount of money I'm saving not having VM, I'm treating myself to Netflix. Will also cut down on the number of things I need to download).

    As for internet ads, the few times I forget and end up reading the local paper online without an adblocker, reminds me that nothing good can come of having your content paid for by advertising.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adverts

      It's what we do ... (although VMs pricing makes it sensible to keep the TiVo for backup anyway).

      Last useful VM feature went before Xmas, when you can no longer control your TiVo from a browser but have to have their "app".

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Adverts

      "I realised a while back that adverts on TV annoy me."

      Me too. I was about 10 years ago that my limit was reached on TV ads -- that TV advertising was so frequent and awful that it was no longer worth putting up with them to watch the shows. So I stopped watching TV.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Adverts

        "TV advertising was so frequent and awful that it was no longer worth putting up with them to watch the shows."

        Even the BBC isn't immune. The adverts aren't for Soft Soap or Tom's Widgets, but they're still adverts and there are still too many of them.

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Even the BBC isn't immune.

          iPlayer (or rather "get_iplayer").

          I feel sorry for all the grips, best boys, and various crew on productions nowadays. Whose watching that final 20 seconds of squeezed credits plugging the next programme ?????

    3. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: local paper online without an adblocker

      I winced in sympathy there ...

      Funnily enough, one outcome of all of this is that local unsponsored news sources - FB pages, Twitter etc - suddenly become more important reinforcing the notion of "community".

      Although whenever a politician uses the word "community" I can't help but feel it's a contraction of "potential customers" ...

      You've earned one of these ->

  19. pxd

    didn't know El Reg had ads, either

    I use an ad blocker and have done for some time. I didn't even realise/remember that El Reg had advertising. I'd rather pay for a subscription to thi site, than have to put up with ads. Figure out how much revenue the ads bring you, divide by the number of current users, double the result, and tell me what you need from me, to survive without ads. I reckon I'll find the sum palatable. pxd

    1. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: didn't know El Reg had ads, either

      I did know. And adverts on El Reg was the main reason I first resorted to an ad blocker. These days, youtube is the main reason for continuing to have an ad blocker.

      Anyway, back before I had an ad blocker... MIddle-click on a few articles on the main El Reg page. Start reading my way through the tabs. That way, other pages load as I'm reading. After the first page I don't have to wait for page loads. And then bang. Firefox crashes. Restore session. In the middle of reading a page, bang Firefox crashes. Are the bloated ads causing Firefox to run out of memory? Restore only one tab of the session. Slowly work my way through articles, having to wait for each to load and bang. Either an insanely bloated ad is causing memory problems or the ad is triggering a bug in Firefox or Flush. Skip that article and move on to the next and bang. Install ad-blocker.

      A year or two later, feel guilty. Whitelist El Reg in the hopes the rogue ads have gone away. Things go well for a day or two. Maybe even a week or two. Then bang. Remove El Reg from whitelist.

      A year or two later, feel guilty. Rinse, wash, repeat.

      Sorry, guys at El Reg, the last time I whitelisted you was only six months ago. It didn't last more than a couple of days. Maybe, in a year or two...

  20. teknopaul Bronze badge

    auto play videos

    Is that going to include YouTube.

    No didnt think so.

    Since Google control your browser now too they do all this blocking and "safe browsing" stuff on competition websites but their domians are whitelisted. Handily makes their websites run faster too.

    Reading chrome code at the moment and its scary what they get up to.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: auto play videos

      If that's true, and they allow the timed ads on Youtube, then I'd be amazed if someone doesn't complain to a regulator about abuse of monopoly. And I'd also be amazed if they don't win. It seems to be an open-and-shut case.

      Though I'm not a lawyer, and so don't know the possible loop-holes.

    2. skalamanga

      Re: auto play videos

      I find that ads don't happen on YouTube through the webpage, but are excessive in the app, with every second of third video showing a 5 second ad and long videos showing several at intervals.

      This is why I disabled the YouTube app on my phone.

      I'm still waiting for YouTube red in the UK, as this is supposed to come free with Google music and make YouTube ad free.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: through the webpage, but are excessive in the app

        Oh yes, the "app". Forget delivering content on a platform like HTML5 which can be rendered in a brwser of your choice on a device of your choice (including Windows Mobile). Instead we get the punter to install a well-written, carefully coded, guaranteed bugfree, no tracking or privacy issues "app".

