Citing sources familiar with the matter, WSJ says that Google is planning on introducing a native ad blocker for Google Chrome. While this move will potentially affect the company’s ad revenue to a certain degree, it is apparently taking this decision to deliver a better user experience.
The ad-blocking feature will come enabled by default for the desktop as well as the mobile version of the browser. If Google decides to go ahead with the plan, expect a formal announcement in the coming weeks, but since nothing is confirmed, it is also possible that the plan is scrapped at the last minute.
Ads that will be blocked by default will be the ones as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads which includes auto-playing video ads with sounds, pop-ups, and “prestitial” ads that first show users a countdown before showing the actual content. The ads primarily shown by Google are unlike the ones mentioned here so this move to introduce an ad-blocker in Chrome will primarily affect third-party advertisers the most. The catch here is that if Google finds one unacceptable ad on a website, it will block all ads from loading on that page. Thus, the onus will be on the site owner to ensure that there are no sub-par ads used on their site.
With this move, Google is also hoping to stop the growth of third-party ad blockers that have only surged in popularity in recent times. Considering how popular Chrome is on both desktop and smartphones, the introduction of an ad-blocker can potentially lead to the death of many advertisers and third-party ad blockers. Google generated upwards of $60 billion in revenue in 2016 from ads, so whatever steps it decides to take, it will ensure that its primary source of revenue is not affected.
Do you want Google to introduce an ad blocking feature in Chrome? If yes, why?