Google switches on Chrome's built-in ad blocker

Google switches on Chrome's built-in ad blocker

The company said the Chrome browser will then automatically block any adverts it finds in breach of the guidelines when visited - with a notification then sent to users telling them what has happened.

Google has launched an ad-blocker for its Chrome web browser that is created to prevent "annoying" and "intrusive" ads being shown to users.

Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Chrome VP, says this move was prompted when his team received feedback from users saying annoying ads are a big source of frustration.

These annoyances include ads that provide auto-playing video with audio, ads that block the site you're trying to reach and ads that cover large areas of the screen.

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But Campaign cited a January analysis by Adblock Plus which suggested that Google Chrome would block just 16% of the formats identified as bad ads by the CBA, compared to the 93% that Adblock Plus would block using its own Acceptable Ads standard.

The Coalition for Better Ads assesses websites according to how many violations of Better Ads Standards are found on a sample of pages.

"We want the web to be a place where businesses can thrive and make revenue, but also a place where users can have a good experience", said Ryan Schoen, Google's product manager for web platform work at Chrome. Current estimates are that more than 50 percent of all browsing sessions are done using Chrome, which means the folks using obnoxious ads will start losing a huge portion of their audience.

When it comes to Chrome for mobile devices, Google has been much more stringent. Apple's Safari came in second for mobile with 28% and Firefox was second for desktops and laptops with 12%.

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Under the circumstances, Google's latest efforts can well be seen as an attempt to hit the middle grounds of sorts.

The feature will block adverts that breach the Better Ads Standards set out by the Coalition for Better Ads - a group of advertising and online media companies, including tech giants - meaning adverts that are deemed too intrusive or persistent will be blocked. If they haven't fixed the problem within 30 days, all of their ads-including ads that are compliant-will be blocked by the browser. Mozilla has its own ad-blocking process for Firefox that's different from what is planned for Chrome, for example.

This highlighted their particular aversion to formats such as full-page ad interstitials, ads that unexpectedly play sound, and flashing ads. But we could also see an ad-filtering arms race that only encourages greater use of ad blockers.

"We've already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad-blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren't doing anything disruptive".

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