Even after a huge push into the hardware sector, Google remains first and foremost a search and advertising company. It’s where the vast majority of the Mountain View’s profits come from, despite their other products grabbing more of the headlines. With great advertising power also comes great responsibility and Google has just announced that starting in early 2018, following previous rumors, their Chrome browser will block all “unacceptable” ads on web pages.
What is an unacceptable ad you may wonder? If Google makes so much of its profits through ads, can we trust them to decide what’s okay and what isn’t? Well, this starts with the Coalition for Better Ads, which Google has now joined. This group is responsible for providing standards and rules for what is considered an acceptable or unacceptable ad. The Coalition also gives guidance for web developers and the industry as a whole for how to improve their ad experiences.
Examples of unacceptable ads include pop-up windows or tabs, ads that auto-play video or sound, and ads that can take up an entire browser window until the user manually closes it. Chrome extensions, such as AdBlock, have long allowed users to block ads on web sites and it’s clear that Google has not been ignoring those services or the user demand for them.
As much as users dislike advertisements cluttering up or slowing down web pages, it still remains a primary source of revenue for the companies and developers that create their sites, and that shouldn’t be ignored either. So it makes sense for Google to get in the “ad blocking game,” so to speak, as they can now actively help regulate what kinds of ads we see and ultimately (and hopefully) reduce the desire for users to simply block out all ads no matter what kind they are.
We won’t see this new feature in Chrome go into effect until 2018, but we will certainly be following this story over the next few months for any updates or developments.