Don’t expect this slight oversight from Google’s part to remain for a long time, but there is a simple way to watch YouTube videos without any ads and without needing to use ad blockers. It was spotted by an eagle-eyed Reddit user, and he was gracious enough to share with the internet community.
It is as easy as adding an extra period after the dot com in the YouTube link you want to view. It will remove all pre-roll ads, as well as those most irritating mid-roll ads that interrupt the video you’re trying to watch. Of course, you could argue that taking five seconds to skip the ad isn’t that disruptive, but it could be especially useful when watching longer videos.
The Reddit user unicorn4sale explains in his post why something so simple would be able to trick the Google advertisement machine:
“It’s a commonly forgotten edge case, websites forget to normalize the hostname, the content is still served, but there’s no hostname match on the browser so no cookies and broken CORS – and lots of bigger sites use a different domain to serve ads/media with a whitelist that doesn’t contain the extra dot.”
There is another consideration here, especially for regular YouTube users. The adverts that get served up to viewers sustain and support your favourite creators on the platform. Blocking ads can mean that they don’t get rewarded for the free, entertaining content that you consume on a daily basis.
YouTubers have continually reported difficulties with the YouTube algorithms not displaying their content to subscribers, videos being supressed for being (wrongly) flagged as inappropriate, among other issues. They have also changed their minimum criteria for smaller channels to start earning revenue from their videos. You can always support your favourite subscribers by buying merchandise, become a channel member, or by donations, but ads remain very important for them to sustain their channels.