Is it possible to block ads while still supporting website owners?

I’ve never had much of a problem with advertisements on the Web. Farming my personal information to better target those ads is bad, but the ads themselves are what ensure that I can surf the Web to my heart’s content without paying a dime. Still, ads can be pretty annoying, and while it’s easy to block them, doing so means you’re hurting the website owners who need the ad revenue to keep the website running. So is there anyway to have the best of both worlds, have a nice ad-free web-browsing experience while still supporting website owners? Well, if Google has it’s way, a small subscription fee could help you do just that.

Google has today started sending out a new round of invites for the “Contributor by Google” program it announced in November of last year. The service, which removes AdSense ads from your daily browsing for the price of a $2-10 monthly subscription, also saw some notable changes from when it was first shown to the world. Google has now detailed new tiers which will be available to those who have been invited to try out the expanded program. The premise is simple. You select a monthly contribution level—somewhere between $2 and $10—and you go about your browsing as you normally would. Depending on how much you contribute, you’ll see a certain percentage of fewer ads. Google says the $2 tier will get you 5-15% fewer ads, while the $5 and $10 tiers will remove upwards of 15-25% and 25-50%, respectively. These are new prices, but I don’t think they should be seen as an unprecedented hike. The new tiers are likely to account for the fact that many more publishers have come on board (millions, according to Google) and more ads are now able to be removed via the program. The pricing was previously advertised as being between $1 and $3, but there weren’t nearly as many sites participating, and therefore that $3 contribution didn’t really make much difference.

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