        Well, we could. But instead here's some shit that was cobbled together on a half term weekend between someones "in IT" nephew, and a bunch of people half the globe away that was only ever tested on the marketing managers iPhone for 30 seconds.

        Sorry, if I need your "app" to do something than can be done via a website, you need to be selling something very special.

  21. JohnFen Silver badge

    Yes, but

    They still allow ads that engage in tracking, rendering the blocking worthless to me.

  22. Palpy
    Stop

    Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

    A co-worker found an online news story about the use of dimethylpolysiloxane to stimulate hair growth. The site had a talking head vid at the top, and the news story in text underneath. He kept scrolling up to see the talking head; I kept telling him to scroll down so I could read the story.

    His brain is, apparently, trained to want information presented a certain way -- even if it takes 45 seconds for the talking head to chatter through the script, and only 10 seconds to read the more complete and detailed story in text.

    So to the point: how are the advertisements training our brains?

    I suspect most people (myself included) say "I ignore ads; they have no effect." But I don't think that's the case. We "ignore" a lot of things which, nevertheless, make it into our eyes, ears, and subconscious. IIRC, the author of the book "Doublespeak" quotes a Chinese academic visiting New York more or less thus: "In China, everyone recognizes government propaganda. Everyone knows it is propaganda. But when it is repeated enough, then it begins to seem true anyway. In America, the television advertisements are just like the Chinese propaganda."

    Ads are usually made to be attention-grabbing, intrusive, engaging, impossible to ignore. In the industry, that's an "effective" ad. If we see ads on every web page we visit, all the time, how is that training our patterns of perception? Are we being trained to accept that being interrupted and manipulated is normal and OK? Maybe even stimulating? Are we being trained, subconsciously, to automatically take in information that fits propaganda-speak patterns and which is presented in certain ad-format patterns?

    I dunno, actually. Human behavior is complicated. But I use ad- and javascript-blockers, and when I duck out from under cover and see the ads... it's just nasty. I don't want that crap in my mind.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

      We need a fake whitelist on adblockers. It would still request the ads and download all of the stuff that would be downloaded with a normal whitelist, but what would be displayed to the user would be the same blocked page. Site owner gets their pittance, site user gets the nice ad-free experience, advertiser can go to hell anyway.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

        Wouldn't stop the trackers, though. They might be tracking an invisible ad-covered proxy but it's still your browsing choice.

      2. PaulFrederick

        Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

        Why don't ad blockers work like that now? I could care less about the bandwidth. I just don't want to see the ads. I'd rather websites did not know I was using a blocker either. It is no business of theirs.

        1. Roj Blake Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

          "I could care less about the bandwidth."

          So you do care more than the minimum amount possible then?

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

            Roj Blake

            That's not fair. The poster is probably an American. They use words in a funny way, can't spell words with -ou- in them and haven't realised that day-month-year is a logical sequence of increasing units. (They also think "football" is about blokes in helmets running about throwing a ball while girls in short skirts jump around and that rounders is a game for adults).

            So we have to be kind to them.

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

      The thing about adverts is the more annoying they are, the more people remember them and the more people talk about them.

      Everyone in the UK says they hate those adverts with the opera singer, but I bet you know exactly who I mean. Brand awareness has increased by making something crap.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

        The thing about adverts is the more annoying they are, the more people remember them

        I can still remember the strapline[1] for some ads we saw in the US when we went there in mid/late 1990's.. Can't remember anything else about the ad though.

        [1] PizzaPizza..

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Click here for one weird trick to train your brain!

      I kept telling him to scroll down so I could read the story.

      I'm the complete opposite. I'd *always* prefer to read the text than watch a video. But then, when I was growing up, we didn't have a TV untill I was about 15 (around 1980 or so) and, even then, it was really only so that Mum could watch the snooker..

      And, since it was in the lounge, what we could watch was monitored.

      So I grew up reading, rather than passively absorbing stuff via the TV. Which is why, even now, I still read between 5 and 15 books a week (of all types but mostly scifi & fantasy - preprogrammed by reading LOTR at age 10 Silmarillion at 12..)

  23. Timo
    Megaphone

    OpenDNS at the firewall

    OpenDNS is free, sure they scrape your queries, but I find that there are settings in it that hobble many of the most obnoxious ads and don't break much. They also steer you clear of malware sites, and others if you wish. I have been blocking doubleclick domain resolution as well, and it cut back on the ads without breaking much of anything.

