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

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
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-0360
Published: 2014-04-23
Memory leak in Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY, when IKEv2 debugging is enabled, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via crafted packets, aka Bug ID CSCtn22376.

CVE-2012-1317
Published: 2014-04-23
The multicast implementation in Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (Route Processor crash) by sending packets at a high rate, aka Bug ID CSCts37717.

CVE-2012-1366
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY on ASR 1000 devices, when Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) tracking is enabled for IPv6, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via crafted MLD packets, aka Bug ID CSCtz28544.

CVE-2012-3062
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY, when Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) snooping is enabled, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption or device crash) via MLD packets on a network that contains many IPv6 hosts, aka Bug ID CSCtr88193.

CVE-2012-3918
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.3(1)T on Cisco 2900 devices, when a VWIC2-2MFT-T1/E1 card is configured for TDM/HDLC mode, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (serial-interface outage) via certain Frame Relay traffic, aka Bug ID CSCub13317.

Best of the Web