Opera users who run any recent version of the web browser -- Stable, Beta or Developer -- and either the native ad blocker or a browser extension that blocks advertisement, may have noticed that ads are no longer blocked by either solution on search results pages.
Opera users with content blockers enabled may notice that advertisement is displayed as if no content blocker was enabled in the browser on search results page.
Opera made no mention of the change in recent Opera changelogs. Developers find information about it on Opera's Dev website:
Opera implements an additional privacy protection mechanism. By default, extensions are not allowed to access and manipulate search results provided by most built-in engines.
Privacy is certainly affected by the change and while the feature may improve privacy under certain circumstances, it reduces privacy at the same time for users with content blockers.
Opera users who use content blockers need to allow extensions to access search results.
Load opera://extensions in the browser's address bar to get started. Opera displays all installed extensions and some preferences for each, e.g. to allow them to run in private mode or access all websites.
Find "Allow access to search page results" and check the box. The extension is allowed to interact with search page results once you make the change.
Opera's Native Ad Blocker works a bit different in this regard. Activate the options link on the opera://extensions page or load opera://settings/adBlocker directly.
Select the "Manage exceptions" link and remove any site listed there so that the ad blocker may block advertisement on these sites. You find sites like Google or Facebook on the list, and need to click on the menu icon and select remove from the menu that opens.
The change is active only in Opera; it is not part of Chromium, Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi, or other Chrome-based browsers.
Opera Software faces a challenge that is very similar to that of Mozilla: the balancing act between improving user privacy on the Internet and being dependent on deals with search engine operating companies such as Google.
Google and other search engine operators pay Mozilla, Opera and other browser companies for the integration of search engines in those browsers, and especially for the privilege of selection of the default search engine
Companies earn money from these deals when users use these search engines and view or interact with ads, and other monetized content or other activity.
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