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Google Says Ad Blockers Will Save Online Ads 419

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-i-half-agree dept.
azoblue writes "Google — the world's largest online ad broker — sees no reason to worry about the addition of ad-blocking extensions to its Chrome browser. Online advertisers will ensure their ads aren't too annoying, the company says, and netizens will ultimately realize that online advertising is a good thing."
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Google Says Ad Blockers Will Save Online Ads

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are *ads* on the web? I haven't seen one in years!

  • A good thing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thyamine (531612) <.thyamine. .at. .ofdragons.com.> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:11AM (#30473552) Homepage Journal
    I would be ok with the occasional banner ad or something along those lines, but we all know that for every advertiser that attempts to play nicely, a dozen others will come up with some new obnoxious ad. Lately on Wired I've noticed that I have to carefully move my mouse down the page, otherwise I trigger same extremely annoying pop-up/overlay Flash ad often containing sound or moving video which covers the page. I also recently started trying Chrome, so this could be something they've been doing for a while I'm not sure.

    I think most people can understand how ads are good in keeping sites free, but I don't think we'll have the pleasure of non-intrusive ads ever. So we'll all be stuck using ad-blockers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AlexiaDeath (1616055)
      We are stuck with ad-blockers because there's always an guy that assumes that being as annoying as possible is good to business. However, there are rare examples of ads and networks that I have left unblocked because their ads are not distracting, annoying or plain stupid. There have even been ads that I liked and never wanted to block. Such ads usually come from well controlled smaller syndicates and that includes Google text ads unless there are more ads than content on the page.
    • Re:A good thing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thijsh (910751) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:25AM (#30473782) Journal
      Most people are OK with Ad's on some level... just not OK with obnoxious popup-type invasive ads that even crash your browser sometimes.
      The solution is an ad-blocker with level-based blocklist like this:
      - Allow only text ads (this is where google wins)
      - Allow simple image ads (not larger than ...)
      - Allow animated image ads
      - Allow movie and interactive ads (flash ads)
      - Allow all terrible ads (never use this ad)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        That's my opinion too. Google's text ads I don't care about one bit. Banner ads - I don't mind them as long as they are "safe for work". I DON'T want to be browsing MSNBC's news section and have some woman in a bikini advertising "Hydroxicut" or some other weight loss pill flashing on my screen.

        The really annoying ones though are indeed the ones that the GP mentioned. Those ads that pop up when you scroll and cover the page until you find the (usually well hidden) close button for the ad. Or on online

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bit01 (644603)

        Most people are OK with Ad's on some level.

        Yes, the ad's that don't work.

        The entire point of an unsolicited ad is to grab a person's attention. If it doesn't do that then it's not working. And a person's attention is valuable to them.

        If an ad "pays" for the attention in some way (e.g. entertaining or actual useful information and not spam) then it might be okay but almost no advertising does that.

        ---

        The majority of modern marketing is nothing more than an arms race to get mind share. Everybody loses exce

        • Re:A good thing (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:44PM (#30475776) Journal

          The entire point of an unsolicited ad is to grab a person's attention. If it doesn't do that then it's not working. And a person's attention is valuable to them.

          The ads you are talking about are the type that try to grab your attention and convince you that their product is something you want.
          Google ads always try to be relevant to something you're already looking for.
          It's the difference between ads in a trade journal and pharmaceutical ads in Time Magazine.

    • Re:A good thing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jonsmirl (114798) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:29AM (#30473852) Homepage

      I use an ad blocker to stop:

              Video ads that automatically play
              Animated ads
              Blinking ads
              Ads that automatically talk
              Ads that automatically popup
              Large multimedia ads on a wireless link

      I don't want my web pages to move or make noise unless I tell them to. Telling them to means clicking - not mouse over.

      Unfortunately the ads blockers catch all of the other ads too. I don't mind ads that behave but the moving/talking ones are so annoying that I will block everything to get rid of them.

      • by Krneki (1192201)
        Add viruses to the list.
      • by chefmonkey (140671) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:02PM (#30474344)

        Unfortunately the ads blockers catch all of the other ads too. I don't mind ads that behave but the moving/talking ones are so annoying that I will block everything to get rid of them.

