Chrome with built-in ad-blocker may target the most obnoxious ads

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20 April, 2017

After years of resisting the temptation to block ads without generating revenue, Google will introduce and ad-blocking feature in its Chrome browser for desktop and mobile, according to one media outlet, citing "people familiar with the company's plans". The term "unacceptable" in the ad standards referred to pop-up ads, autoplay videos, and "prestitial" ads. The unacceptable ad types are based on those defined by the Coalition for Better Ads in March.

If you're sick of bad ads on websites then Google's Chrome browser is apparently set to help you out with a report from the Wall Street Journal saying that Google is looking into building an ad-blocker into the browser.

Google might alternatively choose to block every ad on sites that include any offending ads at all - making site owners responsible for ensuring that the ads they host are up to code.

Google's blocker will only keep out ads that the Coalition for Better Ads deems detrimental to user experience. In those cases, companies like Google may have to pay to get their ads exempted from the filters, something it could do for free with its own solution.

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Such a move could have major implications for the online ad industry and the digital media publications whose businesses rely on ads.

An ad blocker could also bolster Google's already-enormous power in the digital ads market, on which it and Facebook now have a duopoly.

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. As an advertiser itself, Google exercising stronger controls over ads will definitely draw criticism from industry peers, and possibly also from antitrust watchdog organizations. But it's worth asking if this feature would even be an ad-blocker, at least in the sense that most people think of ad blockers.

Almost 25% of US internet users had an ad blocker in 2016, according to research firm eMarketer.


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