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 Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry trade group of which Google is a member, has likened the cottage industry of ad-blocking companies to "highway robbery", "terrorists", and "inner city crack dealers" on various occasions.
It is also a source of concern for online publishers and services that rely on advertising revenue, many of which work with Google to help sell ads on their properties.
One is to block all advertising that appears on the sites with offending ads, instead of individual offending ads.
There are lots of ad-blocker extensions out there, but soon Google may release an ad-blocker of its own.
The ad blocker would be part of the Google Chrome Browser, which is the most popular browser in the United States according to a January report from the federal government's Digital Analytics Program. 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". This could be muscle flexing by Google, considering a major portion of web traffic comes via GoogleChrome, this might lead to more advertisers moving on to Adsense.
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Still, the WSJ notes that the idea isn't etched in stone and Google could still decide to drop the project.
This brings up the question as to what ads would be Google consider unacceptable.
Google's goal here seems clear: to reduce the use of ad platforms other than its own and punish sites who create a less than desirable experience for users.
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.
This is a defensive move to counter popular ad-blocking software, which often allows ads from organisations that pay a fee.
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