[Report] Google looking into building an ad-blocker into Chrome

The Journal reports that sources familiar with Google's plan say that both the mobile and desktop versions could soon feature an ad-blocking system that would be turned on by default.

The standard will reportedly be ones set by the Coalition for Better Ads, which details types of advertisements that aren't consumer-friendly. They think that pop-ups, auto-playing videos with sound, and ads that use a countdown before they can be dismissed are all bad.

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. The company was not immediately available for comment.

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That could be huge when you consider the fact that ads earned Google $60 billion in revenues previous year, and that Chrome accounts for almost half all browsers used in the US. Instead, according to the report, Chrome will target "unacceptable ads" as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads. So in a way, Google appears to be taking matters into its own hands to clean up advertising bad practices and keep users happy. This could be muscle flexing by Google, considering a major portion of web traffic comes via Google Chrome, this might lead to more advertisers moving on to Adsense. If Google decides that its browser will only allow ads that meet those predetermined standards, any website that wants to survive will comply. The Coalition for Better Ads, which counts Google and Facebook among its members, has a page of "least preferred ad experiences" up on its website.

The first thought with this is that it very much seems like such a feature would cause Google to lose money, seeing how much of its business is based on ads thanks to Adsense.

The other option is to simply block the offending ads in the question. 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. Stay tuned with us for more updates on the story.

  • Regina Walsh