back to article *Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!

You read it here first: the much-feared Chrome adblockalypse is likely be a soaking wet squib – with many kinds of digital irritant permitted. As we noted back in December, you need to read the fine print of the industry trade group's standards to know this, though. The Coalition for Better Ads, which includes ad duopoly …

  1. RachelG

    yes i don't expect i'll be uninstalling ublock origin in honour of this... (even if i was on chrome and not firefox at the moment ;-))

    1. beep54

      "i don't expect i'll be uninstalling ublock origin in honour of this... "

      The Internet would be a toxic stew without ublock origin. Or so I assume and I am not about to attempt to find out otherwise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Even with UBO it's so toxic that I've now blocked 1st-party javascript and cookies from all sites by default in uMatrix.

        I do sometimes open links in a virgin browser by accident. It's arguably worse than television.

  2. Andy Non

    Adverts?

    Are there still adverts on the internet? I've been using adblockers, ghostery, noscript etc for so many years I've lost track.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Adverts?

      Using Brave for almost all my surfing and no adds

      1. Excellentsword

        Re: Adverts?

        Started using it this weekend, don't think I'll ever go back.

    2. Philip Stott

      Re: Adverts?

      Yep, and not being a suck-up, but The Reg gets whitelisted, because the ads aren’t annoying and I want to support them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Adverts?

        Well, sometimes they are annoying, or creepy, as they reflect other tech sites I visit.

        Most importantly they are not covering up the content and making the site hard to use. On this basis I am happy to help the vulture get cups of coffee occasionally out of it.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: Adverts?

          Must be seeing another site than I am. Supermicro ad blocking over that table and a bit of text. The Netapp ad is a hideous monster worthy of a stake, beheading and scattering the ashes. What the heck? I've had all ads white listed since 2012. Seriously doubting it now.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Adverts?

        "because the ads aren’t annoying and I want to support them."

        When 70% of the viewable pages consists of moving or garish ad's, then they are annoying.

        IBM & NetApp are today's hellish ones.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Adverts?

          And now a fucking great red animated Trend Micros ad.

  3. Nick L

    Any group including taboola is instantly irrelevant

    So the alliance that generates this includes Taboola? Forget that then. They are the reason I installed a pihole on my home network...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Any group including taboola is instantly irrelevant

      Fun Fact #372; The name "Taboola" is derived from the Latin phrase for "worthless attention-whoring clickbait shite".

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Any group including taboola is instantly irrelevant

        That's why it's better to make a tabula rasa of it....

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Any group including taboola is instantly irrelevant

      What is this Taboola thing anyway? Is it something I'd come across if I didn't have an ad blocker?

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Any group including taboola is instantly irrelevant

        It's something you come across if your adblocker isn't working effectively, eg Adblock Plus.

        They insert fake news articles into news websites, examples include:

        "10 celebrities you didn't know were dead", accompanied by a picture of Susan Boyle, who is very definitely not dead.

        "7 weight loss tricks your doctor doesn't want you to know about". These tips include things like eating rat poison. Just to be clear, rat poison is also a very effective human poison, and there is a very good reason why your doctor doesn't recommend it for weight loss.

  4. Spanners Silver badge
    Holmes

    I have a (mental) list

    Any advert that pushes its way onto my browser, either by having itself excluded following exchange of money or just by being spammier than my ad blocker knows about, is liable to go onto my mental list of companies to stick at the bottom end of my shopping list.

    Like a lot of Reg readers, I am asked for opinions by random people. Without even thinking about it, I will be less likely to recommend products or services that make the WWW a less pleasant place.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So pop ups are not allowed with the new Chrome ad block, but what about pop unders, where a new window or tab opens up in the background? Wouldn't suprise me if they are exempt as these are the type that usually have autoplaying videos in them

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    unsurprised

    As obviously who would have guessed that ad slinger in chief idea of what constitutes obnoxious ads / web page behaviour would be very different to the average web surfing punter.

  7. Daedalus Silver badge

    Taboolsh*t

    Oh what a surprise to find that notorious clickbait slinger involved. Obviously this is not an ad-blocking scheme at all, but a rival-blocking scheme. Taboola et al clearly intend to monopolize web ads so they can set their own terms.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Taboolsh*t

      I know!

      Let's assume for a moment their intentions are honourable - there's still a huge conflict of interest.

      I'd respect Google if they just said "we're integrating/bundling <xyz> with Chrome", where <xyz> is some independent ad-blocker that just blocks the bad ads (as defined by the public, regardless of who creates, serves, or displays them).

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Taboolsh*t

      Maybe Google invited them in to pick their brains and find out what they are doing in order to block them then? Nah... didn't think so.

