Ad blocking mobile apps and desktop browser plug-ins have never been more popular or more effective. And for good reason: no one wants to see ads on the internet. Remember back in like 1999 when you could use Google and it would only bring up the honest-to-gods most relevant results for your search, instead of stacking the deck with three “sponsored” matches before giving you the real goods? Or when you could search for something, maybe follow a few of the links provided, and go about your business without stalker-y ads for whatever it was you searched for appearing on every subsequent webpage you visited? Good times.
Now, unsurprisingly, Google, Master of the Internet™ and all-around tech giant, has officially come out against ad blockers. Did I mention that Google is almost entirely funded by money from ads?
Purely Coincidental, I’m Certain
At a tech expo/conference/what-the-hell-ever last month, Brad Bender, VP of Product Development for Google’s Display Network, said that ad blockers don’t offer enough control for users. To hear him tell it, ad blockers should provide exemptions for “good ads” so that users will seem them no matter what, while filtering out the “bad ads.” What he clearly missed is that, to the internet user who doesn’t want to see unwanted ads (read: every internet user), every ad is a bad ad.
Bender stated, “Ads are an important part of the ecosystem,” somehow not following up with “and I’m a massive tool who uses bull$#!t industry buzzwords like ‘ecosystem’ un-ironically.” Instead, he continued, “They’re funding most of the free content we consume—the blogs we visit, the media we use. I think the ad blocking phenomenon is driven by people having bad experiences with ads. Think of pop-up ads, for example.”
Yes, think of those things that Google essentially wiped from the face of the earth a decade or more ago when considering how weird and invasive of privacy it is that Google currently tracks your every move online solely to better line their own pockets. Those are the problem; that’s what people don’t want on their screens.
More user control is key, Bender said. “I’d love to see it so that good ads are able to get through, and we go after the bad players—especially fraud and malware.” Again: if you’re an internet user who doesn’t want to see ads at all, which is every internet user, no ad is a good ad. That’s why people install ad blockers in the first place.
Also, Google, you mothers should be going after fraud and malware all the time anyway. That’s your job. You made your bed as the keepers of How the Internet Shall Be, now sleep in that sucker.