Google ads are like the “Texts from Last Night” of the internet, a grim reminder of the weird things you once searched for on the world wide web. My ads have been populated with everything from gym Groupons to dating websites to ski suits (I was gonna go, I promise) and it’s always jarring to feel like the internet is stalking me. I mean, just look at what happened to Sandra Bullock.
But now, you can have a look at what it would be like not to have to deal with them with Google Contributor, a low fee ad-blocking service made by Google that allocates your monthly membership fee ($2 and up) between various websites of your choosing, whose content will in turn appear in the boxes on webpages usually reserved for Google ads! Best part? There’s now a free trial. It’s a way of giving money to sites you want to support without constantly seeing ads for anti fungal cream after that one time you Googled “kombucha.”
Here’s how it works (after the free trial): you’ll pay a minimum of $7/month to see your preferred content start to replace the ads. You can increase or decrease the monthly fee depending on how you like it after the first month. The more you pay, the fewer ads you see. And you don’t just have to fill the ads with other websites, either: as Google’s Matt Cutts explains, you can enter a custom URL for an image file. Google is still getting money here: your money actually bids on your behalf in ad auctions. So you end up buying the ad you want to see yourself rather than someone else. Which means you can have cat GIFs or album covers or daily affirmations in there. Whatever your browsing heart desires. It’s better than ad blockers because THE INTERNET COSTS MONEY TO MAKE, GUYS.
There’s a handy FAQ page that breaks it down a little more, like how the scale of your payment will affect the ads you see. But you’re not going to worry about that right now, because you don’t have to pay for it for 30 days! Mainly, you can just feel karmically absolved knowing that instead dealing with the ad companies who pay Google to target you, you’re directly supporting the websites that write your news and feed you delicious time-wasting content 24/7.
(Website owners, in some cases you’ll need to switch over your ad space to allow Contributor to function, so check out the FAQ dropdown for publishers.)
Contributor is supported on “millions of sites that show Google ads,” but it doesn’t work on mobile sites yet. So sign up for the trial, say goodbye to the drunken Amazon searches you’re still trying to block out, and let the GIFs begin.