According to a Wall Street Journal report, Google is working on an ad blocking feature for Chrome browser on desktop and mobile. If the report is to be believed, we will see an announcement in weeks. WSJ says that the feature will be enabled by default and will block certain types of online advertisements that Google considers bad for user experience.
These unacceptable ad types might include ad formats such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers. If Google is planning to enable this feature by default, this might be targeting only these “bad ads”. Enabling a feature that blocks all ads, by default, will be suicidal for Google. After all, users who really hate all ads on the internet have browser extensions already available to them. In fact one of the first Chrome extensions to be launched was AdBlock.
However, there is another way to look at it. Google knows that they cannot stop the growth or use of ad blocking services. A good percentage of users would want to remove ads from their browsing experience. Other browsers like Opera are adding built-in ad blocking. If Google was to build something similar of their own, they will have some control over that piece too.
My assumption is that at least a small percentage of adblock users are annoyed by those unacceptable ad types like auto playing video ads and popups. They don’t want to remove every advertisement that is there on the internet. Google might be able to serve those users better with a built-in feature.
Google makes most of its money from online advertising. So, is this a completely unbelievable rumor? I don’t think so.
I use AdSense on this website and regularly refer to the recommended ad units and placements. They don’t usually go well with the Google Search Quality guidelines. So such inconsistencies are already present in Google’s world. This, if becomes a reality, could be a huge inconsistency though.