Any advanced Internetter knows that the best way to enjoy the pure Internet is to get an ad blocker. It zaps away all the excess and gives you the meaty good stuff. However, it looks like companies are figuring ways to circumvent ad blockers... by paying them off. Google is reportedly paying one of the most popular ad blockers, AdBlock Plus, to not block Google's ads.
Basically, Google is getting Google ads whitelisted from the ad blocking service. It's unclear how much Google is paying AdBlock Plus and what other companies are doing the same but AdBlock Plus has always (since 2011, at least) maintained a whitelist to allow ads that are nonintrusive to exist on the Internet. AdBlock Plus describes the whitelist specifics:
Whitelisting is free for all small websites and blogs. However, managing this list requires significant effort on our side and this task cannot be completely taken over by volunteers as it happens with common filter lists. That’s why we are being paid by some larger properties that serve nonintrusive advertisements that want to participate in the Acceptable Ads initiative.
Update: A person who works with AdBlock Plus wanted to clarify how AdBlock Plus' whitelisting works:
1) Only non-intrusive ads that meet "Acceptable Ads" guidelines (as decided by public forum) can be unblocked; there is no way to 'buy' a whitelisting. The public community has the final decision.
2) Acceptable Ad guidelines are also defined by the community (and not by Adblock Plus) as non-intrusive, text-only ads. Anything else — e.g. video ads, pop-ups, banners, animated ads and others — continue to be blocked.
3) Even the whitelisted ads can still be blocked; users can switch off the Acceptable Ads filter with one click in their Options menu.