Technology

Google Chrome Ad Blocker Launching On February 15th

A Google Chrome ad blocker will be implemented by default starting on February 15th. Designed to filter out the most intrusive and annoying ads, the company hopes that the Google Chrome ad blocker will encourage websites to implement better advertising practices that accomplish their goals without negatively affecting the overall user experience.

While the Google Chrome ad blocker will filter out the worst ads, it won’t have an effect on websites that practice normal advertising habits. One of Google’s priorities is to ensure the web pages that show up in its search engine are the best possible results for their users. By prioritizing pages that advertise in a beneficial way while using the Google Chrome ad blocker to improve the user experience on all other pages, the web browser should take another step ahead towards retaining its position as the most popular web browser worldwide.

Google Chrome Ad Blocker
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Google is revealing today exactly what ads will be blocked, as well as how the company will notify site owners before the ad block is put into place. On desktop websites, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound, and ads that appear on sites with a countdown that blocks you before content loads will be the main offenders that are adjusted. With the mobile web browser, Google is being a little more aggressive, filtering out pop-up ads, flashing animated ads, auto-play videos with sounds, advertisements that pop up before content loads, large ads, full-screen scroll over ads, and advertisements that are very dense.

Chris Bentzel, the Chrome engineering manager, explained that “The majority of problematic ad experiences are controlled by the site owner.” He went on to discuss the company’s plans for the Google Chrome ad blocker. Google is taking a three-step process to eliminating bad advertisements by evaluating websites, informing websites of the issues, and then allowing sites to correct the problems. If the issues aren’t addressed, the Google Chrome ad blocker will go into effect on the site and filter out the issues.

According to Google, the sites will be evaluated based on the Better Ads standards and then rated as a pass, warning, or failing. Site owners will be able to access the evaluations using an API, and can ask for a re-review after the problems with the website has been addressed. Moving forward, if a site has been found to have a high number of violations and the owner has continued to ignore Google’s notifications of the violations, Chrome will start blocking advertisements on the site after a 30 day period.

The Google Chrome ad blocker, once implemented, will show up in Chrome’s address bar on the desktop – similar to a pop-up blocker icon. On mobile, a small prompt will show at the bottom of the screen informing users that ads are being blocked on that site. Those who want to view the ads will be able to show them on a website that is automatically blocked, but we anticipate that that feature won’t be used very often.

Google has stated that the aim of the Google Chrome ad blocker is to improve website ads, and that 42 percent of the sites that were failing the Better Ads standards have since resolved their issues.

The ads blocked by the Google Chrome ad blocker will be filtered at the network level and will be kept from loading at all. The company will look at the site and check it against ad-related patterns from the EasyList filter and block the request if there is a match.

The Google Chrome ad blocker, while a welcome addition for the end user, will likely be met with criticism from advertisers and website owners who rely on these sorts of ads to support their business. However, with many people using third-party ad blockers that are blocking these ads entirely, taking steps to enforce better advertising practices via feedback from the Google Chrome ad blocker may pay off for websites in the long term through better site rankings.

Expect the Google Chrome ad blocker feature to roll out in the next few days, with blocking of the intrusive and annoying ads following shortly thereafter as sites are given adequate time to fix offending behavior.