Google depends on advertising for its revenue. It is to serve this purpose that the company collects all relevant data across all of its users. Our browsing habits, our shopping-related searches, our weekly schedule — all of these are of interest to Google because they grant an insight into our lives, allowing Google to serve personalized ads that have a higher chance to resonate with viewers.
So earlier this year, when reports emerged that Google was looking to incorporate an ad blocker in Google Chrome – its main browser that serves millions of Android users – many people were initially surprised. After all, ads are Google’s forte, so blocking them natively seems like a strange idea. However, the reports clarified that even though the ad blocker would be turned on by default, it will only block out those specific types of ads that are deemed too intrusive and that negatively affect a user’s browsing experience.
Google’s ad block plans were scheduled for public appearance in 2018, but it appears that the feature is already under testing. Some users on Google Chrome’s Canary and Dev branches are now seeing a new option within the app’s settings called “Ads”, which is where the user-facing toggle for the ad blocker will reside. The ad blocker is toggled on by default, but you do have the option to turn it off.
This setting focuses squarely on intrusive ads and not all ads (as other ad blockers usually do). The definition of intrusive ads, and the boundaries of said classification, are being decided by the Coalition for Better Ads, which Google participates in. The new standards define what offending ads are by how they hamper the user experience, and Google utilizes these standards to block out intrusive advertisements. Ads that are targeted through the ad blocker include pop-up ads, countdown timers, auto-playing audio and video ads and a few others; and unsurprisingly, Google’s own advertisements will remain largely unaffected.
Implementing a native ad blocker that targets negative ads will actually increase ad revenue for Google. Many ad block users look for ways to filter out terrible and intrusive ads, and using an ad blocker means that other acceptable and non-intrusive advertisements also get caught in the same net. By specifically targeting intrusive ads, Google hopes to decrease the reliance on nondiscriminatory ad blockers, and thus, increase revenue by preventing less intrusive ads to remain unblocked.
What are your thoughts on Google Chrome’s native ad blocker? Will such an implementation replace the use of other ad blockers for you? Let us know in the comments below!