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Are pop-up ads allowed on Google?

Google does not allow pop-up ads of any kind on our site. We find them annoying. So why do they occasionally appear when you search on Google? Here are a few possible explanations:

  1. You may have encountered a squatter with an address similar to Google's. Occasionally, individuals will register domain names that are one letter off from a well-known URL in hopes of attracting those who make mistakes in their typing. Please be sure to enter into your browser and the pop-ups may go away. Or, if you are running Windows, just add the free Google Toolbar to your browser by visiting

  2. Another possibility is that you visited a site while surfing, and that site launched pop-up windows in the background. These ads are known in the advertising industry as "pop-unders." Other web pages trigger pop-ups when a user leaves that site. When you came to Google, the windows may have become visible. Again, we do not condone this practice and do not allow it on Google.

  3. If you have installed some free programs, especially music-sharing programs such as BearShare or AudioGalaxy, you may have installed other programs as well. These tiny "time bombs" can show pop-ups at random intervals or based on anything you type on a web page. A brief description of these programs can be found in these articles: and,1282,49960,00.html.

    If you are experiencing pop-ups generated by one of these malicious programs, you may want to remove the pop-up program from your computer. One program that attempts to detect and to uninstall pop-up programs is available at We have no relationship with the individuals who created this software and cannot vouch for it ourselves.

    If you feel you were deceived when you installed a program that creates pop-ups, you may want to take action. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: and click on "File a Complaint Online", call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

    Federal Trade Commission
    Washington, D.C. 20580

    If your complaint is against a company in another country, please file it at

We wish you luck in your quest to quell pop-ups. If you'd like more information on the advertising we do accept on Google, you'll find it by visiting this page: If you have other questions, you may find the answers on our frequently asked questions page.

If you follow all these suggestions and still have a "pop-up problem" on Google, feel free to write to us. It will help us if you can right-click on the pop-up window and select "Properties" from the drop down menu. If you write us, include the url address that you see, so we can investigate the source of the pop-ups.