Chrome with built-in ad-blocker may target the most obnoxious ads

Google is reportedly considering adding a built-in Chrome ad-blocker according to the usual "people familiar with the situation". It would automatically block those ads that Google finds unacceptable. Auto-play video has become a standard, pop-ups are back in a big way and those inline ads seem accidentally clickier all the time.

Supposedly this new feature could be coming within weeks.

While ad-blockers may be the most popular extensions for Chrome on the desktop or your Chromebook, the Android app has been left out of the picture. The company was not immediately available for comment.

The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.

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But the report claims that Google isn't interested in "blanket" blocks for all online ads. So in a way, Google appears to be taking matters into its own hands to clean up advertising bad practices and keep users happy.

Google experimented with generating income without showing display and banner ads on publisher sites in the United States. Google has seen the reports that as many as 26% of desktop users have some sort of software to hide advertisements and it doesn't want that number getting any larger. However, it's cautioned that Google could still decide to scrap this project. The search giant could use its position of power to impose standards on the kinds of ads that are allowed through its blocker. Would Chrome ever offer its own whitelisting service or will it stick to predefined standards set by an independent organization?

It's still just a rumour from the WSJ, however they do have fairly decent contacts, so we'll probably have to wait a while more to see where this goes. 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.

  • Douglas Reid