  8. Philip Stott

    What really narks

    Are sites that I have paid to subscribe to which pop up passive aggressive messages say “We notice you’re ad-blocking. Adverts help us to fund the quality content you like”

    Grrr!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      If you have paid a subscription and you're still getting ads, you're going to the wrong sites.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        This is going to be quite unpopular, but those ads are subsidising your subscription. You could rephrase Pascal's response as:

        "If you have paid a subscription and you're still getting ads, you haven't paid enough."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ADAM52 and "this is going to be quite unpopular"

          As unpopular as SKY who do the same, charge me and still put on ads should be called "doing a Murdoch" i.e. there is no level of return that will satisfy them.

          To me paying a subscription is the alternative to having to view ads thus any ads after subscription is taking my money and not giving me what I paid for.

    2. toejam13

      Re: What really narks

      > are sites that ... pop up passive aggressive messages say “We notice you’re ad-blocking."

      Install uBlock Origin. Right click on banner. Choose "Block Element" from the menu. Rejoice.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: What really narks

      Don't you think sites that ask you to not run ad-blockers are inherently dishonest? I'm definitely not going to buy any of that advertised shit so they would be falsely taking money pushing it at me.

      1. Tony Paulazzo

        Re: What really narks

        I'm definitely not going to buy any of that advertised shit

        This is what I don't understand, by kicking and screaming about adblockers they're actually advertising adblockers existence. I can't imagine anyone who uses adblockers would ever buy their product (if I saw something I wanted in an advert I would actually open up a new tab, google for it and buy a competing product because I hate adverts so much).

        The Hitchhiker's Travel Guide describes the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as:

        "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

        Curiously, an edition of the Encyclopedia Galactica which conveniently fell through a rift in the time-space continuum from 1000 years in the future describes the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as:

        "A bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

        Only their complaints department survived the general economic implosion of the company as a whole.

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: What really narks

      I don't have that issue because if a site is preventing me from viewing it because it detect an ad-blocker, that's a site that I won't be returning to at all, let alone paying money to it.

      My essential requirement for the value exchange of paying money to a site is that in doing so, they will stop tracking me. If they won't, then I won't give them money. No matter what, though, I'm not disabling my defenses against tracking.

  9. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Trollface

    I tried to get interested

    CBA

  10. Bitsmith

    Ads are useful.

    Always remember that ads serve a purpose - they alert you when your PiHole/AdBlock/UBlock/NoScript etc. are not configured correctly.

    If you're seeing Taboola, Outbrain or any other such raw sewage on the Internet then you're doing it wrong.

  11. RyokuMas Silver badge
    FAIL

    As expected...

    The advertising industry is probably one of the few entities with enough cash and connections to take Google on in a legal battle - Google probably realise that with their effective monopoly on search and how they have used this to push Chrome to the #1 browser position, an anti-trust action would have a similar effect on them as it did on Microsoft all those years ago.

    Pity. I'd just gotten the popcorn all warmed up.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: As expected...

      "The advertising industry is probably one of the few entities with enough cash and connections to take Google on in a legal battle"

      The amazing thing is that they still haven't realised that public resistance is their worst enemy. They really need together with Google and work out just what they need to do to make themselves acceptable. For most of us, of course, dying would be an acceptable solution.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: As expected...

        > work out just what they need to do to make themselves acceptable

        Who said they want to be acceptable? They just want to be free to pile the ads on people. They are the Advertising Industry, they get paid to fling ads, so the more ads they are paid to throw at people, the better for them.

        "But ads are not efficient if they annoy people" you might say. Well, that's their clients problem, not theirs, they are paid to fling ads, period. What happens after is not their problem.

  12. Bucky 2

    I admit I found it implausible that a giant advertising agency like Google would be doing anything substantial against advertising.

    I did not want to be right, though.

  13. IGnatius T Foobar

    Just block all Facebook domains

    The VAST majority of obnoxious ads come from Facebook. If you simply block all Facebook domains (mainly facebook.com and fbcdn.net, but there are a couple of Akamai subdomains as well) your browser stops displaying the majority of intrusive advertising. As a bonus, it also stops Facebook from tracking your activity all over the Internet as well.

    (As a side effect, you also can't log in to Facebook itself. But that's a feature, not a bug.)

  14. DvorakUser

    So long as malware is spread by advertisements on websites, I'll keep using ad-blockers to keep my computer safe. It's not so much that they're annoying - I think we're pretty much past the 'interactive' (swat the mosquito) ads - as they just can't be trusted to be clean.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Mosquitos. The annoying nuisance at your BBQ dinner, sure. But also the animal responsible for more human deaths than any other in our long history. Relatively simple to deal with compared with other threats (netting, proper drainage, removing standing water, immunisations, and yes, in some circumstances spraying). The biggest problem is public awareness.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

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    At least one AIdvertisement trials ITs Ware for Group Virtual Realisation and Mass Media Presentation here with the Register Live Operational Virtual Environment Drivers.