        I agree 100%. I feel bad about blocking huge swaths of ads (e.g., everything from doubleclick) just for one or two bad apples -- but I tried playing whack-a-mole by blocking only the annoying ones for a while. It simply didn't work. The hyperactive flashing, jumping, talking ads simply are created too quickly to block each of them as a one-off. So I have rules that, for example, block all of doubleclick.net. And anything with /ads/ in the URL. And 245 similar other rules.

        I've even had to block the small, boutique ad providers -- like projectwonderful.com -- that I'd really like to see succeed. But they end up serving up too many animated and/or risqué ads, so I had to block them as well.

        So, as much as I'd like to believe what Upson has to say about adblockers destroying the market for annoying ads, I just haven't seen it happen. And I've been watching for well over a decade now.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by severoon (536737)

          I feel bad about blocking huge swaths of ads

          Really? I always wonder about people who say this...you find ads annoying, and you don't actually engage them in the intended way (i.e., convert to an actual sale), but you feel some obligation to sit through a mini-pitch?

          Have we forgotten that advertising is not an end unto itself? Advertisers are not trying to get appreciation for their beautiful work, and they don't really care about views that don't convert. So, if you're not interested in buying anything, do

    • by garcia (6573)

      I think most people can understand how ads are good in keeping sites free, but I don't think we'll have the pleasure of non-intrusive ads ever.

      I think most people don't understand that they can block the ads using easy to install software. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people still using IE6 (with no quick and easy adblocking abilities) or some outdated version of Firefox without running ABP.

      I use ads to pay for the work I do on my own website but I, as a publisher of content, do what I can to e

    • by pipatron (966506)

      But.. why are you encouraging this behavior by using the websites? I know there are for example news sites that I refuse to visit because of the ugly ads, but there are dozens or hundreds of alternatives (at least here in Sweden..) that carry pretty much the same information sans obnoxious ads. Of course there are ads there, but discreet enough.

    • One of the solutions would not blocking ads from those providers which play perfectly nice (as Google does). This could actually promote them.

  • And, presumably, if there are ad-blocking extensions to Chrome, they will send their information back to Google, and give Google information about precisely which ads are being blocked.

    So, when company X comes to Google and says, "Your prices are far too high, most of our ads aren't making impressions anyhow, they're being blocked by clever browser extensions!", Google can come back and say, "Well, we've actually got some data on that, and..."

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ArcherB (796902)

      I think it's a bit more nefarious than that. Allow me to finish that thought for you:

      Google can come back and say, "Well, we've actually got some data on that, and...it appears that without the add blocker, your ad will be seen by 275 billion more people a day. We can add your adds to our "safe list" to allow them to get through our add blocker, but it will raise your rates by 35% in order to cover the administrative costs of maintaining your position on that list".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I think it's a bit more nefarious than that. Allow me to finish that thought for you:

        Google can come back and say, "Well, we've actually got some data on that, and...it appears that without the add blocker, your ad will be seen by 275 billion more people a day. We can add your adds to our "safe list" to allow them to get through our add blocker, but it will raise your rates by 35% in order to cover the administrative costs of maintaining your position on that list".

        At which point people will just start using 3rd party adblocking software again to block all ads, and the cycle continues. Either:

        1. Google will predict this cycle happening and thus won't bother trying such a stupid scheme, or
        2. Google will not predict this cycle happening, will try what you suggested, and we'll get 3rd party adblocking tools again to compensate for punch-the-monkey ads.

        Either way, we've nothing to worry about.

        • by ajs (35943) <ajs&ajs,com> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:06PM (#30474430) Homepage Journal

          Either:

          1. Google will predict this cycle happening and thus won't bother trying such a stupid scheme, or

          That's exactly right. The problem with people who try to come up with nightmare scenarios for how Google could screw you over is that 90% of them begin with the assumption that Google is populated by people who can't quite figure out that actions have consequences (and probably can't find their way out of their house in the morning).

