Blocking in-line content rollover or keyword advertisements in Safari

Instructions for blocking rollover "keyword" ads in Safari with the aid of PithHelmet.


Numerous sites have implemented "keyword rollover" advertisements that are inline with content. Generally they appear as underlined or double-underlined text strings that are part of an article or other content, and trigger a bubble-shaped pop-up whenever the mouse scrolls over them.

Unfortunately, routines for blocking these advertisements -- which can interfere with the display of content and significantly slow page load times -- are not built-in to most browsers, as are routines for blocking traditional pop-up or pop-under ads. With the use of a shareware utility called PithHelmet, however, you can eliminate the display of these ads while leaving other advertisements and site features intact.

There are two challenges in the process. The first is that there is not a standard way for disabling these ads, which are distributed through Flash or JavaScript, other than turning off Flash or JavaScript completely; a poor solution. The other is that there are numerous propagators of keyword rollover ads. That is, there are a series of companies that offer the ad service to web publishers. Therefore, the method we will use for disabling the ads involves blocking content delivered from specific domain names associated with individual ad service companies.

  1. Quit Safari if it is open.
  2. Download and install PithHelmet, a US $10 shareware utility, which uses the SIMBL architecture to inject code into Safari.
  3. Open Safari and select "Preferences" from the "Safari" menu.
  4. Select the "PithHelmet" tab.
  5. Turn the Ad Blocking Level to "Block none" and Cookie Privacy Level to "Use Safari settings" so Safari's operation is similar to default.
  6. Press the "Show Rule Editor" button, which is where you can edit filtering rules for specific domains.
  7. Click the "New" button in the lower right-hand corner of the Rule Editor window. This will create a new rule.
  8. In the "Matching Pattern" field, enter the URL that is delivering the ads you would like to block. The best way to identify this URL is to locate and click on a keyword rollover ad you would like to block, then watch the URL field in Safari for the domain that is delivering the ad. For this example, we will use one of the more notorious delivery domains,
  9. After entering the domain you would like to block, click on the "Filter" tab.
  10. Turn all of the options: "Matching URL request action:," "Matching images and other inline content:" and "Matching links:" to "Block."
  11. Click the "Apply" button.
  12. Go to the page where keyword rollovers appeared and check for their persistence.


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