Google Chrome to Start Blocking Ads Natively on February 15
Ads are the biggest source of Google’s revenue, so it was a little surprising to see the search giant announce that Chrome, its homegrown web browser, would stop showing certain kinds web ads in early 2018.
The plan’s still on track, according to VentureBeat — Google’s committed to turning on Chrome’s native ad blocker on February 15, 2018. But if you were wondering why Google’s shipping a native ad blocker in Chrome, you’re not the only one.
Google joined the Coalition for Better Ads, a group that publishes quality standards for display ads on the web, in 2017. It’s banned all full-page ad interstitials, ads that unexpectedly play sound, and flashing ads, and this week announced the Better Ads Experience Program, which provides guidelines for companies to improve users’ experience with online ads.
Google’s hope is that Chrome’s built-in ad blocker — which it sees as a “natural evolution of pop-up blockers” — will reduce the use of the third-party blockers that hide all ads. According to the company, indiscriminate ad blockers impact publishers’ bottom lines and threaten the sustainability of the web ecosystem.
The native ad blocker in Chrome will block all ads on a webpage even if a single ad doesn’t follow the aforementioned standards. According to Venturebeat, Google’s strategy is to use Chrome to choke off revenue from low-quality ads on websites.
Google provides a best practices guide for ad formats that comply with the Coalition for Better Ads group’s guidelines. In addition, the search giant’s Ad Experience Report tool provides screenshots and videos of annoying ads that websites can reference to prevent violations from occurring.
Google will also provide a way for websites affected by Chrome’s ad blocker to correct their violations:
“Violations of the Standards are reported to sites via the Ad Experience Report, and site owners can submit their site for re-review once the violations have been fixed. Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition’s guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a “failing” status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days. All of this information can be found in the Ad Experience Report Help Center, and our product forums are available to help address any questions or feedback.”
VentureBeat notes that Google’s February 15 launch date doesn’t match the release date of any future version of Google Chrome. Chrome 64 is scheduled to be released on January 23, and Chrome 65 will arrive on March 6. The deadline, then, doesn’t seem to be tied to a specific Chrome release, which means it’s possible that Google will enable its ad-blocking technology via a server-side switch. It’s also possible that it’ll roll out to users in stages.
Source: Venture Beat