Report: Google paying AdBlock Plus to not block Google's ads

AdBlock Plus is certainly a popular add-on for web browser such as Firefox, Chrome and most recently Internet Explorer. The program allows for a mostly ad banner free experience while surfing the Internet. Now a new report claims that Google is paying money to Eyeo, the company behind AdBlock Plus, so that its ads get through the browser ad remover.

The German language website Horizont doesn't state just how much money Google might be paying to have its ads become immune to AdBlock Plus's powers. However, in a FAQ page, Eyeo does state that " ...we are being paid by some larger properties that serve nonintrusive advertisements that want to participate in the Acceptable Ads initiative."

The same FAQ page also says that smaller websites and blogs can be ‘whitelisted’ so that their ads also are not blocked by AdBlock Plus. Neowin certainly qualifies as a smaller independent web site, which still uses banner ads as its main source of revenue. As we occasionally remind our readers, we would greatly appreciate it if you whitelisted Neowin if you use AdBlock Plus or another web browser ad blocking add-on. It will help keep the site going for the many members of our great Neowin community. There's also an option to buy a subscription to the site that removes all ads without the need for an ad-blocker.

Source: Horizont via The Verge

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I did not read the entire thread before responding so if I'm restating something please forgive.

I don't look at this as a reason to be jumping on Google. AdBlock is the one with the product and if they are excepting money from advertisers to put a chink in the shields then well that is something you should take up with them.

I'm not against ads... that is how we get free stuff. I don't use ad blockers as such. Sometimes I would like to control how ads appear... some are just out of control. The popups that can cause any one of my browsers to freeze for a moment... or the inline text that I moused by that open and cause slow down... or the ones that open up inside the HTML and the close button is so small you can accidently click on the ad an invoke a redirect. Those I cannot stand.

Again this is not on Google... this is on AdBlock. Transparency with these things should be clear because when things like this get out... it is a PR storm for whom ever the public decides to direct their anger.

New age has come where the future of Internet will be based on ads and and any other hardware and software will be just a medium to disperse ads between customer and a company. This move has been taken by Microsoft and now Google where smart and HD ads will be priority with creativity and cleverly display and make surfing more fun and seamlessly.

This will put an end to dumb hideous looking .gif ads.

People forget that Chrome was specifically created by Google (or adapted) because of IE7's new protection and tracking features and Firefox no longer answering to Google and working with adblocking plugins.

So by definition, Google Chrome only exists to ensure Google has control over getting their advertising to be visible to users. This is why Chrome was pushed very hard by Google, and remember like most of their product, they do not make money from Chrome itself, nor it is a charity project.

Another reason I do NOT use nor recommend AdBlock Plus.

There are way better options out there that do not cater to giants like Google.

Once again AdBlock Plus developers show they really do care more about the money than their user's privacy and the right of choice.

If allow Google Ads was OFF by default then it would be a different story. I have no problem with opt-in. It's the opt-out I can't stand.

They should take the money they're receiving from Google and use that to implement functionality that lets you block those horrendously obnoxious "Would you like to take a survey?!" pop-ups. No, I don't, I just want to download my drivers. Go. The Hell. Away.

well, they probably also pay MSFT to get immunity from hosting block,
which then manifested in strange Windows Defender behavior in win 8.x.

Torolol said,
well, they probably also pay MSFT to get immunity from hosting block,
which then manifested in strange Windows Defender behavior in win 8.x.

Or not.. Microsoft don't monkey with or control the protection lists IE users are free to use without incident. IE users also have this built in, no need for a plugin/addon. IE also will automatically start blacklisting advertising sites for the user, especially ones that go beyond ads and start using various tracking tricks to aggregate more information.

this really is nothing new as they made an announcement when they started doing it that they were going to allow certain website to display ads even with adblock installed, and that if you want to disable even those ads to go into the settings and disable the new feature, not sure why this is such a big new thing on all sites if it was announced they were doing it when they started.

I thought ABP had to allow google ads to be allowed in the chrome store?

Also why would you run ABP in internet explorer when you can load anti tracking lists like fanboy NZ directly into the browser?

Find it strange that Neowin would report on this, given the forum rules for this very thing.

I have ABP and Adblock on Chrome. So I see none. Best of both worlds.

I had that setting enabled and didn't even notice. That exception list has been there for a while.

This. I don't mind non-intrusive ads at all. My main use of ABP is hiding obtrusive parts of websites even if they are not ads. As for tracking, we have Ghostery for that.

It's unfortunate both that Google are doing this, and that the makers of ABP are allowing them to, thankfully the developers of Ad Muncher haven't yet been similarly tempted by such greed

Javik said,
It's unfortunate both that Google are doing this, and that the makers of ABP are allowing them to, thankfully the developers of Ad Muncher haven't yet been similarly tempted by such greed

Bingo. That is why I have 3 Unlimited updates Licenses!

