In an effort to clean up the digital advertising landscape, Google has announced the latest version of their Chrome web browser would include a built in ad blocker. The feature should be coming “withing weeks” according to a company rep.
At first glance, this seems like an odd move. Why would Google, a company that specializes in selling digital ads, include a default feature that blocks ads?
It turns out, not all ads will be blocked – just ones that provide a poor user experience. Which brings the question, what makes a bad ad? According to Google, “Unacceptable ad types would be those recently defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that released a list of ad standards in March. According to those standards, ad formats such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers are deemed to be “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”
Simply explained, it appears that some ads will make it through while some won’t. Although Google did say that if a site has one bad ad, there’s a chance ads across the entire site will be blocked. This is good news, because it means sites will have to closely stick to Google’s ad standards or risk having their revenue cut.
So why would Google even get into the ad blocking business in the first place? According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, it has a lot to do with the rise in third party ad blockers. This way, Google has more control over ad blocking. The belief in the company seems to be that if “bad ads” are filtered out, perhaps users will be okay with seeing good ads (and be less likely to block them). This is good news for people who make money blogging, as ads are the lifeblood of many small sites.
The feature hasn’t been officially announced, but that should be coming soon.