Google will start blocking ads in Chrome starting in 2018

Justin Sullivan  Getty
Justin Sullivan Getty
Author

09 June, 2017

Ben Williams, operations manager at AdBlock Plus, said the move showed the "seismic impact that consumer tools like ad blockers have had on the billion dollar ad industry".

Ads are critical to any site.

By blocking just the most annoying ads, Google hopes it can improve browsing experience and protect its business model. Chrome already blocks pop-ups, which are frequently used for advertising. For one, it will push advertisers and publishers alike to ensure ads are unobtrusive.

However, it's good news for publishers, especially those who are running Google ad units.

Courageous and plugins like Ghostery block ad trackers that can invade privacy.

Google Chrome in 2018 will follow the Coalition for Better Ads' standards by blocking several types of intrusive ads. As a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, Google is committing to improving the delivery and presentation of ads, something we can all agree is sorely needed.

The appeal of such a feature for users and publishers is obvious.

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As online advertisement has become the primary source of income for many companies, the new tool is alerting publishers to be ready for this change. Publishers can fix the detected issues and resubmit their sites for review within that time frame to avoid having their ads blocked on Chrome. Users pay using a new digital wallet, Google Contributor, which charges a micropayment for each ad-free visit and passes on revenue to publishers, but also gives Google a cut. This is why Sridhar Ramaswamy, the company's Senior Vice President for Ads and Commerce, says: "We believe online ads should be better".

The interesting thing is, if Chrome's ad-blocking feature is real, Google can choose to block all ads on sites that contain "unacceptable" ads, even if there is only one such ad.

Today, we have confirmation: In early 2018, a Chrome update will include an ad filter (as Google prefers to call it) that searches out sites with poor ad experiences.

Of course, as The Reg previously pointed out here, an "ad-blocker in a dominant browser could mean the world's dominant ad network could be filtering out rival ad networks, which has competition implications".

The programme is now available to publishers in North America, UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand and will be rolled out to other countries by this year's end.

Pop-ups, takeover ads and ads with auto-playing audio are all considered bad ads, according to the Coalition for Better Ads, of which Google is a part.

The new setting is expected to be turned on by default on both the desktop and mobile version of Chrome, and will keep ads from showing up on sites that have been determined to provide a particularly bad advertising experience for users.


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