Rumor: Google to bake ad-blocking into Chrome browser

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This program allows advertising on Google Chrome and many other ads powered by Google to pass through the filters of Adblock Plus.

According to fresh information from a new report, Google is planning to introduce an ad blocking feature to its Chrome browser.

Adblocks have been seen as a threat for advertising companies. As the owner of one of the most popular browsers in the world, Google would stand to wield an enormous amount of power over the shape of the web advertising market by developing an ad-blocking plugin. If integrated blocking of ads with particularly annoying delivery methods can prevent users from installing sofware that blocks all ads, compliant advertisers could stand to benefit.

The ads that will be considered acceptable will be as defined as such by the Coalition for Better Ads.

With so few details known and the product unconfirmed, companies across the digital media spectrum are holding their peace.

Besides the fact that there is an apparent mismatch when thinking about Google which started implementing adblockers, this new measure imposed by the company will establish exactly what kind of ads Chrome users will be exposed to.

However, in a Wednesday statement, Google refused to comment on the rumors. The Coalition now names auto-playing videos with sound, large ads that stick to your web page even as you scroll, prestitial ads with countdowns (i.e., those ads that make you wait a few seconds before letting you see the page), and pop-ups as examples.

According to the WSJ's sources, the built-in ad-blocker would stop ads that do not conform to the specifications of the Coalition for Better Ads, which counts both Google and Facebook as members. Google is part of this coalition too. Thus, any website that wants to survive will have to comply. So Chrome blocking ads could actually save the online ad community.

Given that Google Chrome is the most widely used browser in the world on desktop (58.64% as of March 2017) and mobile (52.76% as of March 2017), having a native ad-blocker does give them much better control over the ad-blocking ecosystem.

The problem with Google's approach is that it would create a huge conflict of interest. According to Wall Street Journal's sources, Google is even mulling over blocking all ads on a particular site on Google Chrome if a particular ad or ad type violates the Better Ads Standard. They must convince advertisers that they're doing everything they can to deliver the right ads to the right audience, and they must convince users that delivering the best and most relevant ads in a priority.

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