Google to bundle ad blocker into Chrome

Gwen Vasquez
April 20, 2017

The Wall Street Journal just dropped a shocker of a report: Google, the biggest web advertising company in the world, is planning to build an ad blocker into Google Chrome, the world's most popular web browser. The sources indicate that Google hasn't ironed out all of the details yet, and that it may not ultimately go through with the feature.

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.

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It's also suggested that Google will block every ad on a site with a rule-breaking one so that site owners and advertising companies will better police the advertising. The feature is still in development though and could never be released. These include things like annoying pop-ups that you have to hunt for and then close, ads that require you to sit through an excessively long timer, such as the ones that count down from 30 seconds, and similar. As an advertiser itself, Google exercising stronger controls over ads will definitely draw criticism from industry peers, and possibly also from antitrust watchdog organizations. The latter could be of particular detriment to websites that rely on these types of ads, though any ad-blocking activities serve to reduce a site's revenue.

"We've been working closely with the Coalition for Better Ads and industry trades to explore a multitude of ways Google and other members of the Coalition could support the Better Ads Standards", a spokesperson said. To beat the ad blockers, Google must become an ad blocker. While this sounds like good news, we should remind you guys that Google is part of AdBlock Plus' "Acceptable Ads" program, meaning that Google pays to have its ads whitelisted by the ad blocker. This would give Google control over the ad-blocking market, the ad industry as a whole, and even over its competitors, which offer numerous "unacceptable ad" formats the coalition is targeting.

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