WOW! Very informative, Peter. TFS. I don't ever click on advertisements. Also I use Sandboxie when on the internet. It keeps all computer activities isolated in a virtual sandbox and the operating system/programs remain unchanged.
For the Mac, I simply use DuckDuckGo (which won't work on Safari once this forum software performs it's magic). It doesn't have any ads nor do they collect my data (at least that's what they claim).
OTOH, Safari doesn't seem to like the way this forum rebuilds links. If a link looks really interesting, I have to copy the main url (usually up to just before the first "/?") to get anything but a blank page. In other words: the link PeterJ supplied "blog.malwarebytes.com/pups/202 ... ustry-shady-advertisers/?utm_sour ... tent=ryuk-ransomware" is shortened/simplified to "blog.malwarebytes.com/pups/2020/01/billion-dollar-search-engine-industry-shady-advertisers"
Perhaps I have some setting in my Forum/Profile causing that? Idunno... Well, I noticed that I had not checked the "Over 13" box, passed that several decades ago! Perhaps the forum software has been 'protecting' me from accidentally visiting possibly "adult" sites?! oh wel...
Yeah it is all about adds. So basically they are earning from dumb people who mistakenly clicks on adds. Isnt that funny?. It is like if everyone gets smarter and knows how to download without clicking any adds by mistake, they would not be able to make any money.