Though the home page for the Google search engine is clean and ad-free, once you begin a search, you'll likely be inundated with ads, many of which won't be what you want. Bypassing the ads is as simple as installing an add-on for your browser that will do the dirty work of blocking them from your view.
In fact, Google has it's own method of helping you avoid its most annoying ads after you've made it apparent that you aren't going to click on them.
- Skill level:
Go to the Firefox add-on main page.
Enter "Google ad" in the search box to search for an up-to-date Firefox add-on that will remove Google search ads. As of July 2010, "OptimizeGoogle" was the only add-on compatible with the most recent version Firefox.
Click the green "Add to Firefox" button next to the add-on you want. Click "Install" in the dialogue box that appears. Restart Firefox.
Customise the new add-on settings. Under "Tools" in the Firefox top toolbar, chose "OptimizeGoogle Options." Chose "Web" in the list on the left, and make sure the check box next to "Remove ads" is selected. Click "OK."
Download "Simple Adblock" for Internet Explorer. Go to the web page listed below, and follow the link in the upper right-hand corner to the CNET download page.
Click the "Download Now" button on the CNET page. Click "Run" when the dialogue box pops up. Click "Run" again or "Allow" if your firewall wants you to confirm the installation.
Click "Next" when the Setup Wizard starts, then "Install" and "Finish" when the wizard completes. Restart Internet Explorer.
Note the blue, sideways "E" symbol along the bottom of the browser in the centre. Click on symbol to disable "Simple Adblock" if desired.
Search for a commonly advertised word, such as "loan," in Google search.
Refresh the page that lists the results several times, usually about a dozen times, until the boxed ads above your search results no longer appear. Google will eventually move these ads to the side, reasoning that if you didn't click on the ads the first several times, you won't from then on.
Note that if you clear your web browser cookies, you'll also reset the ad search settings Google has set for you and, thus, you'll see the ads again.
Tips and warnings
- If you are using a pop-up blocker with your browser--with either Firefox or Internet Explorer--you'll have to allow the pop-up to start the download or turn the pop-up blocker off temporarily.
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