Google is accused of paying Adblock Plus to show Google ads


According to the German news website Horizont, Google struck a deal with Eyeo, the company behind the extremely popular Adblock Plus add-on for web browsers. It seems that Google, along with a few other unnamed companies, has been paying Eyeo to put their (the companies’) ads on the extension’s ‘Acceptable Ads’ whitelist, which ensures that pop-ups, banners, and display ads aren’t blocked by Adblock Plus. It is unknown how much Google allegedly paid Eyeo to whitelist its ads.

As pointed out by various websites, Eyeo’s FAQ page does say that it offers whitelisting opportunities to websites and companies as a part of its ‘Acceptable Ads’ initiative, which says that any unobtrusive ads should be allowed to stay viewable to website visitors as long as they aren’t too annoying or overbearing. Eyeo says that it accepts payments from large organizations (e.g. Google) to display their unobtrusive ads as a way to have money to pay its employees; some smaller websites and organizations are put on the list for free.

It hasn’t yet been confirmed if the allegations are true or not. But, as we pointed out back in 2011, the lack of openness by Eyeo in regards of who and what is on the ‘Acceptable Ads’ whitelist threatens to destroy the essence of Adblock Plus.

For those of you that are annoyed by the ‘Acceptable Ads’ whitelist of Adblock Plus, keep in mind you can manually disable the whitelist and thus block any and all ads. Read our how to disable ‘Acceptable Ads’ article to learn how.

Let us know in the comments how you feel about this.

[via The Verge, image via Droid Life]

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  1. Kapindaman


    How do you get 1.3.10 to work?. I disabled and removed version 2.2.4 for for Firefox and downloaded and installed 1.3.10 but it still says it’s 2.2.4. Do I have to uninstall Firefox then start again with a clean install of Firefox?

  2. Justa Comment

    [@Seamus McSeamus]

    Agreed. I will be paying better attention. I have no problem with text ads. However, as insurance against Flash ads, I also run Flashblock. (Animated GIFs are at least as bad as Flash.) The extra hassle of clicking on some Flash that I do want to see is worth it.

    We, the web browsing pubic, are in the same situation as Military Intelligence which is in a constant leap frog, back and forth, between opposing nations/sides/militaries. Country X develops a cryptographic capability, then country Y figures out how to break it. Then country X starts the process all over again.

    We, the web browsing/train traveling/airline flying, car driving, telly watching, radio listening public, are at odds with advertisers that are too pushy to try and get us to do their bidding. If the advertisers are well behaved I have no problem with them. But when they misbehave, there is no product they make that I would ever buy.

  3. Crimsonbat

    What the problem? You use Google search,its free.
    if they cannot sell ads there won’t be a google anymore, How do you expect them to pay their employees. You want something for nothing!!

  4. Donna

    If Adblock advises the user it allows some ad’s from paid advertisers then no foul. But to claim it’s a adblock for all with no list to opt in or out for some ads then it is going south just like AVG. Yep, I don’t know of anther good one either. I have not noticed any of Google’s ads but it may have just started so time will tell.

  5. Seamus McSeamus

    I don’t see any ads, unless I allow them on specific pages. No problem with them taking Google’s money, as long as people are made aware that they can still disable all ads.

  6. smaragdus

    That’s why I still use Adblock Plus 1.3.10, which does not show any ads, neither acceptable, nor non-acceptable. In fact there is no such thing as acceptable advertisement.

  7. Darcy

    I understand their philosophy, it is a free service after all and they deserve some payment for their work. That doesn’t mean I have to like it though. If they included some way for us to edit the whitelist ourselves I would find it a lot more acceptable. Does anyone know of a good alternative? I don’t.