Google promises to do more against harmful ad experiences

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 6, 2018
Google Chrome

Google integrated protective features into the company's Chrome web browser last year to deal with abusive experiences on the Internet.

The company defined abusive experiences as misleading and published a list of conditions that it considered abusive at the time.

Google monitored the effectiveness of the implementation in Chrome and revealed yesterday that Chrome caught only half of the abusive experiences with the implemented set of protections.

These ads trick users into clicking on them by pretending to be system warnings or “close” buttons that do not actually close the ad. Further, some of these abusive ad experiences are used by scammers and phishing schemes to steal personal information.

Abusive content on a site might lead to unexpected results; a click on a "watch video" link should not result in the automatic download of an APK file for Android or the download of another file, and clicking on a close button should not spawn new popup ads on the screen.

Google implemented changes to Chrome's protection again these types of content. Chrome 71, which will be released in December 2018, will block all advertisement on a "small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences" according to Google.

The feature is powered by Chrome's ad-blocking component which Google integrated into the browser earlier this year. Sites with known abusive behavior will have all ads blocked in the Chrome browser automatically.

Google updated the list of abusive experiences recently. The following experiences are considered abusive by Google at the time of writing:

  • Fake messages.
  • Unexpected click areas.
  • Misleading site behavior.
  • Phishing.
  • Auto redirects.
  • Mouse pointer elements.
  • Malware or unwanted software.

Webmasters find information about abusive site experiences on their sites in the Google Search Console. The Abusive Experiences Report highlights if Google detected abusive experiences on the site.

Google gives site owners 30 days to fix the issues before the entire site is flagged and advertisement is blocked in the Chrome browser.

chrome ads abusive block

Chrome users may disable the browser's ad-blocking component by adding sites to the list of allowed sites or by allowing ads.

  1. Load chrome://settings/content/ads in the browser's address bar.
  2. Add sites that you want to allow ads to be displayed on under allow, or
  3. Allow ads globally.

Closing Words

Google uses the dominance of Chrome to eliminate certain unwanted experiences on the Internet. Users may still add sites to the allow list, which could be useful if a site is flagged erroneously.

It remains to be seen, however, if Google will deal with abusive advertisement from its own network in the same manner.

Now You: Have you experienced abusive advertisement or other content in the past?

Google promises to do more against harmful ad experiences
Article Name
Google promises to do more against harmful ad experiences
Google revealed yesterday that Chrome caught only half of the abusive experiences with the implemented set of protections.
Ghacks Technology News

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. ULBoom said on November 7, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Another distraction from Google; they’ve revealed today’s weakness and have vowed to make the perpetrators very unhappy.

    They do this every few weeks, so what? Picking off stuff that doesn’t have any effect on them while implying it’s good for users is nonsense. True Google Believers will certainly find comfort in yet another hole being plugged by Boss Google.

    Ever see a tech leader dressed like a gangster? No? Maybe gangsters don’t dress in expensive suits anymore. Benign facades are a time honored business technique. Google would be stupid to give up a money maker especially when it’s so easy for them to be underhanded.

    This stuff has to come out of some conference room holding a team tasked with compiling Google’s Hushpuppy List. They could release one of these bland “discoveries” every few days for the next ten years without putting a dent in the big list while continuing to scrape everyone’s data at existing levels.

