Google is preparing to introduce an ad-blocker to Chrome browser despite fears that it would hit their online advertising revenues — a move that has been hailed by publishers in the US and Europe, the Financial Times reported.
This move comes after Google was recently criticized for placement of ads on its video hosting platform YouTube.
Unlike many of the most popular ad blockers in use today, including AdBlock Plus, Adblocker Ultimate, and uBlock Origins, the Chrome ad blocker is intended to focus on the most problematic and “annoying” ads. That includes “pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, prestitial ads with countdown and large sticky ads.” That definition comes courtesy of the Coalition for Better Ads, an independent organization formed by a group of companies in March, including Google, Facebook, Newscorp, and more. The Coalition’s goal is to eliminate “ads that disrupt [consumer’s] experience, interrupt content and slow browsing.”
The native Chrome ad blocker will also seek to supplant current offerings with ads which consumers find less bothersome; currently, it’s estimated that about 26 percent of internet users use an ad blocker, a number which keeps increasing as browsers become increasingly frustrated with online ad companies that have no standards or oversights, and as “poisoned” ads continue to be responsible for security breaches and installing malware on target machines.
According to Tripwire, poisoned ads have even been spread by major websites recently, including MSN, BBC, the New York Times, AOL, and Newsweek, hijacking browsers and installing malicious software.
Google is the web’s largest advertising provider already, making some 86 percent of their revenue from advertising – and Chrome is the most popular web browser, making up over 50 percent of the market share. By adding a native ad blocker to Chrome, where they decide which ads are shown and which are blocked, Google is potentially drastically increasing their already impressive hold on the online advertising market. Add to that Google’s policies about which sort of sites they will serve – for example, they won’t service adult sites – and their stranglehold on the search engine market, and you have a real recipe for one company controlling the content of the open web.
Industry experts believe that a native Chrome ad blocker could be announced as soon as the Google I/O conference in May.