Some advertisements are blended so well on a webpage that it is hard to be recognized as an advertisement with one quick look. This can be done by changing the font type, size, color, line spacing, and aligning the ads close enough to the text. In my personal experience, blending advertisements with text gets much higher click through rate (CTR) if compared to contrast, probably due to the background color not being black in color. Google allows Adsense blending but they don’t want you to confuse the user into thinking that the ads are content and tricking them into clicking on the ads.
Recently I have been seeing a lot of really annoying advertisements in file sharing websites that makes you think you need to click on them to start downloading the files. Most of us are already familiar with the steps to download files from file sharing sites which involves clicking on a button to choose to download as free user, enter CAPTCHA, and then wait for about 30 seconds to a minute for the download link to get generated. As for the current trend, when you land on the webpage to download a file from the file sharing website, you are presented with multiple download buttons where most of it dominates the top of the page that normal users would most likely click on the fake download button. An inexperienced computer user may end up downloading something else because they were tricked into clicking on the wrong button.
Here are some tips on how to avoid clicking the wrong or fake download buttons and also how to manually recognize them from your web browser.
The easiest way to stop all those fake download buttons that are advertisement from being displayed on your web browser is to use an advertisement blocker program such as AdFender, Adblock Plus, NoScript. I’ve installed Adblock Plus in Firefox, revisited the file sharing sites and the fake download buttons are all gone while only the real download buttons are being displayed.
Another way is to use jDownloader, an excellent download management tool that is able to automatically download files from file sharing sites as free or premium user. If you are downloading as a free user, you will be presented with a small window for manual CAPTCHA input.
Finally, if you prefer to keep your computer as clean as possible by not installing any extension or software, it is possible to identify the fake buttons as advertisements by right clicking on buttons or links and check the context menu. If you see either “About Adobe Flash Player” or “Save Image As” in the list, then very likely they are fake download buttons.