  2. Me said on November 6, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Today I noticed high CPU usage of around 50-60% and the culprit was nothing but Chrome Cleanup Tool process. At first I got angry since it was started automatically ad without my consent after launching Google Chrome (v70). I wanted to end/terminate it immediately but I decided to let it finish its scan. It was a shock to me that Chrome Cleanup Tool (powered by ESET) found a malware (suspicious file) called mgrjz.sys in ‘system32\drivers’.
    It was quite a shock because I have complete (well, I believed) control on my system including Comodo Internet Security v11 installed and this file (digitally signed by pillactechnology) is also considered malware by Comodo (
    I scanned ‘drivers’ folder with Comodo Internet Security and it labeled ‘mgrjz.sys’ as malware and cleaned it (that had a Date modified of 29.06.2018).
    What is surprising is that how this malware entered my system in the first place and why CIS didn’t found it before a manual scan, and how Chrome decided to do a security scan (all of a sudden). CIS and Chrome have been installed (and kept updated) on my Win 7 system since several years before 29.06.2018 and I use Chrome every day. So why it decided to do a scan today? I remember I used Chrome Cleanup Tool about 1-2 month ago after reading an article about this new? tool (just to test it not as a serious malware scanning tool), and it found my system clean.
    Now not only I’m puzzled and surprised, I also appreciate what Google has done with Chrome. Though installed and updated, I didn’t like Chrome and used it rarely until 6-7 month ago when I completely switched to Chrome due to high memory usage of Firefox (even Quantum) and the fact that it was impossible to have 20-30 tabs open and it wouldn’t crash and even cause the whole system freeze).

    1. user17843 said on November 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      Google is excellent on many levels, especially when it comes to security. All of this for the price of privacy, unfortunately, although their privacy policies itself are not that bad – they certainly have very straightforward policies.

      Practically speaking, the danger from security problems (for example from a lack of Safe Browsing protection, etc.) for most people are higher than the dangers from privacy problems.

      At least when it comes to Windows systems.

  3. ****** said on November 6, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    JS… Google is the BORG! (and in the near future China).

  4. John Fenderson said on November 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    I can’t take Google seriously on the topic of acceptable advertising until they consider user tracking unacceptable.

    1. user17843 said on November 6, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      It’s a miracle they do something, because their own interest is in doing nothing.

      Both their extension store and the ad networks makes it easy for phishers to prey on users. Looks like they will change that during the next years, very slowly.

      I don’t think user tracking is unacceptable per-se. Because the ad-networks don’t track users, but only session IDs. It’s not Personally Identifiable Information according to the law.

      1. Tom Hawack said on November 6, 2018 at 11:54 pm

        @user17843 wrote,

        “It’s a miracle they do something, because their own interest is in doing nothing.”

        No miracle, though miracle would be the word when it comes to Google being concerned by users’ privacy.

        It’s not a miracle because it’s the company’s very interest to intervene in the increasing anti-advertisement reactions by focusing on competing advertisement and its lousy practices to better set its own. Just like the Marshall plan after World War II which incidentally obliged European companies to but American goods for decades : virtue can be a fantastic adventure in terms of ROI.

        I think we all have to be aware of one thing : there is no ethics in business; there could be but there isn’t, at this time anyway. This means that anything and everything which is initialized by a business company, because it aims profit, will always be at their advantage in proportion of consumers’/users’ efforts to balance the deal. We are the product, right? Nothing is free but our privacy’s price is deliberately under estimated.

      2. user17843 said on November 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm

        @John Fenderson, @Tom Hawack

        Good points. I agree with both of you.

        I has become obvious that the Google leadership has a contempt of privacy, so we can’t trust them. Even when they stop making money with tracking ads, I wouldn’t start to trust them, since they have made it quite clear that they want to use the lack of privacy to change society.

        If I use Google search and other stuff for years without registering with my name, Google would not be able to give anyone, including me, any data about me, if someone called them and asked for data. That’s especially relevant now with the GDPR in Europe, and as a result they have started to ask more aggressively for me (1) logging in and (2) agreeing to some form of consent.

        But I think tracking, even without direct PII, like any invasive technology is a danger to society tue to the perceived dangers, as people change their behavior unconsciously.

        In that way, the web needs to become a place where corporations are transparent and users are opaque by default.