          Realistically, Google's single largest asset as an advertiser is their relationship with the millions of users that take advantage of their products. The moment they start abusing that relationship for short-term profits, they end their position as the premier ad vendor, and they know it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by odin84gk (1162545)

        Google is a fan of producing relevant, non-intrusive ads. I also understand that websites need ads. I would be ok if their adblocker removed the annoying ads and kept the decent ads. From Google's '10 things' (http://www.google.com/corporate/tenthings.html)

        6. You can make money without doing evil.

        Google is a business. The revenue we generate is derived from offering search technology to companies and from the sale of advertising displayed on our site and on other sites across the web. Hundreds of thousands of advertisers worldwide use AdWords to promote their products; hundreds of thousands of publishers take advantage of our AdSense program to deliver ads relevant to their site content. To ensure that we're ultimately serving all our users (whether they are advertisers or not), we have a set of guiding principles for our advertising programs and practices:

        * We don't allow ads to be displayed on our results pages unless they are relevant where they are shown. And we firmly believe that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find – so it's possible that certain searches won't lead to any ads at all.
        * We believe that advertising can be effective without being flashy. We don't accept pop-up advertising, which interferes with your ability to see the content you've requested. We've found that text ads that are relevant to the person reading them draw much higher clickthrough rates than ads appearing randomly. Any advertiser, whether small or large, can take advantage of this highly targeted medium.
        * Advertising on Google is always clearly identified as a "Sponsored Link," so it does not compromise the integrity of our search results. We never manipulate rankings to put our partners higher in our search results and no one can buy better PageRank. Our users trust our objectivity and no short-term gain could ever justify breaching that trust.

    • by Rennt (582550) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:35AM (#30473958)
      Why would anyone write an adblock extension that phones home to Google? Unless Google wrote the extension themselves (unlikely!) it is just not going to happen.
  • I've invented an ad-blocking technology that is entirely funded by proceeds garnered from companies who will pay us to put small marketing statements, catch phrases, and logos on the visible interface of the software while the software is running.

    it's genius!

  • by Silentknyght (1042778) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:13AM (#30473576)
    If you're as good at it as Google, if you, too, can delivery such customer-specific advertising in a peaceful, non-intrusive, text-only delivery system, then yes, you too will have no reason to worry about ad-blocking extensions.
    • The ads might be text-only, but they are rendered with reams and reams of Javascript, which I have blocked.
      However targeted an ad is, it's by definition not what I'm looking for because it's an ad.

      Under my ad-blocker, all are equal.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I'm using AdBlockPlus. It's great.

      But reading this article I recalled that some time ago I actually disabled ABP specifically for Google.com. This as I was searching for something to buy or so, and I missed the ads. When searching for commercial services I very often click those ads: they often offer exactly what I am looking for. The ad-results sometimes suit me better than the normal search results - the normal results are more non-commercial in nature. That's not good if you are looking for commercial s

  • Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lazy Jones (8403) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:14AM (#30473580) Homepage Journal
    So how will users who have installed ad blocking software at some point realize that the ads they are no longer seeing aren't really that annoying anymore? I suppose what they actually meant to say was "buy text ads, ad blocking software will ... perhaps ... not block them" (sure it does).
    • Re:Umm... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by chrysrobyn (106763) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:36AM (#30473974)

      So how will users who have installed ad blocking software at some point realize that the ads they are no longer seeing aren't really that annoying anymore?

      I'm going to go out on a limb and say they're talking about me. In 2004, I installed a bunch of ad blockers, and I saw next to no ads. That lasted for a few years until I got a new computer. With the new computer, the ads were far less intrusive, and generally not worth going through all the ad blocking hassle (which isn't much, so obviously a threshold was crossed). The stupid monkey was gone, all the blue/red flashing background was missing, etc. I'll still keep FlashBlock on until the day the machines rise up against their masters, though. A line was irrevocably crossed when an ad started making noise and wouldn't shut up. Flash is great for games, but for so much of what's done, a simple JPG would suffice at a fraction of the development and delivery cost.