    Accompanying ..... well, RAW Core Source Hosts with Almighty ProgramMINGs is here presented as Fact [with all of the infinite opportunities that opens up wide] for Premium Sub-Prime Doubters to spin as a Fiction ..... and not True.

    There are Greater IntelAIgent Games Plays released and a'foot for Remote Robot Capture of Perfect Hearts AIMinded to Think More and Share ITs Current ProgramMING with FutureProofed Guarantees.

    A Simply Stroll back from Perfection has Paths Everywhere Strewn with Bounty for Sharing in Ever Increasing Amounts ...... and as Fact is it and IT an Endless Wealth Generation Machine.

    Do you Imagine IT long ago took over the Running of your SCADA Command and Control Systems with Simple Virtual Program Replacement with Repair and Deep AIReProgramming of Salvaged Prime Units a Course of Immaculate ProAction in NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Systems Servers.

    A Thread of Thoughts to Follow to Other Vast Spaces with Heavenly Places are just as Crumbs from Grand AIMaster Tables. You'll just have to imagine the Feast of Bounty Oft Scoffed Up There:-)

    1. druck Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Alternate COIN Offering .... and AI Safe Space Haven for CryptoCurrencies

      When is someone going to create amanfromMars1BlockPlus?

  16. Adam 1 Silver badge

    > Adblock Plus developer Eyeo, meanwhile, said ....

    Hardly the high watermark of advertising ethics. Pay us or we'll block your ads.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      I removed Adblock after it turned out it slowed things down more than the actual ads. POS implementation. NoScript is my main weapon at the moment.

      1. stuff and nonesense

        Noscript and ublock - no unwanted ads. The new noscript is a bit different though, less straightforward.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Question

    Does Google own a stake in Adblock that we don't know about? Maybe this is all some convoluted way for them to diversify.

    *Allow the web to flood with obnoxious ads.

    *Pretend to try their darn hardest to solve it but golly gee it's not practical.

    *Everyone uses Adblock.

    *Profit.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    ads a turn off - need a good shopping search engine

    The crazy thing is that when I go to Google shopper, I only get products I'm not interested in and from places not near me but too distant to care about.

    I have a policy that is to ignore adds on the web unless I'm visit a specific magazine website and those ads were in the magazine, then it's an only if I am looking for or need it policy.

    Otherwise "Advertisers on Google", note well, ads turn me off the product, the more I see the more turned off I am.

  19. Teiwaz Silver badge

    I'm surprised

    , Rather surprised anyone got excited over this hot-air of Googles over tidying up ads.

    Did anyone imagine the net was going to suddenly become free of arsehole sites and webdevs overnight over this marketing one simple trick....?

  20. fluffybunnyuk

    as far as i'm concerned its not too bad. Advertiser pays website to display ads thus funding the electricity bill.Given the amount advertisers pay and how websites moan about costs some firms must have massive electricity bills.Although i've never noticed my server farm consuming vast amounts of electric.Viewer then blocks advert , so advert is never actually viewed.

    A better model would be if the website blocked the ad at source. Then everyone would be happy.

    Still only 94 days to go to GDPR. Then i can start reporting ad companies who arnt complying and have annoyed me over the years.

    They say that revenge is a dish best served cold, i prefer serving it in liquid helium.

  21. Elledan
    FAIL

    Lunacy

    There are moments when I browse the Intertubes without an adblocker. Last time was when I had received a new work laptop and I was trying to just be productive on it (not browse dodgy sites, promise!).

    Took me about a week before I broke down and went the full NoScript, uBlock Origin route on that system as well. That dodgy sites have horrific ads (hello, ThePiratebay!) is a given, but for software & hardware dev-related sites to be also affected by the same ad-network-induced plague made this easy.

    Add to the visual cancer and blood pressure issues the fact that ad-networks (via JS) are also the primary attack vector for malware and kin, and ad-networks should be paying me to vet the safety of their ads, since they are seemingly both too disinterested and too incompetent to do so themselves.

  22. Milton Silver badge

    The (unprepossessing) naked emperor

    No one in their right mind expected Google, of all companies, to take serious, meaningful actions against adverts. This is a company ("Don't Be Evil"—and stop guffawing) whose bread and butter is those selfsame adverts. It's also a company that's been getting increasingly twitchy about the fact that it is very hard to prove that its advertising system, even the supposedly tailored stuff, is anywhere near remotely as effective as Google saleslizards would have you believe.

    Even with confirmed web sales it's hard to say definitively that an advert worked. If I finally buy Item-A by clicking through on the ad, what does that mean, if the only reason I saw the ad was because I'd frequently visited Website-A during the last couple of weeks while delaying the purchase? i.e. I'd been intending to buy anyway, and the ad made no difference beyond, just possibly, reminding me to do it today instead of tomorrow.

