In April this year, a report suggested that Google was planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature to its Chrome browser on both mobile and desktop platforms. As this report came from a credible source, it created quite a buzz in the tech industry as the search giant not only earns a huge chunk of its revenue from ads but serves a huge chunk of online ads on entire Internet. Now, Google has confirmed that this report was true as it is planning to introduce native ad-blocking to Chrome browser, starting early next year.
In its official blog post, Google has announced that it has joined Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving online ads. Instead of native ad-blocking, the new feature could be seen as native "ad-filtering" as the search giant will only be removing the ads on the Internet that are non-compliant with 'Better Ads Standards'.
According to the list released earlier by the industry group, ad types including "pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30 percent, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, and large sticky ads" were described to be "beneath the initial Better Ads Standard."
Notably, Google has clarified that it will also be filtering out those ads served or owned by the search giant itself if they are found to be beneath the Better Ads Standard.
In order to provide an alternative option to the users, Google has announced a new initiative called Funding Choices, which is currently in beta and allows publishers to "show a customised message to visitors using an ad blocker, inviting them to either enable ads on their site, or pay for a pass that removes all ads on that site through the new Google Contributor," the search giant said in its blog post.
Already available for publishers in North America, UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, Funding Choices will be rolling out in other countries later this year.
Google says that these changes will ensure that all content creators, including the comparatively smaller ones, can continue to have a sustainable way to fund their work with online advertising. However, our sceptical side forces us to look at the other side of this situation, which provides Google with enormous power to dictate entire online advertising.
As Chrome is the preferred browser for the majority of the Internet surfing population, Google will definitely be taking the flag-bearer role with these new changes. As long as the standards set for what qualifies as acceptable ad remain within checks, we might have a better looking Web after all.