Technology

Google said to be planning ad-blocking filter for Chrome browser

Share
Google Chrome Android app

The information comes from sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal, which says that Google would make the feature opt-in rather than activated by default. Today Chrome covers over 50 percent of the browsing market, according to Net Market Share, and Google would kill its income if it started blocking Google ads.

Google reportedly plans to base its filter on the standards for non-intrusive advertising set by the Coalition for Better Advertising. According to the rumor bad-experience ads would not be decided upon by Google, but instead would be categorized by the standards laid out by the Coalition for Better Ads, and the new ad-blocking feature in Chrome would be coded to recognize these types of ads so that when found they would be able to prevent users from having to see them. That includes pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, and prestitial ads with countdown timers. The other option is simply to block the offending ads in question, though it's unclear whether Google will go forth either strategy at all. Additionally, unlike AdBlock, Chrome's plugin may not take all ads from a site, but just keep them unobtrusive to the user, thus still generating revenue and giving the user a positive experience. By offering a way to block only troublesome ads, Google may encourage more consumers to let some ads through, helping reverse the trend of total ad-blockage and the revenue issues that result. "We've been working closely with the Coalition for Better Ads and industry trades to explore a multitude of ways Google and other members of the Coalition could support the Better Ads Standards". 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.

Regardless, the move would no doubt cause controversy among an industry locked in a fierce battle with the growing tide of ad-blocking software.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

Share