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Google said to be planning ad-blocking filter for Chrome browser

20 April 2017
Google said to be planning ad-blocking filter for Chrome browser

By integrating their own ad blocker into their browser, they can work with sites to maintain the quality of ads deemed appropriate by the standardized guidelines, and edge out the competition (like AdBlock) that they pay in order to pass through AdBlock's filters.

The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web. Today Chrome covers over 50 percent of the browsing market, according to Net Market Share, and Google would kill its income if it started blocking Google ads. If they do end up introducing it though an announcement for the feature could be just a few weeks away, albeit without a time frame given for an actual launch.

The move, according to the source of today's report, is a defensive one on Google's part.

The ads that offer the bad experience will be defined by the Coalition for Better Ads which released a list of best practices and standards in March 2017. That includes pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, and prestitial ads with countdown timers. Adsense ads would presumably remain, thus continuing the revenue stream for Google.

If Google were to go with a single-ad-blocking feature rather than something that blocks all the ads on a website, it could prove to be a successful compromise between all-ads and no-ads.

What isn't clear is whether Google's tipped ad-blocker will block only the offending advertisements or if it will block all the ads on a website that is found to have sub-standard advertisements. However, Google has a vested interest in ensuring web users don't turn to third-party ad-blocking tools that Google does not control and, in some cases, that charge users website owners money to bypass ad-blocking filters. Already browsers like Opera come with an ad blocker pre-installed.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.