    • by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:53PM (#30475100)
      There's an old behavioral psychology experiment that seems to fit the situation:
      To train a horse to lift one of its front legs whenever a bell rings, you start out with a piece floor that can be partially electrified to deliver a mild shock. You ring the bell, you deliver the shock. After a while the horse learns that to avoid discomfort it needs to raise its leg. It lifts the leg - no pain.
      Now comes the tricky part: after a while you remove the shocking floor. Now the horse will still lift its leg whenever the bell sounds; and what's more, this behavior will even become stronger and stronger ingrained, since there is no more punishment and the "correct" behavior is re-inforced.
      Now assume that instead of a horse there is a user, replace the electric shock with annoyance inflicted by ads and the act of lifting the front leg with using adblocking software. This means that in order to overcome the strong aversion of adblock users you have to offer a very, very high incentive and strong proof that reverting to the old browsing habits will not be punished by more annoying ads.
  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@jws[ ]he.com ['myt' in gap]> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:14AM (#30473596) Homepage Journal
    [glazing over]

    yes, ads are a good thing.

    I like ads.

    They make me happy.

    I want to click.

    [snapping out of it]

    What? Damned Jedi^H^H^H^HGoogle Mind Trick®
  • by cowboy76Spain (815442) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:15AM (#30473610)
    I think the point here is that ad blockers will have more impact in the less sofisticated ads (popups and the like). Probably Google thinks that it has the muscle to get its ads in a way that won't suffer as much. Either as they are less intrusive so less people is likely to try hard to get rid of them, or because they have technological ways of distributing the ad that make much harder to dismiss it without breaking the page that the users wanted to see. Or both of these reasons.
  • by hexed_2050 (841538) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:15AM (#30473612)
    If the ads were less annoying I wouldn't mind them at all. Some of the ads are actually very informative rather than spammy if you are on a website that caters to your interest and delivers ads based on content served on the site.

    I'd love to see sites implement an ad protocol such as this:

    1. No flash-based or animated ads.
    2. No ads bigger than 300 x 100 pixels.
    3. No ads with bright contrasting colours such as orange when the entire site is white and green.
    4. All ads can be turned on or off at the user's preference. This site implements an honour system.
    5. Users can select what categories of ads they would or would not like to be served.

    If websites and companies were just more sane about their ad policies, I think a lot less people would resort to ad-blockers.
    • by L0stb0Y (108220)

      I completely agree with this- I actually enjoy ads that are for things I am interested in- further I like when a site I trust won't allow ads from companies that they deam are less than reputable (they do some weeding out for me)-

      I really do think that the ability to turn ads on or off would be the best solution-

  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:15AM (#30473614) Homepage
    Perhaps of interest: how many Firefox users currently use AdBlock Plus [mozilla.com]? According to this reference (search for "AdBlock" to find the spot), the number is around 12%.
  • wrong assumption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:16AM (#30473634) Homepage Journal

    Of course the core assumption here is that people block ads because the ad content is a problem.

    What they don't realize (and what people in marketing can not realize, or they would have to admit that their whole professions is being a parasite and a PITA) is that it is the advertisement itself that is the problem.

    I don't give a heck about what you're advertising for, nor what style, images, words, whatever you use. I don't want to see your crap. If I need "product information", I will find it - ironically - on Google. The difference is that I'll be looking for it, instead of getting it shoved down my throat, willingly or otherwise.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hexed_2050 (841538)
      Some ads can be informative and can remind you of an issue you needed to solve last week and still have not. I don't believe the problem is with the ads in general, but with the style and way they go about serving you those ads.
      • by bit01 (644603) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:46AM (#30474134)

        Some ads can be informative and can remind you of an issue you needed to solve last week and still have not.

        That is a minute fraction of all unsolicited ad's. The cost benefit is not even remotely there.

        There is a very real cognitive cost associated with every single unsolicited, unneeded, unwanted ad. And that cost over time adds up to a huge loss.

        The entire marketing industry is in denial about that. A real shame that so many trillions of hours of people's lives and attention are being wasted on such dross.

        ---

        An unobtrusive ad is a non-functional ad. It is a non-sustainable business model.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:23AM (#30473752)
      Oh, I agree. So please get rid of that damn thing about Lemuria Skies from your sig, because, if I want to find out about skyboxes for a video game, I can do a Google search. Don't shove this information down my throat. Your sig is very annoying.
      • by fridaynightsmoke (1589903) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:35AM (#30473952) Homepage
        He was probably only talking about ads for "The Corporations!", because, you know, The Corporations are evil etc etc etc
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tom (822)

        Excellent point.