By whitelistening Google, wouldn't that make ABP useless? I mean: of all ad companies, Google is the main reason I have this plugin installed.

If most sites have an option to opt-out of all those social buttons (which in fact does track people when they move about the net), then I'd consider whitelisting them all.

Shaun said,
no but you must pay them to block them...

So it is well worth it that is why I have 3 Unlimited updates licenses.

No more Hulu ads.

Ad Muncher 5 will work with Linux even and Macs. Then there will be a version for Android and iOS!

Plus being able to block all the Windows 8 and 8.1 app ads too! This is when I will upgrade to Windows 8 or 8.1

I use ad block plus abs all the Google services I use, no ads. And I fall to see how this is shady. If true, rumor only now, they they are paying the company... Not sueing then or using threats.

techbeck said,
And I fall to see how this is shady.

Shady on ABP's part if anything.. (meh more like sleazy), Google's just doing what they always do. But yea, "non-intrusive ads" disabled, a few custom filters (blocking the GA domain, etc), I haven't seen an ad out of Google in a long time. It's just a default, and certainly not "immune to AdBlock Plus's powers."

I just don't get their logic, ppl who block ads are NOT interested in seeing them and are extremely unlikely to click or buy from an ad shown on a website.

Everyone is interested in ads. They just have to be about something the user cares about, and offer something advantageous to them.

The problem currently is that it's hard to figure out what the user cares about and might be interested in without invading his/her privacy.

None the less, as said above, everyone is interested in ads, and they're a critical tool in creating and running a free market, in ensuring that prices are driven down, that workforce and captical are distributed effectively, etc.

felrefordit said,
Everyone is interested in ads. They just have to be about something the user cares about, and offer something advantageous to them.

The problem currently is that it's hard to figure out what the user cares about and might be interested in without invading his/her privacy.

None the less, as said above, everyone is interested in ads, and they're a critical tool in creating and running a free market, in ensuring that prices are driven down, that workforce and captical are distributed effectively, etc.

Did you copy that from your marketing 101 textbook?

Tartan said,
I just don't get their logic, ppl who block ads are NOT interested in seeing them and are extremely unlikely to click or buy from an ad shown on a website.

True, but 'visibility/branding' is important for the smarter advertisers. They don't depend or care about clicks, they just want their brand appearing.

It is strange that the Internet has taken a long time to get back to were non-interactive advertising was for the previous 200 years. Logos and branding visibility are still the most effective advertising.

Getting people to click on horrible ads and do something is a failure in understanding the basics of human psychology.

I think the internet should remove every horrible 'standard size' Ad, and just use non obtrusive watermarking or integrated branding instead.

"Neowin brought to you by ABC-Cola" would be more effective than any of the crazy Ads currently on the site.

There is no excuse for this, unless it's prominently displayed on the homepage for the extension and has alerted current users of the new policy. Anything less is simply selling out and totally deceptive, excuse it all you want, but I no longer trust any product or people that resort to this type of thing. They're banking (literally) on the fact that most users will remain ignorant and that those that remain along with apologists will make it more than worth it. Let's face it, it's an all too familiar move.

Secure Gateways for the win. No software to install you can use any browser or device and centralize your blacklists on one device. And when your away there's always VPN

Hahaiah said,
unless it's prominently displayed on the homepage for the extension and has alerted current users of the new policy.

It's been quite a while since I've installed it, but reasonably sure that it tells you it's allowing "non-obtrusive ads" by default during the install, at least on Firefox anyway. The guy does have bills to pay, open source doesn't mean everything's free.

But meh, that's the first option that I change after an install anyway. No such thing as unobtrusive ads.

TPreston said,
Secure Gateways for the win. No software to install you can use any browser or device and centralize your blacklists on one device. And when your away there's always VPN

^This.

So Google Ads will only be shown if the exception list feature is enabled. Well that means there is no need to worry about ads sneaking through the filter without the users permission.

SuperKid said,
This is the exception rule list:

https://easylist-downloads.adb...plus.org/exceptionrules.txt

It is an option called "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" in the settings, it was already unticked for me.

Always thought "Allow some non-intrusive advertising" sounded fishy as heck. Immediately unchecked that box the first time I ever tried Adblock!!

Thank goodness I also use a good host file! Google crap isn't getting through on my stuff! Have ALWAYS despised Google and now despise them even more!

Lol this was news about a year ago, was funny to see the creator or adblock delete any negative comments or anything referring to it off his forum. Removed adblock+ right there and then and got the fork of it and have been fine since.

"More shady goings on from Google!" - I wouldn't really call it a shady action, they want their ads to show. Nothing wrong or shady about that.