      3. noemata said on November 7, 2018 at 9:48 am

        @tom h.: yes, but “business” is just a construct. business is not something that “exists”. people exist: “there is no ethics in people. there could be but there isn’t, at this time anyway”.

        it’s all about greed, power, egomania, et cetera. exceptions (in this sector) & as an example – the steadfastness of gorhill :

        from the beginning to the end. that is an unmistakable, idealistic, logically in itself closed applied philosophy, open for everybody. a future model – specifically for “people” (and their “technology”).

        how would it be to coordinate the backward social – development of humans with their technical – developments? then we can continue.

      4. Tom Hawack said on November 7, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        @noemata, we all have our hypothesis, ideas, beliefs and even convictions sometimes, generally defined as “our philosophy” which is a counter-sens : “my” philosophy is not a philosophical way of thinking when philosophy’s very aim is to question the world rather than to bring answers, in a certain may to narrow a question by trying to find a “parent” question above it and therefor to climb towards the dimension of principles.

        From there on I have nothing to oppose to to your approach which is to consider that, given business is not independent of human nature but it’s very expression, consequently what is to be considered is human nature. I’d propose more widely that human nature is complex, able of the best as of the worst, and that business may not be what calls the best of us. But business, in the sens of trade, exchange is also deeply tied to human nature : any form of relationship includes at one time or another a trade, a deal. We do evoke “fair deals” which would mean that an exchange of goods or services may be conceived as possibly fair. In business we evoke ethics as we do within any form of relationship and it’s even become a value, as quality, as price, but unfortunately more in the rhetoric than in the facts : human beings, besides being able of the best as of the worst, are also intelligent, in the sens of wise or in that of smart, and may serve themselves with virtue but to accomplish far less virtuous aims, not serving virtue but serving themselves with, in the same way terrorism with a god and/or prophets they claim to serve when in fact they serve themselves.

        Again, and this is my belief and in no way a demonstration nor even an attempt to persuade, I remain convinced that an ounce of goodness is worth far more than a ton of badness, and far more difficult to achieve for those who feel concerned by challenges. And goodness exists.

      5. noemata said on November 7, 2018 at 8:34 pm

        @tom h. : don’t misunderstand the remarks about the model of gorhill. that was only one example. and one possibility of many possibilities. i was not interested in an axiomatic approach, only a systemic one. in this case, it’s just this described system. a future model. _but not because of the system itself_.

        this system _based_ on something else, resp. – obviously and in every respect – on something more important than this eye-catching “system”: it’s beauty. simplicity. passion. no necessity for greed .. ..

        human _as_ technical; mathematical _as_ intended. on such a foundation, there are all sorts of possibilities and possible systems.

        imho (and sorry that i exclusively focus on your important expression “human nature” in the following) :

        human nature is anything but complex. it is simple. the only problem is that we believe our nature is complex. that’s why we can be manipulated and also manipulate. with all the consequences that follow.

        we appear like universal turing machines that don’t “understand” what they’re doing. at least most of the time. and there’s also an additional neural process that just pretends to “understand” when we think we’ve understood something. but in contrast to an utm, humans have the potential to go beyond non-understanding.

        and then beauty, simplicity and much more is self-evidently.

        kurt gödel for example, saw/had/was that “self-evidently(-understanding)”. _sometimes_. like we all (most people just don’t notice it or confuse it with something else and many people just don’t realize it at all). especially when he was delivering his metamatematical work. but he went crazy. possibly because of the unbelievable big difference between these “two worlds” (that seemed to him like this). he longed for a purely platonistic existence and despaired of the impossibility of such “purity”.

        actual understanding” (and not “zombie-like-syntactic-chewing-again” in connection with the neuronally generated illusion “to understand”), could help us out. maybe. but “to understand” implies compassion. and patience. and work.

