Report: Google will add an ad blocker to all versions of Chrome web browser

Credit: arstechnica.com


Enlarge / A totally-not-official rendering of what the Chrome Adblocker logo might look like. (credit: Ron Amadeo)


The Wall Street Journal just dropped a shocker of a report: Google, the biggest web advertising company in the world, is planning to build an ad blocker into Google Chrome, the world's most popular web browser. The ad blocker will reportedly end up in the desktop and mobile versions of Chrome and would be switched on by default.


If true, this report suggests a major conflict of interest for Google. 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. Of course, Google won't block Google ads. Instead, according to the report, Chrome will target "unacceptable ads" as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads. The Coalition for Better Ads, which counts Google and Facebook among its members, has a page of "least preferred ad experiences" up on its website. This page calls out pop-ups, autoplaying video ads with sound, interstitial ads with countdowns, and large "sticky" ads as "below the threshold of consumer acceptability."


The Journal notes "in one possible application Google is considering" Google could block all ads on a site that doesn't comply with the rules, rather than just block offending ads. Presumably this would stop websites from using a mix of "acceptable" and "unacceptable" ads with the hope that the "unacceptable" ads are seen by non-Chrome users, since they risk losing out on all revenue from all Chrome users.

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