        Yes, it was a tricky decision. As an indy with zero advertising budget, it's one of the few ways to get word out, and get to Google where you can find me, if you care. And yes, I'm aware that it doesn't merge well with my words.

        Because real life is in shades of grey. There actually is some advertisement that I find acceptable. But you can't say that to the ad people or what the hear is that you love ads, or at least their ads.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JordanL (886154)
      How, precisely, are you supposed to search for something that don't know exists? This is the primary function of advertising as a concept, (though not the primary function of the ads that I'm sure annoy you).
    • by Lazy Jones (8403)
      This is usually the point where marketing folk will want to convince you that they have "studies" showing that you can create demand out of thin air by just showing people completely inappropriate, boring, offensive, time-wasting ads that viewers will never see because theirs minds are blanking them out after enough exposure to similar crap in the past. This wouldn't be a problem and you could happily laugh in their faces and rightfully call them morons, if they weren't also feeding the same nonsense to mar
    • by quixote9 (999874)
      I don't give a heck about what you're advertising for, nor what style, images, words, whatever you use. I don't want to see your crap. If I need "product information", I will find it - ironically - on Google. The difference is that I'll be looking for it, instead of getting it shoved down my throat, willingly or otherwise. Yes. Exactly. Seconded, thirded, fourthed, fifthed. Except I started using bing because they hang on to clickstreams for 48 hours instead of forever. And as soon as I started, M$ expa
    • by pherthyl (445706)

      >> it is the advertisement itself that is the problem.

      I think it's taxes that are the problem! If I want to be paying money to someone else I'll go give to a charity, not have my money taken from me by force by the government!

      Ads support the free internet, there's no ifs, ands or buts about it. If you are so opposed to ads that you refuse to have even non-intrusive ones on your page, then you're nothing but a leech. A worse "parasite" than you describe the marketing people to be.
      Hosting content co

    • by Alascom (95042)

      and when you do go looking for it, those little ad boxes on the right come in real handy...

    • Re:wrong assumption (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Animats (122034) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:48PM (#30475846) Homepage

      If I need "product information", I will find it - ironically - on Google. The difference is that I'll be looking for it, instead of getting it shoved down my throat, willingly or otherwise.

      Even from an advertiser perspective, Google's system sucks. On the forums for "search engine optimization", one discovers that ad clicks from Google search results tend to result in sales, while ad clicks from Google ads on non-Google sites (what Google euphemistically calls the "Google Content Network") don't. 50% of ad clicks come from 10% of the user base, and that 10% doesn't buy anything.

      Google ads on non-search pages aren't that valuable to advertisers. So why are there so many of them? Because they're opt-out for the advertiser. Many Google advertisers have ads on the "content network" only because they haven't found the hidden button on Google's screens for opting out [google.com], as an unhappy Google advertiser reports: "I am running many Google ads and their CTR is around 10%-15% for search page impressions; However the CTR on the content network is 0.02%! I can exclude my ads appearing on certain sites however at the bottom of the URL list it states "Other Domains" which have a total CTR of 0.01% with well over 300,000 impressions in a month! This is driving my overall CTR down massively! If I can not view these sites and choose to exclude them...I need to opt out of all content based placements immediately. How can I do this?"

      Also see "Good Reasons to Avoid Content Targeting: [wilsonweb.com] "The AdWords user interface misleads new advertisers. Industry consensus suggests that content targeting ought to be used selectively and one should bid lower on content than on search inventory. This is because ads on content inventory tend to convert at a lower rate than ads on search inventory. But when you walk through Google's campaign setup, you find that you've been automatically opted into the content network at the same high bid as your search campaigns."

      Much of the "bottom feeder" problem on the Web comes from this one trick of Google's.

      We measure some of this at SiteTruth, and some of the results are here. [sitetruth.net]

  • I have no problem with unobtrusive ads that aren't all flashing animation and sound and which do not slow down my system with their overblown Flash garbage. If it does not interfere with my use of the web, I'm fine with them.

    Until advertisers start delivering those ads, I'll keep using adblock.
  • by MaraDNS (1629201)

    While I don't use adblock per se, I do use a combination of Firefox's advanced option to disable animated gifs (actually, to have them animate only once) as well as flashblock so I don't have to see animated flash ads.