No, but at the same time it is free software so it isn't like you're paying to hide the ads that Google wants to show.

That would explain why Adblock wasn't blocking google ads on the search results page. I was wondering about it. I was showing a customer how it blocks ads. Demonstration FAIL!

First thing I do when I install Firefox on any machine is install Adblock, then uncheck the "allow instructive ads" thing, and then I turn off auto-update for Adblock for fear that it may update and re-enable "allow intrusive ads" when I don't want it to.

Nice try, but this has nothing to do with free software. In fact, this shows how resilient free software is to money and corruption, see the AdBlock Edge extension on FF. What I got was the age old truth that everyone and everything can be bought out if the price is right.

It's exactly the point. Neither you know the price nor the exact terms of the deal, so there are no age old truths there.

Read their own FAQ:
"Managing this list requires significant amount of effort on our side and this task cannot be completely taken over by volunteers".

It might not be an honest answer, but it's all general public can work with. In other words, research and hard labor isn't someone's free time and hobby anymore but a full time employment. That costs money which doesn't appear out from nowhere.

And polluting the environment with forks whenever someone can't agree with the rest is not resiliency. It's pollution. ABE is using someone else's, previously common, ideas, workmanship and effort. It wouldn't have existed if ABP itself didn't exist.

Evil corporations sponsor development of most free software by a large margin and slice.

And, in fact...

has nothing to do with free software

this shows how [..] free software

You've un-argumented yourself here, thank you very much.

I would whitelist Neowin if the site stops having intrusive ads or ads that take up half the screen.

Xilo said,
I would whitelist Neowin if the site stops having intrusive ads or ads that take up half the screen.

It takes up half the screen?!? Get yourself a higher screen resolution.

Ads on Neowin is nothing compared to other many other bigger sites.

Graimer said,

It takes up half the screen?!? Get yourself a higher screen resolution.

Ads on Neowin is nothing compared to other many other bigger sites.

Example of an ad on neowin taking up almost half the screen height.
http://screencloud.net/v/obV1

Note that this is on a 1920x1080 screen so resolution has nothing here.

shinji257 said,
Note that this is on a 1920x1080 screen so resolution has nothing here.

Get yourself a multiple monitors setup then! It's clearly the most viable solution.

I note that you are not logged in, even if you were a basic member like me you still don't get ads like those. Neowin encourages people to login/register so they allow the ****ty ads for those not logged in

Xilo said,
I would whitelist Neowin if the site stops having intrusive ads or ads that take up half the screen.

Yup being a website that displays intrusive ads itself and also display news and updates about Adblock Plus they tell us to disable ABP for their website lol.

onionjuice said,

Yup being a website that displays intrusive ads itself and also display news and updates about Adblock Plus they tell us to disable ABP for their website lol.

Try logging in and avoid googling HP and visiting hp.com so you don't get those. My ads has never been bigger then this for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I just ordered some shoes so....

http://i40.tinypic.com/ncnp6w.png

francescob said,

Get yourself a multiple monitors setup then! It's clearly the most viable solution.

Really? That is your solution....get out of here.

Shaun said,
I note that you are not logged in, even if you were a basic member like me you still don't get ads like those. Neowin encourages people to login/register so they allow the ****ty ads for those not logged in

It was an example only. I actually have a sub.

Shaun said,
I know, but the example was a bad one seeing as those are not the typical ads a Neowin member is served

I've seen them on several occasions. It wasn't a one off incident.

Well this is the reason then, Neowin try to push visitors into registering and being logged on which is why you would see those type of ads while you are not logged on.

Try logging into your Sub2 account, you paid for it

You can disable this in the main options of Adblock plus. I find it really stupid that people are forking Adblock plus just because they show google's ads by default.

link6155 said,
You can disable this in the main options of Adblock plus. I find it really stupid that people are forking Adblock plus just because they show google's ads by default.

Actually I disabled that option and I still get those BS ads on youtube from time to time. Maybe this is why.

link6155 said,
You can disable this in the main options of Adblock plus. I find it really stupid that people are forking Adblock plus just because they show google's ads by default.

Still, isn't it kind selling out? You sell this tool/add-on/extension that is mean to block ads for people yet decide to take money from the worlds biggest pusher of ads on the internet and allow theirs only?

I personally have no issue with ads so I don't use an ad blocker. But this does seem wrong. Basically you don't get through unless you sign on with Google. Google is walking on a fine line, one miss step and they are the very evil they've sworn to destroy ^^

This is not about Google being evil. They are paying to have their ads be let through. It is down to the developers of ABP. They are accepting money to allow the very thing they created ABP to block.

To me, they are the ones going against the reason they started.

Google is already the evil thing they have sworn to destroy...or everything would be free and they wouldn't have huge profits.