So why is the search company baking an ad blocker into Chrome, the most popular web browser in the world?
What Are You Thinking, Google?
As The Wall Street Journal reports, the ad block move is a "defensive" one, as described by people familiar with Google's plans.
Ad blockers are experiencing an upswell in recent times, in large part because of people's general annoyance with disruptive ads online. If Google one day suddenly adds an ad blocker as a marquee feature via an auto-update, that proprietary tool stands to become the most used and most popular globally by default, potentially making third-party options useless.
The ad blocker, the report adds, will be added on both desktop and mobile versions of Chrome, and it would be switched on by default.
The Implications Of An Ad Blocker Built Right Into Chrome
If it works as described, users won't ever see annoying ads on webpages, thereby dismissing any need to download special add-ons to do the job.
But if accurate, the move seems to conflict's Google's biggest revenue source. Chrome captures more than 50 percent of the whole internet browser market at present, and it would significantly cannibalize its own income if it introduced an ad blocker.
But there's more to it than that. According to the report, Google won't gut its own ads but rather filter "unacceptable" ones. These ads have annoying qualities as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, an effort to improve web browsing experience even with the presence of ads. The coalition has its own list of least preferred ad practices, such as pop-ups, autoplaying video, and interstitial ads with countdowns — to name a few. Google could block all ads on a specific page that doesn't comply with the rules.
Is Google Trying To Outsmart AdBlock Plus?
Despite the move coming off as a potential hazard for its ad revenue, building an ad blocker right into Chrome will help Google seize a considerable chunk of the ad blocker market, the ad industry in general, and even other ad competitors, which are often where unacceptable ads originate.
As with any rumors, treat the information with a grain of salt, especially when the suggested notion is an unlikely course of action for Google.
Natively shutting down ads will burden the company's ad revenue, as previously mentioned, but here's where it gets interesting: AdBlock Plus, a leading ad blocker brand, charges websites money to display their ads to users. Google is a member of this whitelist, but Google doesn't want to remain as a member, apparently.
The move could aid Google in jumpstarting its own ad block whitelist a la AdBlock Plus. Doing so could lessen the significance of AdBlock Plus, or worse, possibly kill it altogether. This could lead to numerous companies flocking to Google's notional whitelist fast.
Thoughts about Google's alleged ad blocker plans for Chrome? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!