Google Reportedly To Launch Ad Blocker For Chrome

Google Chrome Android app

The ad blocker would be part of the Google Chrome Browser, which is the most popular browser in the U.S. according to a January report from the federal government's Digital Analytics Program.

While Google does rely on online advertising revenue, it's said that the company wants to get ahead of third-party ad-blockers. Today Chrome covers over 50 percent of the browsing market, according to Net Market Share, and Google would kill its income if it started blocking Google ads.

Google experimented with generating income without showing display and banner ads on publisher sites in the United States.

The report says "people familiar with the plans" describe the move as a "defensive" one. This could be seen as an attempt to coerce website operators to only run Google's AdSense ads, which are guaranteed not to run afoul of Google's blocking policies. If it does, though, the ad-blocker will look at the types of advertisements a website is delivering and judge whether they meet an acceptable standard. Ad formats for the mobile Web, for example, fall "beneath the initial Better Ads Standard: pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, and large sticky ads". Running its own ad-blocking program might shut out, or at least reduce, the fees the company pays to third parties like Adblock Plus. Already browsers like Opera come with an ad blocker pre-installed.

Filtering would be based on standards created by an organization called the Coalition for Better Ads, which happens to count Google and Facebook as members.

If Google were to go with a single-ad-blocking feature rather than something that blocks all the ads on a website, it could prove to be a successful compromise between all-ads and no-ads.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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