Risk
7/3/2012
01:54 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Plans Button To Block Ads

Feature may put an end to ads that follow you across websites.

Google Nexus 7 Tablet: 10 Coolest Features
Google Nexus 7 Tablet: 10 Coolest Features
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google said Monday it will soon provide users with a capability that has been available for years through third-party browser extensions: the ability to block ads.

Google characterizes this forthcoming feature--available in a few weeks--as a "mute this ad" button rather than an ad-blocking button.

Google's choice of words is imprecise. Muting generally refers to audio made inaudible; it can be applied to the visual realm, but muted colors remain present in a less vibrant shade, unlike muted sounds or muted ads.

Google's mute button, designated by an "[x]" in the upper right-hand corner of some Google Display Network ads, will affect ad visibility rather than audibility. Perhaps Google opted for more figurative terminology to avoid spooking its advertising customers with talk of ad blocking, while still appealing to its end users and regulators.

Google product manager Michael Aiello in a blog post cites ways in which Google has given users more control over the ads they see, such as YouTube's TrueView ad product, which allows users to skip video ads, and Google's Ads Preferences Manager, which allows users to edit advertising interest categories or to opt out of online ads, including remarketing done through the Google Display Network.

[ Google is also trying to turn down the volume on its legal woes. Read Google Proposes Remedies To EU Antitrust Woes. ]

Remarketing refers to the way that advertisers target website visitors based on a cookie file placed at a previously visited website. Google plans to begin deploying its "mute this ad" button on ads delivered via remarketing and interest categories. This will give Internet users the opportunity to silence unwanted ads that follow them from website to website.

Aiello says that the mute button has some limitations. "The muting is not a 100% guarantee you won't see that ad again as a consumer--for example, the same ad could be shown by a different ad company, or the marketer could run a separate campaign targeting specific Web content," he explains. "But we believe it's an early step in the right direction of giving users control over ads, while helping marketers and websites deliver ads that perform better."

Author and ad company entrepreneur John Battelle in a blog post said he was glad to see Google innovating in advertising, even if belatedly. One person commenting on Battelle's post observed that the subtext of Google's announcement was, "Please don't use ad-blockers, because you can choose which ad we will show you."

Here's Aiello's translation of that sentiment: "Online advertising underpins the Web and supports millions of businesses," he said. "It's already unique in the level of control it can offer users."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-6090
Published: 2015-04-27
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the (1) DataMappingEditorCommands, (2) DatastoreEditorCommands, and (3) IEGEditorCommands servlets in IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 SP6 before EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.3 before 6.0.3.0 iFix8, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.5 iFix...

CVE-2014-6092
Published: 2015-04-27
IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 before SP6 EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.6, and 6.0.5 before 6.0.5.6 requires failed-login handling for web-service accounts to have the same lockout policy as for standard user accounts, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause...

CVE-2015-0113
Published: 2015-04-27
The Jazz help system in IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management 4.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Quality Manager 4.0 through 4.0.7 and 5.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Team Concert 4.0 through 4.0.7 and 5.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Requirements Composer 4.0 through 4.0.7, Rational DOORS Next Generation...

CVE-2015-0174
Published: 2015-04-27
The SNMP implementation in IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8.5 before 8.5.5.5 does not properly handle configuration data, which allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-0175
Published: 2015-04-27
IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8.5 Liberty Profile before 8.5.5.5 does not properly implement authData elements, which allows remote authenticated users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.