Google launches automatic adblocker for Chrome

Jo Lloyd
February 16, 2018

Publishers are greeting the launch of Google's ad blocker with a mixture of relief and unease, pleased that it is purging intrusive ads but anxious over the internet giant's power to quickly overhaul the industry.

In real-world terms, say goodbye to ads that pop up, count down, automatically play video or sounds, or block the content you came to see.

So for publishers who run ads on their websites, this shouldn't stop them from doing that; it will serve more like a quality check, ensuring that all ads running on websites must comply with the rules. That would be a major blow for publishers, many of which rely on advertising revenue.

The new program is meant to block the most offensive ads, such as very loud ads or huge pop-ups that block the screen, and is an alternative to other ad blockers that Google says prevent users from seeing even unobtrusive and non-annoying ads that generate revenue for website owners, ZD Net reported. Many of those fears have been assuaged. As ZDNet explains, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a "failing" status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days as of February 15. According to Google, only 1.5 percent of websites it audited failed to meet its ad standards, and only about 40 percent of those websites have made acceptable changes so far.

How to use Google Chrome's ad-blocker? If there is a match, Chrome will block the request, preventing the ad from displaying on the page.

If advertisers decide that the results they get from cooperating with Google are good enough, then we can expect to see a web experience that's more pleasant and more productive. But with this new strategy, Google could sidestep third-party ad blockers and act as its own advertising gatekeeper.

There's some irony in that, given that Google's aim is partly to get people to turn off their own ad-blocking software.

"Chrome filtering is not favoring our own business, our ads or our platforms, or anyone else's", he said. Some were targeted to have their ads to be shut down Thursday.

"Google, as the leader in the browser space, is sending a signal to other browser makers and technology providers in the market, and they will take that into consideration", he said.

At a technical level, when a Chrome user navigates to a page, Chrome's ad filter checks if that page belongs to a site that fails the Better Ads Standards.

Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. had at least a dozen of its TV station websites flagged, including those belonging to stations WTVY, KMTV, KOLO, KWTX and WDTV. A message informing the user about blocked ads appear on the screen. "But in this case, they're using that power to make the internet better". And Google is one of them. "So will Chrome block ads their ad team missed?"

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