A mere hour ago I discovered a new site – or new for me, at least – Stop Targeted Opera RADs. I was directed to this site, or more specifically this page, when I tried to visit Environmental Chemistry, because I used Opera. Apparently, the owners of the site really doesn’t like targeted Google ads. (From when I hear, they don’t like Adblock in Firefox either…)
Since I heard they blocked access for Firefox users with Adblock, I first assumed they were just scared of competing ads. The first thing I read on the “banning” page shows this, too: Site owners being afraid of visitors seeing ads for their competitors, and that they can’t prevent it as it’s outside of their website and control. They may call it unacceptable misuse of their content, but – is it?
There are other services that does what these site owners are afraid of much better than the Google ads in Opera: There are sites that gather information from many competing sites, compare the products and prices, and give users many alternatives, without even showing ads from any of the sites in question. Scary thought, eh? Especially for those who are afraid of users comparing them with competitors…
I also thought a bit further. When visiting the sites with the Google ad banner in place, Google read the pages to see the content and serve related ads (unless it belongs to the exceptions defined in Opera). If the page isn’t in Google’s index, Google want to add it. Therein lies another problem: What if the site doesn’t want the pages indexed?
I must admit I can’t understand why someone don’t want publicly available pages that they want people to visit not to be indexed by Google. That however isn’t something I should speculate over, and it’s not really a point touched upon. It should be interesting enough to read what is written on the site I was redirected to, right? And the menu contains hints that I can find some answers and useful information there.
Someones brain must have been short-circuited. I was sent to the site because I use Opera, right? But – as an Opera user I’m prevented from seeing other pages than the one I was redirected to. Why? Afraid of showing Opera users the arguments? (The ones I read on the single page didn’t convince me of their view.)
All in all, all of this leave me with one impression: It’s better to ban Opera users and have them definitely visit competitors, then to allow them in and risk that they may be tempted by a competitors ad that may be shown in their browser.
If they’re afraid of being compared to their competitors – maybe their products aren’t worth the asking price in the first place anyway?
Who knows? Not Opera users…