Just ran into this again today and realized it is even worse than I thought. I'm working on a new Dell computer - launched IE to test a website and see the Google Related ads at the bottom of my site. Here's why this is alarming :
1. This is a BRAND NEW COMPUTER - I have not installed anything! Google Toolbar was pre-installed!
2. I did not use search - I typed the url into the address bar
More people are seeing these ads than we initially thought. I'm livid and want to do something about it but no idea what....
Searched the web and found this code snippet - put it in my header and it seems to be working for now :
Last edited by weegillis; 02-29-2012 at 06:00 PM. Reason: merged for topic flow
That page has gstatic script embedded in its source code.
deepsand - I'm confused. The only reference to gstatic.com that I find in the page's code is the bit I added to block Google Related. Should I be looking for something else?
Hmm. I may have overreacted. I checked this on another brand new Dell and nothing came up. I checked IE and no Google toolbar was installed.
Just to see what happened, I went ahead and installed the Google toolbar on this new Dell, then tried again. Still nothing.
I looked through the google toolbar options and found Google Related under the privacy section - and it was not checked by default.
I'm still mad about this, but less panicked.
Oh, hell; now I'm confused.
It wasn't clear to me whether the script you presented was what you found for blocking Google Related content or what you found on the page in question, so I just viewed its source code and reported my finding.
If they are the same, then I'm guessing that the site owner/operator discovered that Google Related was displaying unwanted content, and added blocking script after your initial vist(s) there. I tried to confirm that by way of doing a Header check; but, his server isn't returning the Last-Modified parameter, so I'm not able to confirm a recent change.
LOL sorry for confusing you but thank you for trying to help. I AM the site's operator - I added that code after seeing the GR ads show up. The part that had me panicked was that I was using a brand new computer that had the Google toolbar pre-installed and I did NOT use search to arrive at the site. This made me fear that more people were seeing these ads than we had previously thought.
I'm still keeping a close eye on this situation. While searching for more info, I also found a number of attorneys looking to slap Google with a class action lawsuit. This could be interesting.
Good to know that I guessed right re. said script having been recently added.
Let's hope that Google does get taken down on this matter. The notion that one pays Google for a click from a PPC listing, only to have Google promptly attempt to entice the resulting visitor to bounce to another site is just plan Evil.