        “work” that the logician george spencer brown summed up and which gödel didn’t recognize because he was too much of a mathematician : “nothing can be known by being told”.

        but there’s no room for that here again.

        i can only repeat this: how would it be to coordinate the backward social – development of humans with their technical – developments? then we can continue (add: otherwise we’ll wipe ourselves out).

        ps: i exchange your expression “goodness” for the expression “compassion”. “based” compassion implies _the self-evident absence of the necessity_ of “exists” or “does not exist”. the other, dumbe compassion without “base”you could call “mother-theresa compassion” (whose actual intentions were completely contrary to (based) compassion – this then also affects the actions and the effects of these actions were grotto-hideous).

        you can package that as a metaphor and generalize it. there’s a reason why our world is mainly a terrible place.

        but there’s still hope. and possibilities. i’m betting on it. we’re gonna grow up. we just need to figure out how. about this “how” : spencer browns expression applies. so religions and philosophies and sects and political systems .. .. .. have no chance. they had their chance.

      6. John Fenderson said on November 6, 2018 at 11:24 pm


        “Because the ad-networks don’t track users, but only session IDs.”

        Ad networks track users. Session IDs are one mechanism they use to do that.

        “It’s not Personally Identifiable Information according to the law.”

        The law’s definition (in the US, anyway) of what constitutes “personally identifiable information” is so restrictive that it’s largely worthless. The legal definition irrelevant outside of a court of law.

        You may not mind being spied on, but I do. I’m not saying that ad companies should be prevented from tracking in an absolute sense. I’m saying that they shouldn’t be tracking people who don’t consent to it or aren’t aware of it. I honestly can’t think of a single solid argument against that proposition.

      7. Anonymous said on November 7, 2018 at 5:08 am

        Tracking is important to advertising. It’s to build your profile for them to use it to send you targeted ads. I prefer to see ads I can relate to than ads I don’t care at all.

        Most people don’t mind being spied on. Nowadays even ISPs are tracking and injecting ads to the web pages. You can use VPN if you care more about privacy but you can’t be sure if those VPN will also sell your data or not.

      8. John Fenderson said on November 7, 2018 at 6:37 pm

        @Anonymous: “You can use VPN if you care more about privacy”

        I forgot to comment on this — using a VPN does nothing to protect you against this sort of tracking, regardless of how good that VPN is.

      9. John Fenderson said on November 7, 2018 at 5:19 pm


        “Tracking is important to advertising.”

        Yes, but that’s 100% not my problem, that’s the ad agencies problem. I don’t want to be tracked, and it’s immoral that they do so regardless of that.

        “Most people don’t mind being spied on”

        Also 100% irrelevant. Those of us who do mind being spied on should not be forced to be under surveillance against our wishes. Let tracking be opt-in for those who want it, and leave the rest of us alone.

      10. Anonymous said on November 7, 2018 at 11:43 am

        “I prefer to see ads I can relate to than ads I don’t care at all.

        Most people don’t mind being spied on.”

        Most people are not even aware how far they’re being spied on, and when they are, it’s still too abstract and invisible for them to realize the consequences and take action. And because nobody on TV told them seriously the disaster it is for their privacy, could it be that bad ?

        Now wouldn’t you mind for your privacy if instead of invisible software collecting data that would be a guy following you everywhere with a notepad and a cam, snooping over your shoulder all the time ?

        And would you give your real name and post publicly every data the tracking companies have access to about you, including the contents of all your emails ? Send them to your family, your friends, your employer, your colleagues, your worst enemies ? If not, maybe these data deserve some privacy after all ?

  5. John said on November 6, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Google makes most of its revenue from ads, so anything it does to curb annoying ads is marginal at best. I tolerate most ads and sites who clutter their site with in your face ads I mostly avoid. Those who absolutely dislike ads probably use a third party ad blocker.

    1. Tom Hawack said on November 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Better clean ads than dirty ones. Better clean filth than dirty, more acceptable.
      Clean filth? Hard to conceptualize.

  6. Yuliya said on November 6, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Ah, the days of 4shared, where you had three different download buttons, of three different colours, and none of them worked because they were ads, lol.
    I use Chromium, but I disabled that option, I don’t want Google to filter anything, be it ads, cryptomining, malware, etc.. This is a job for uB0 to do.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.