I was just posting a comment on Scoble’s Blog about advertising and I mentioned that I don’t even see Google Adsense advertisements. That gave me an idea to share what I do. I don’t know if everyone knows this but what the heck you might be interested.
I use Firefox, the new shiny 2 actually. There is an extension, or I should say “add-ons”; as they have changed the name now (not sure why, anyone know?) called Adblock which I have installed. You can customise which advertisements you do not want to see by filtering elements at the source address, or just right click and select block. You can also view all the blockable elements on a page or white list a whole page. Plus a lot of other options and features.
So to block Google Adsense ads on any site you visit put this in your filter set under options:
The “*” is a wild card that blocks the domain regardless of sub domain addresses (I think I got that right!). That is all you have to do, no more Google Ads – woot! (although I do know of someone that likes Google ads, personal choice I guess)
There is one other alternative and it too is a Firefox Extension called Adblock Plus. I have never used it so I can not comment on how good it is but it does appear on the top Extension for Firefox so that speaks volumes.
You could also choose to install Adblock Filterset.G Updater which blocks most ads on the Internet. Adblock Filterset.G Updater is a companion to both Adblock and Adblock Plus and should be used with either. This extension automatically downloads updates every four to seven days. This is a “nuke all” approach and may be what you are looking for.
You are probably wondering why I block certain ads and not others. Well the simple answer is that I block the ones that annoy me, Google Adsense ads annoy me, a lot. Especially the sites that go overboard and have half a page of them. The rest that don’t annoy me as much I leave as they are.
The reason I do this is that I feel that ads are sometimes a part of a sites experience and feel. Sure you can go the totally sterile approach if you wish, but if an ad is unobtrusive and doesn’t cause nasty things to happen then that is fine with me. Another good reason to block ads and banners is that they save you bandwidth and speed up your surfing experience. Especially if your connection is a bit on the slower side. The other reason that I leave a lot is because of the podcast. It is sometimes good to know who has what ads on their site so you can spot those “cash for comment” posts or maybe a bias report or something like that. I also like knowing what is going on rather than leaving it up to a filter set, I am a control freak.
I know this post has been about Firefox’s ability to install great add-ons to the browser and that is because if you use Internet Explorer you are buggered and have to look at ads if you want to or not. Choice is great, do yourself a favour and choose Firefox.