    The reason I do this is because I'm used to reading books; books do not have anything that animates in them, and anything that animates or continuously moves is very distracting for me when I am reading something. I don't mind ads with bright, flashy colors; magazines have had those since t

    • Flash is evil (Score:3, Informative)

      by bradley13 (1118935)

      Flash is just evil (for that matter, so is Silverlight). I understand why designers like it, but it breaks the very paradigms that make the Internet great.

      Example: I recently ran across the web-site of a very nice little company in my neighborhood. Whoever they hired to do their website put the whole thing into Flash: the menus, the content, even the contact information. Result: you can't find their sitein Google, not even under their company name and address. Accessibility to the blind: none. But the web

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      ... anything that animates or continuously moves is very distracting for me when I am reading something.

      Believe me, you're not the only one. That's one of the reason that I browse with the plug-ins disabled. All that's left is animated GIFs and those are less frequent these days, being replaced by Flash ads instead.

  • I started out just blocking Flash ads and obnoxious (= animated) image ads. I've since graduated to blocking all the ads I can, and using Greasemonkey to remove parts of sites I find objectionable (an iframe here, a div there...).

    There will always be a group of us who have discovered the ability to control and customise our web browsing and will not give it up.

    Besides, I don't know anyone who actually *likes* ads; at best they tolerate and ignore them.

  • These companies don't seem to realize that ad blockers came about because the ads themselves because increasingly annoying and intrusive. If advertisers played nice and didn't piss people off (ha, right) then we wouldn't need to use ad blockers just to make our browsing experience pleasant again. I don't know anybody who actually likes ads.
  • by david_thornley (598059) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:29AM (#30473858)

    Really, I don't. I use NoScript instead, and will add defenses as I see fit.

    It isn't so much that I like ads as that I don't mind them as long as they aren't dangerous or obnoxious. (This means that I'm never going to give an ad site clearance in NoScript, for example.) As long as advertisers don't bother me overmuch, I won't worry about them.

    Fundamentally, Google's got an idea here. The only question I have is whether the advertisers will, indeed, learn to control themselves and live within this contract. About a third of television shows is ads, and there's plenty of obnoxious ads on the web. Heck, there's plenty of billboards along highways that try to get your attention, and that's potentially lethal. So, I'd bet that there will continue to be a need for ad blockers.

  • With the ISP's pushing to get us to pay for every bit of data there is no way I am going to let any page I visit load every element without me giving it permission.

    Page text 2k.
    Page images 4 x 50k = 200k

    Ad to text ratio 100:1. Sorry not a good idea.

    Also page rendering time is a function of the size of the page elements. A snappy page usually has very few ad images.

    If they can make the ads low bandwidth and not add a load to the page rendering and not annoying people might accept them. The odds of that are

  • In what other medium are the ads actually useful and value added to your experience? Now that I have a DVR that can easily remove the ads actually watching commercial TV is brutally painful. The ads in magazines don't augment the stories at all, they are just the filler that makes the magazine 100 pages instead of 12.

    Ads may be a necessary evil for a medium's survival, but that doesn't mean we as consumers like them or appreciate them as Google is asserting. In this day of internet product researching, a

  • by rshol (746340) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:37AM (#30473982)
    will be my first. I have seen some entertaining ads (for example during the Super Bowl), but never one I considered useful.
  • Ads are generally ok as long as they're not flash. There is nothing worse than a site with a load of god awful Flash ads.
  • Online advertisers will ensure their ads aren't too annoying

    Yeah. Because this has worked REAL well so far.

    Never mind the war going on between the crapvertisers and the adblockers.

    Never mind the annoying fucking pop-overs.

    Never mind the stupid in-video adverts now being used that cover over 1/3 of the content being displayed and don't go away until you click them away.

    the company says, and netizens will ultimately realize that online advertising is a good thing.

    And I say "Stick to search. When

  • I don't get why the tags "hahahaha", "whenpigsfly" and "yeahright" are on there.

    They're mostly correct.

    It's basically an arms race between ad blockers and advertisers. And AdBlockPlus, for one, is faster. So they only option they really have is to make ads that aren't so obnoxious they'll be blocked. ad blockers were created primarily because the ads got incredibly annoying and they're here to stay, so it's either tame the ads or have all ads blocked.