    Configure your firewall to use it for DNS instead of your ISP's, and then for extra umph set up the firewall to funnel all DNS queries through it (individual devices and smartphones can select their own.) All of a sudden your internet got a cleaner.

    1. skalamanga

      Re: OpenDNS at the firewall

      Or set up a pi-hole https://pi-hole.net

  24. bed

    And then you get cookied

    So I block all third party cookies and delete all cookies on exit. Life is so much quieter not being cookied.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: And then you get cookied

      I wish I could block those annoying cookie questions though. The Reg is one of the few to do it sensibly. I'm going to reject cross-site cookies, treat all cookies as session and delete on exit so I don't care much about the tracking aspects of them. All the cunning tracking is done other ways anyway.

  25. skalamanga

    AD blocking policy

    My policy on advertisers is that if I see an ad I'll automatically add the product to my own personal 'do not purchase' list and purchase from one of their competitors.

    With this in mind, companies should be glad I run aggressive adblocking software as without, it would be guaranteed that I not purchase from them.

  26. The curmudgeonly one

    Why does Google get to lay down the law

    Whatever your feelings about ads - and I run adblockers as a matter of course - it must be asked what gives Google the right to decide for me?

    Block or not - as you please. But make the decision yourself, don't be dictated to by corporate america.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Why does Google get to lay down the law

      "what gives Google the right to decide for me?"

      The fact that you use Chrome does. If you don't like it, you could always use a more sensible browser.

  27. ShelLuser

    Going after all ads or...

    "Starting tomorrow, Google, which makes most of its money from online advertising, will begin blocking egregious ads in its Chrome browser under limited circumstances – though it would really rather not."

    Egregious ads or competitive ads? Just wondering ;)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Wired website is going to be totally inaccessible then...

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      That's probably true, but it represents no actual loss.

  29. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    I'm going to start making money...

    I shall explain how to make money shortly, but first a word from our sponsor.

    Are you troubled by Hair Loss? We have solutions, and compounds. See dramatic results in as little as 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours 32 minutes and 11.3 seconds (hey, we timed it)! 600,000,000 clients served. 4000 years of research. Results are very discreet, unless you get it in your eyeballs, then all bets are off. Call Now!!

    ;-)

  30. The Central Scrutinizer

    The Internet Advertising Bureau maintains that ad blocking is wrong. Who gives a fuck what they think? What is wrong, arsehats, is infecting our browsers with your malware shit. So kindly fuck off thank you very much.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whether I see the ads or not

    I never (intentionally) click.

    The more ads try to annoy, the less I like their brand.

  32. Jan 0

    Prestitial ads

    So Google deprecates these, but is still prepared to stick countdown advertisements on the front of YouTube videos! Google is weasel slime.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monopoly power much?

    Hmm, they sell ads and they have a main stream browser that blocks ads from their competition. Remember when they blocked Amazon devices from YouTube. It is a slippery slope. I'm not sure I want the Google boys censoring my page content. They've demonstrated they can't be trusted and this is the thin end of the wedge.

    1. Patrician

      Re: Monopoly power much?

      They didn't "block Amazon devices from YouTube", they blocked the FireStick and FireTV YouTube apps; both devices could access YouTube via their respective browsers. Also it is/was an easy task to sideload the standard, working, Android YouTube app on both devices. This was a direct result of Amazon refusing to sell Google devices.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Monopoly power much?

      "I'm not sure I want the Google boys censoring my page content."

      Then don't use Chrome. Problem solved.

  34. ShadowDragon8685

    I used to think that horrible, invasive, intrusive, loud, obnoxious and irritating ads were a fact of life.

    This was a very long time ago when I was a stupid teenager, and thought I was being cleverly ironic by renaming the Netscape shortcut "Nutscrape".

    Then I discovered Firefox and Adblockers and I haven't looked back since. A vigorous scorched-web campaign of adblocking, anti-adblock-killering, and just refusing to use websites that manage to defeat both ublock origins and AAK has been the way forward for me.

    Bugger the lot of 'em. The annoyware ads ruined it for the rest of ye.

    Also: if I want to buy something, I go looking for it, thank you very much.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    DOH!

    So they kill adds in Chrome but put code for dancing figures in email

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