If you spend most of your time on the internet as I do, you’re going to run into some websites that use paid-for advertising to finance their upkeep. NAG Online does it, sites like MyGaming and LazyGamer do it as well and most active commercial websites in general have parts of their page saved for placing adverts. While a sizeable amount of these are not driven by Google Adverts, most of the web does rely on Google for their advertising services and Google Adwords service.
If you’re one of those people who wants to use Adblock Plus but not take away revenue from the websites you visit, Google is testing out a subscription service that would remove Google adverts for you. Its called Google Contributor and there’s a long waiting list of people already trying to hop on it.
How Contributor works is a bit like a Google-powered version of Patreon. You choose a monthly donation to make into the service and the sites participating in the scheme will still be directly funded by Google Contributor. In return, all Google Adverts for the site are blocked on the devices you access them with, as long as you remain signed in to your Google account.
In a similar vein to how Adblock Plus first worked, adverts are replaced not by pictures of adorable kittens, but rather a pixelated placeholder with a “Thank you” message by Google. The few sites currently participating in the trial are Urban Dictionary, The Onion, Science Daily, WikiHow, Mashable and Imgur.
This is an interesting idea and it’s one step closer to Google offering a subscription service to remove all advertising on your account for the services you access. That’s already possible in Gmail if you’re a Google Apps subscriber and in Youtube, if you’re a Google Music All Access user (adverts between and before music videos are removed).
This is also part of a growing trend with websites to offer subscription services to not only remove adverts for certain paying users, but to also offer more content and incentives for keeping up the monthly subscription. Some news sites offer access to a virtual newspaper while others like PC Perspective and Tech Report remove adverts and give their users discounts, special offers or the chance to interact with the writers directly.
Its an interesting shift in the way the web is financed and I hope that Google will continue to increase the scope of Contributor and give everyone the choice – free access to sites in return for advertising agencies getting access to your information, or paid-for access to sites without advertising. I’ll be watching this very carefully.
Would you pay for access to websites with no advertising? Do you use Adblock Plus? Do you use Adblock to get around those annoying adverts at the beginning of Youtube videos? Do you have issues with websites asking to be whitelisted before they show you their content? Let us know in the comments below.