Google’s built-in ad-blocking initiative for its popular Chrome browser arrives tomorrow. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is It?
This ad-blocking technology has been in the works for nearly a year, and it’ll finally launch across Google Chrome browsers on Thursday, Feb. 15. It is not, however, an “ad-pocalypse.” At least, not necessarily.
Basically, Google Chrome will begin automatically filtering out ads that don’t meet certain criteria or quality standards. Before today, we didn’t have much idea of what those “quality standards” would be.
In June 2017, Google first announced that it would implement some sort of ad-blocking technology into its proprietary browser. Gradually, the Mountain View company integrated ad-blocking-related features to its platform.
But now, Google has officially announced the full spectrum of blocked ads in a blog post on Wednesday.
Which Ads Will Be Blocked?
Google isn’t seeking to kill ads in their entirety. In fact, the company is arguably an advertising firm as much as it is a technology company. What Google seems to be hoping to do is to increase the quality of online advertising.
Google, along with Facebook and other juggernauts in the tech sphere, is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads. In the simplest terms, the group wants to mitigate advertising that annoys internet users — and it’s done research to identify those types of ads.
With this new initiative, Google actually seems to be taking an “ad enforcement” role across its own platform.
Beginning tomorrow, ads that will be blocked by Google’s built-in technology might include full-page ads, pop-up ads, ads with countdowns, and autoplaying-sound video ads, among others.
The initiative is notable because it’s built-in to the Chrome browser, and it’ll be enabled by default. Chrome is also the world’s most popular browser by most accounts.
Users will be able to switch “annoying ad mode” back on, in a way. But, presumably, most users won’t.
You’ll undoubtedly see a different browsing experience if you’re a Chrome user. You’ll see fewer — if any — of the ads Google deems “annoying” or unqualified. But, beyond that, we’re not sure of the long-term implications of the move.
For one, we might see less use of third-party ad blockers. That’ll be good for all of the websites and online publications that you love to browse and read — the vast majority of which survive on ad revenue.
But, hopefully, the most positive outcome of Chrome ad policy is a “raising of the bar,” so to speak, for ad quality across the board. If annoying ads are being automatically blocked, it might push advertisers to stop relying on them — and to improve them for the future.