How do I block a particularly offensive google ad?
March 21, 2008 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Can I block a particular google ad I never want to see again?

I'm a science grad, and receive about 5 emails a day with the word "evolution" in them. Consequently I see a google ad promoting a certain ID movie by a certain ex-Nixon speechwriter many, many times a day. I know I should be able to just get over it, but it really becomes more offensive to me every time I see it. Is there any way I can get google to stop serving me just that one ad??? I am never, ever going to click on it, so it's not like it would be a loss of revenue.
posted by emyd to Technology (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Think of it this way: Every time you see it, you're costing the advertiser money.

Now consider this: Click it.
posted by rokusan at 6:16 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]

Think of it this way: Every time you see it, you're costing the advertiser money.
Not true, the advertiser is only charged when someone clicks.
posted by shothotbot at 6:21 PM on March 21, 2008

Best answer: Firefox + AdBlock Plus (ABP) will block all ads... I'd consider this even better than blocking one, but YMMV.
posted by fogster at 6:22 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yup, adblock plus will block all ads. And it's not that noticeable.
posted by delmoi at 6:24 PM on March 21, 2008

Firefox + ABP (for pictures and flash) + CustomizeGoogle to clean up the last bits.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:30 PM on March 21, 2008

Nth-ing Adbock Plus. Don't leave home without it.
posted by ellenaim at 6:31 PM on March 21, 2008

I have ABP and it's not blocking the gmail advertisement that I think he's talking about.
posted by popechunk at 6:41 PM on March 21, 2008

I use CustomizeGoogle + FF and haven't seen a Google ad in months. If you're still seeing it with APB you can make sure ABP is blocking it by right clicking the ad or ad area and selecting whatever the "block this" option is.
posted by jessamyn at 6:57 PM on March 21, 2008

I click it everytime I see it. Take that, movie ad budget.
posted by brain cloud at 7:07 PM on March 21, 2008

if you're using safari, consider the excellent pith helmet.
posted by krautland at 7:28 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

to all the proponents of the "click them" theory: trust me when I tell you that your lower-level marketing department hack isn't smart enough to realize what's going on. it's also not their money. in the end there is always a way to spin what is actually happening in a positive light as long as you have any kind of activity in relation to your advert. clicking a banner may make a microscopic dent in a marketing budget but it also signifies activity and that is worth more to the buying monkey than the cost you created. you demonstrated the demand for ads is there and thus they will happily book more space. whether or not an actual transaction took place is in most cases someone elses problem anyway.
posted by krautland at 7:31 PM on March 21, 2008

Krautland, your argument makes no sense. Of course it's not the 'lower-level marketing department hack' who loses money. It's the corporation doing the advertising.

Click it. Click it every freaking day. Let them spin it however they want while wasting their money.
posted by rokusan at 11:24 PM on March 21, 2008

Google has algorithms that detect click fraud, and I believe that seeing a person clicking one ad regularly while ignoring all the other ones would be considered as such. Just install Adblock and forget about it.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:31 PM on March 21, 2008

Best answer: I work in online advertising, and krautland is completely right. Clicking on any ad makes it exponentially more likely that you are going to see the same ad again. It also makes it more likely that other people with browsing habits similar to yours are going to see the same ad.

More to the point, if it's a Google ad, then it's guaranteed that you are having a direct affect on the algorithm that evaluates how effectively the ad was targeted. Ignoring the ad does not directly cost the advertiser any money, but it is still a vote against the ad. Google *does* pay attention to these "not interested" votes (automatically). The more an ad shows up in a certain context without getting clicks, the more the Google algorithm says to itself "Gee whiz, maybe we're showing this ad to the wrong people. Let's reconsider."

Seeing a Google ad, and not clicking on it, means that you are implicitly giving feedback to Google that you are not interested in the ad. Seeing a Google ad and clicking on it is exactly the same thing as saying to Google: "That ad was exactly the sort of thing I'm interested in. Please give me more of the same."

One of the great things about online advertising is the directness of the feedback loop between consumer and advertiser. You can walk by a billboard on the street, ignore it, and the advertiser might never guess that someone with your media consumption habits doesn't care about their ad. But if you see that ad on a website, and you ignore it there, that behavior is recorded. And that data is only going to help you avoid similar ads in the future, if you just act naturally.
posted by bingo at 5:23 AM on March 22, 2008 [8 favorites]

One more thing: Google charges less per click for ads that it thinks are well-targeted. So when you click on a Google ad you don't like, you are actually making it *cheaper* for the advertiser to show that ad to people like you. That's right: you are *saving the advertiser money.* Congratulations.
posted by bingo at 5:34 AM on March 22, 2008

"Not true, the advertiser is only charged when someone clicks."

Some Google Ads are pay-per-impression, not pay-per-click.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:46 AM on March 22, 2008

Not the ones that appear next to gmail, though.
posted by bingo at 10:22 AM on March 22, 2008

Bingo (and Krautland's) only works, note, if you don't ad block it. :/

I'd still click the crap out of it. Fraud doesn't hurt the clicker, and the "making it cheaper" argument is even ruining their targeting. Congratulations for making their ads reach less-useful markets? Why thank you!
posted by rokusan at 12:49 PM on March 22, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all! I think I'll go ahead and block everything. The click them arguments are tempting, but I just don't have it in my heart to give them the tiniest bit of my support and/or interest.
posted by emyd at 1:52 PM on March 22, 2008

It's because of those ads that gmail is free.
posted by bingo at 2:49 PM on March 22, 2008

Response by poster: I know, and that continues to bother me, bingo. That's why I just wanted to block the one ad in the first place. Maybe I'll send a series of annoying pleading emails to the google team and see what happens.
posted by emyd at 3:20 PM on March 22, 2008

IMO the best adblocker is Ad Muncher. Works with everything, incl FF (ptui!) and IE. And feedreaders and anything else that connects to the net.
posted by tra at 9:10 AM on March 23, 2008

Yes, there is a pay-per-click model. And yes, the ad budget will be depleted when you click. And yes, if you click on an ad, you indicate to google that the keyword is relevant, and then more ads can be served for the fixed budget of X dollars.

We all agree on the mechanics, but we need to know the cost of the keyword "evolution" to determine the best strategy.

I've only seen costs increase for inappropriate keywords - that is - a discentive. So, I might be able to get the cost for each click for "evolution" to be 50 cents, but if I don't get enough clicks the price goes up to $2. Does Google have a minimum click price?

Also, if you personally don't want to see the ads, and don't care about other people seeing them, then I would imagine that the advertiser doesn't want to pay $1 for each time you click on the damn thing. It would be in their interest to NOT display the ad to you again. Maybe someone can speak to how advertisers can specify this.
posted by kamelhoecker at 9:47 PM on March 23, 2008

the ad budget will be depleted when you click.
no, it won't. ad budgets aren't zero-sum entities. you indicate that it's working and the buyer will simply allocate a larger share of the profits they're making towards these kind of ads. also note that an ad budget rarely is static. any decent marketer adjusts all the time.
posted by krautland at 6:18 PM on March 24, 2008

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