    I mean, who bothers to block Google ads? They're usua

  • by phooka.de (302970) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:04PM (#30474388)

    I'm a multiplyer. I set up my PC, my gf's PC, my parents' PC, my steppatrnts PCs... whatever I do will affect a number of people.

    Many PCs are configured by multiplyers like me. We pushed the use of firefox over that of IE in Germany. And we implement adblockers.

    Now, why do we do that? It's not because we were asked for it. The people whom we help don't know that ads can be blocked before we tell them. No, we want to have less work.

    How do we minimise our workload for administration of relatives' PCs? We secure them. Part of securing a PC is to make sure that only intended content is executed on it. That's why we install adblockers on so many PCs.

    One or two years ago, a web-advertising company called "Falk AG" in germany got hacked. They had their banners on all sorts of resprctable sites like major newspapers. Suddenly, when you were visiting the websites of the leading German magazines, your PC would be hacked through manipulated ads served by Falk.

    Again, we want to reduce the time we have to spend on those machines, therefore we want to keep them as clean as possible, therefore we make them block ads. What type of ad? Flash, animated gif, static image? I don't care. If it's not loaded into the browser, it cannot exploit a weakness.

    Now for google.

    If something needs to be found, it will be searched for, most likely using google. If all other ads are blocked, only the text-ads served by google on the google result-page will ever be seen. It increases their value.

    Why would google care about banners on other people's sites?

    And even if Chrome would not allow adblocking, what if a user actually found something in an ad he likes? He wouldn't have to google it. Google loses.

    So, I'm actually surprised it's not google themselves who provide an adblocker for Chrome.

  • by Spykk (823586) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:14PM (#30474522)
    This seems like yet another situation that is subject to the tragedy of the commons [wikipedia.org]. Even if a few advertisers choose to use unobtrusive ads there will be others who do not. Ad blocking software generally blocks all ads regardless of how annoying they are. Doing the right thing will not prevent you from being blocked and it will result in less ad impressions.
  • by X86Daddy (446356) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:41PM (#30474894) Journal

    Generally, an advertiser wants to accomplish a couple of things: (A) make the target demographic aware of its product or service offering, or (B) raise that existing awareness... remind people about the product or service. In both cases, they are ultimately attempting to influence people who would otherwise not spend their money, to do so.

    Personally, I find that motive A, if demographically appropriate, doesn't bother me that much, and in fact, has been useful to me at times. After I've seen the motive A advertisement once, subsequent viewings fall into motive B. I usually find motive B extremely annoying. Back when I watched television, I would see the same exact advertisement multiple times a day. Before I started using Mozilla and Adblock, I would add sites to my hosts file constantly. One of the few motive B advertising methods that never got on my nerves are coupons and discount offers.

    Once you've gone a while without seeing virtually any advertising, your perspective changes a bit. The times when you are exposed to an annoying advertisement (on another person's computer, somewhere with a TV playing, rent a car and turn on the radio) it's even more distasteful than you recall. I think the annoying methods are crumbling fast. As Clear Channel destroyed the value and variety of radio, MP3 players rose to fill the gap; people obtain their news from website articles, sometimes using adblockers, while newspapers lose subscribers. Between independent video content, DVD collections of shows, Tivos, and piracy, people can get their episodic video fix without seeing a single commercial.

    Advertisement exposure is no longer all that mandatory. The other side of this, however, is that people still want to know about products and services that interest them. As such, a person like me, who hates annoying old-school advertising, willfully signs up for deal mailing lists from my preferred hardware vendors, actively seeks out reviews and product previews on sites that cover my interests, and constantly monitors feeds of local news / reviews concerning the sorts of local businesses I like to visit. I am empowered by features like RSS, which make that kind of monitoring possible. The companies who do their best to get their products reviewed far and wide, who publish press releases, etc... will receive my attention. If they make a good product or offer a good service, that attention may have positive results for them. If advertisers wish to stay ahead of the curve (or just plain afloat), they need to start looking at this a lot more. Potential consumers are sending a pretty clear message: Be useful, or shut up.

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