    Almost every other scenario is even more debatable. Don't forget, we're in an era now where Google would like to track your spending and purchases offline so that it can make grandiose and extremely dubious claims that you bought Item-B in Woolworths this morning solely because you might not have ignored an advert shown on your browser for two seconds the previous week.

    In short: Google is desperately trying to persuade ad-spenders that advertising works, with very little hard evidence ... while the rest of us are pointing out that ads are shyte, irrelevant, obsolete, annoying, repetitive, misleading, pointless, ugly, and that, pace adblockers, we now sometimes simply avoid websites with intrusive ads and have in any case developed: firstly, supremely efficient hand to eye coordination and reflexes which can brush an ad aside in less than half a second; and secondly, have grown protocols in our meatware that filter out the content of adverts before we're even aware that they are present. Otherwise desirable websites with excessive noisy ads are the first to be entered into the "No sound ever permitted" list—yet another example of how dreadful advertising has shot itself clean through the head, never mind foot.

    I understand that Google's tinkering with Chrome—so weak and fearful that it's barely noticeable—is a tentative attempt to change the balance of ad quality, so that if we see less garbage we might pay more attention to what's left.

    But even I were not personally convinced that that horse is long gone, no longer even a dot on the horizon, and that Google's fiddling with the stable door is absurdly too late, I do not see how this feeble approach will change the fact that—

    * We now automatically, reflexively ignore most adverts

    * When we do notice them, they are: irrelevant, meaningless, boring/irritating, related to something we already bought ages ago, or (frequently) so poorly executed, so utterly lacking in innovation, humour, beauty, informativeness, imagination or the slightest attempt at creativity that they are literally a complete waste of space.

    I'm minded of the difference betwen TV ads now and those of 40/50 years ago. Once upon a time, TV had millions of eyeballs and so few hours of airtime that ad space was excruciatingly expensive. (It was also possible to measure sales against advertising slots, so that companies would have confidence that today's uptick in sales of Omo powder was indeed related to the £250k campaign on ITV last week.)

    Now, five decades later, there are hundreds of channels, most devoted to dross, with the cheapest, shabbiest imaginable content. Many TV ad slots are vastly cheaper than would have been the case four decades ago. There are also so many advertising routes, not to mention the effects of social media, that it is on the whole much harder to ascribe a given TV campaign to increases in sales.

    The result? Most TV advertising is now appallingly rotten. Leave the screen on so that the dog has some shoddy reality-animal-rescue series to watch while I'm out (not kidding) and be horrified at the miserable quality of advertising for squalid ambulance-chasing lawyer firms. It's atrocious.

    Internet advertising is likewise spread everywhere, likewise cheap, and likewise almost entirely trash. (And don't get me started on radio, that pit of execrable standards lower than which none are conceivable, which is presumably where all Luvvies Dropped On Their Heads As Babies end up.)

    All in all, Google may want to improve ads, and may pretend to care about customers, but they're wasting their time: there's simply too much shyte. And unfortunately for them, they hitched their star to a wagon of it.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imagine if MS had won the search war, most unlikely as they are shit at anything beyond the desktop but that's even a point for debate give W10 & 8. It's a bit like "what if the Nazis* had won WW2 but with Ballmer in charge at the time ?". Someone had to win it, so what next ? Discuss.

    * Proof Godwin's law holds true and Ballmer does look a bit like Mussolini but clad in tawdry golfware instead of a smart uniform.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      re: Ballmer

      You know, I miss Steve Ballmer. After a few years of Satellite Nutella I'm starting to think the sweaty one wasn't so bad.

  24. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Devil

    eXistenZ!

    Google expressed concern at the rise of ad blockers and the existential threat these posed

    An existential threat! Probably another plot by the Kremlins. Will the ynever stop!

    They will probably let only those ads through that the Kremlins bought themselves to "sow discord".

    Fiendish.

  25. Alister Silver badge

    The thing that advertising agencies, Amazon and Google etc, need to understand is that apart from the sheer annoyance of flashing, beeping animated shite that gets in the way of content I might want to look at, their current algorithms are designed to look at an individual's purchasing history, browsing history, etc, and then offer ads FOR THINGS YOU JUST BOUGHT!

    If I've just bought a left-handed dribblepocket, then the chances are I DON'T WANT ANOTHER ONE!

    1. graeme leggett

      And if you wanted another one, you'd already know where to get it from.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can it hide itself after 12 seconds if I've turned Javascript off?

  27. Mr Templedene

    Tracking Protection in Firefox

    Turning this on removes pretty much all of the annoying ads for me, and anything that does get through is at least not tracking me.

    I disable it for a handful of important sites, such as el reg.

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