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September 15, 2006

Remove Google's Top Ads

Here's a cool Google experiment found via Search Engine Roundtable. You know the ads that appear on top of the search results for competitive queries? Well, Google decided that they should remove them if users don't click on the ads.

So here's what you should do to move those ads in the right column: search for something that triggers the blue ads (for example loan) and refresh the page until they disappear. That's it.

"The rationale is that the user does not want to see the ads anyway and it lessens the chance of a poor prospect clicking on an ad. If you clear your cookies, the results will go back to normal."


  1. I was able to remove the ads for "loan" at the top of the page in 10 refreshes. But even after 30 refreshes I still see ads in the right column 'sponsored links' section.

    What is also interesting is that when I search for other things that typically produce the blue sponsored links at the top of the page, they are not showing. Maybe all of those refreshes 'taught' the system that I don't typically click on them.

    Great tip!

  2. Exactly! I mentioned you can remove only the top ads through this method.

    Google is really smart about that: for example, they don't show ads for non-commercial queries (like "history of banking systems").

  3. You can remove all of Google's ads from pages by using the CustomizeGoogle extension for Firefox. These are the list of features from the site:
    * Use Google Suggest (suggest words while you're typing)
    * Add links to competitors
    * Rewrite links to point straight to the images in Google Images
    * Removes image copying restrictions in Google Book Search
    * Secure Gmail and Google Calendar, switch to https NEW
    * Block Google Analytics cookies
    * Hide the Gmail spam counter NEW
    * Remove ads
    * Anonymize your Google userid
    * Add a result counter in search result
    * Filter spammy websites from search results
    * Add links to WayBack Machine (webpage history)
    * Remove click tracking
    * Add links from Google to your bookmark manager
    * Use a fixed font for Gmail mail bodies NEW

    link to site:

  4. Just an FYI, your are actually harming the advertisers when you do this. And I don't mean just because that you won't see their ads, but in a more severe way.

    Basically, google measures how "effective" each ad is, and when the stop getting the same amount of clicks, google lowers the ads score, and requires the advertisers to pay more to run it. Whether you care about that or not is up to you.

  5. Clearly he doesn't care -- if he cared, he'd be clicking their ads and buying their products. If he'd rather hide all their ads, he is wishing they wouldn't advertise at all.

  6. Worked on my computer but can't seem to get it to work on my iPhone. I have refreshed a bunch and no changes.