A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012
A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012

Google Chrome ad blocker will clean up annoying websites from February

The tool won't remove what are seen as legitimate advertisements, but should vastly improve the web browsing experience

Aatif Sulleyman
Wednesday 20 December 2017 15:02
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Google has revealed that the ad blocker it has been planning to build into Chrome will go live in February.

The tool will automatically prevent several “annoying” and “intrusive” types of ads from appearing online, on both mobile and desktop.

It should vastly improve the web browsing experience, and force website operators to clean up their act.

Google has now revealed that the ad blocker will start working on 15 February 2018.

It won’t target all ad types, instead focusing on those that the Coalition for Better Ads group considers to be unacceptable.

“The Coalition’s extensive consumer research identified the following types of desktop ad experiences beneath the Better Ads Standard: pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, prestitial ads [those that block the content you actually want to access by loading first] with countdown and large sticky ads,” the group wrote this week.

“For the mobile web environment, the following types of ad experiences fell beneath the 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.”

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Google, which makes the vast majority of its revenue from advertising, has said its ad blocker will penalise non-compliant ads even if they’re “owned or served” by the company.

It has also confirmed that Chrome will remove all ads from sites that fail to meet the Coalition for Better Ads’ standards for more than 30 days.

Sites can find out if their ads are compliant by using the Ad Experience Report, which is designed to help them spot and fix issues.

“These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads – taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation,” Google wrote in June, explaining its plans.

However, though a dedicated ad blocker will almost certainly improve the web browsing experience, the move has also raised fears that Google, which is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, could be about to gain a lot more control over advertising.

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