Google Chrome will block some ads in 2018

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 2, 2017
Google Chrome

Google revealed yesterday that the company's Chrome web browser will start blocking some ads on the Internet from 2018 on.

Many sites reported that Google will integrate a native ad-blocker in the Google Chrome web browser, but that is only partially true.

While we don't have any version of Chrome yet that supports the new tech, judging from Google's description here, things are not as black and white as you'd expect them to be.

Fact is, that Google Chrome will block some ads starting in 2018. Google explains that Chrome will support the Better Ads Standard, published by an industry group that wants to improve ads online.

In dialogue with the Coalition and other industry groups, we plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards starting in early 2018.

The Better Ads website highlights the following formats as problematic:

  • Desktop: pop-up ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, prestitial ads with countdown, large sticky ads
  • Mobile: pop-up ads, prestitial ads, pages with ad-density higher than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, postitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, large sticky ads.

Google Chrome will block ads on websites that show advertisement that falls into the groups listed above. What this means is that Chrome will block all ads on those websites, not just the ads that are considered problematic by the industry group.

google ad status block chrome

Google published a new tool for Webmasters on the official Search Console website that provides you with information on the site's ad experience status. Google plans to list all ad experiences there that "annoy users" so that webmasters know that ads are blocked in Chrome by default. The page separates desktop from mobile, and may not show a reviewed status right away.

Google launched a new option for publishers to sustain their online business on top of that. The Funding Choices program allows publishers to customize messages to visitors with adblockers to invite them to disable ad blocking on the site, or support the site through the new Google Contributor system.

Google Contributor is a new system which websites and users may join. Users may buy credits, and pick websites out of the list of supported sites which they want to support. Each time a page is viewed on the site in question, some money is transferred to the account of the site operator. Sites may select what they charge per page view.

My Take

Google, as the world's largest ad company, understands that ad blocking is on the rise, and that one cannot stop the trend with anti-ad-blocking solutions. The company's believes that most Internet users don't have a problem with advertisement in general, but with certain forms of advertisement.

I think that is true to a degree. What Google does not address at all are other things about ads that annoy part of the global Internet population. Two that come to my mind right away are tracking and malware ad campaigns.

Google is in an ideal position however as it controls much of the ad market and the browser market. If a company with less of a market share would roll out an initiate like this, it would probably bomb because of a lack of reach.

I'm pretty certain that Google will be able to reach a sizeable number of Chrome users who use ad blockers, and of course users who don't use ad blockers.

It remains to be seen how good of an experience this will result in, and how publishers will fare when it comes to that.

Google Contributor on the other hand is something that I don't think has a lot of staying power. Convincing users to join Contributor will be a tough sell but it depends on how the feature is promoted. If users see it on the sites they visit regularly, they may be inclined to give it a try.

I think it won't reach that level of sustainability, especially since Google wants its cut of what users pay publishers.

Now You: What is your take on the announcement?

Google Chrome will block some ads in 2018
Article Name
Google Chrome will block some ads in 2018
Google revealed yesterday that the company's Chrome web browser will start blocking some ads on the Internet from 2018 on.
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  1. kubrick said on June 23, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Would you walk into a supermarket and rip all the ads out the store……?
    Probably not,so i feel some leeway must be given for advertisers on the web.
    If i had my own business whether its online or not i would surely appreciate the chance to advertise.

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Web ads include tracking or are served by previous tracking, they may as well include malware (malvertizement), they are obtrusive, maybe less nowadays.

      generally speaking, be it on the Web as everywhere people are fed up with ads or, rather when the irritation is not demagogy-driven, with the way they force-feed the consumer. Advertisement itself is natural when it respects the consumer and the product. There’s an effort proposed by some agencies and think-tanks but it doesn’t seem to vibrate the ad business which keeps on struggling with a forcing policy. Also, margins are scandalous : less ads, better ads would be more efficient, hence less expensive for the clients, less bothering for the consumer but … far less profitable for the ad business : the ad business, as it is now, narrow-minded, is sawing the branch which is holding its tremendous butt. We all lose in this scenario. So, who’s fault?

  2. coakl said on June 12, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    This still does nothing about re-directs to malware downloads, embedded in some ads.
    Google only blocks certain types of annoyances. It gives no guarantees about the safety of the ads.

    You could still get ads that comply with Google’s criteria, but are loaded with malware.
    That is why my ad blocker STAYS PUT.

  3. MazTerGee said on June 4, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with Ads on webpages, it’s the source of funds to keep that informative website going. If you don’t like Ads just ignore them. I can understand Ads that popup in your face , over the page you’re reading being blocked, that would be great, but no standard ads that sit on the side of the of webpage looking flashy, just ignore them.

  4. Tony said on June 3, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Doesn’t Google block all ad-blockers from the Google Play store (AdAway, for example)?

    To not be hypocrites, does this mean that Google will now be preventing users from downloading Google Chrome from the Google Play store?

  5. Dave said on June 3, 2017 at 8:04 am

    If you ask me, there’s a hidden agenda behind this move by Google – that’s their ingenious way of killing their competition in the ad business. Ad-networks already can’t compete with Google in the banner ads arena, so their only advantage is displaying ads through pop-ups and videos… Take that from them and you instantly put them out of business! Leaving Google as the only player in the online advertising business. Ingenious!

    1. Declan said on June 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      @Dave…. I totally agree. Google makes it’s money from ads, and to think that Google will block ads that it gains income from is naïve. The tracking will remain, especially for those ads that come from DoubleClick, AdSense or other Google run ad-placement groups. I rather imagine that the real purpose here is to block non-Google ads under the guise of “non-compliance” as a way to force others to use the same formats and standards so they can be more easily tracked.

      After all, this is Google we’re talking about, forcing others to use basically a Google standard, within a Google product, aimed at users that provide Google with revenue. Let’s not think that this is an altruistic move and it has suddenly returned to it’s original “don’t be evil” days.

      1. Ranger said on June 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        Declan … your second paragraph:
        Right on target … Bullseye!

    2. Dave said on June 3, 2017 at 8:28 am

      Oh, and one more thing –
      Since last year, Google’s own Adsense displays interstitials ads (if the publisher chose to enabled it through Adsense’ dashboard). So I wonder if Google will count their own interstitials as offending (and block them from showing) or they will only do this to their competitors?!

      1. Nebulus said on June 3, 2017 at 2:19 pm

        Actually the move is not unlike the one done by AdBlock Plus extension when they started to allow only the ads that meet some arbitrary standard they invented.

  6. Rick A. said on June 3, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Use Firefox with uBlock Origin or even Brave Browser.

  7. Albert said on June 3, 2017 at 5:34 am

    This is probably Google’s first step of their strategy.

    Step Two will be to prevent Ad-Blockers from running in Chrome with the justification being that because of their technology ads will have become acceptable….

  8. Anonymous said on June 2, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    This is terrible news. So far most of us have enjoyed an ad free experience, with very few websites employing anti-ad blocking tactics, while the tech illiterate majority was viewing the ads for us. With a native ad blocker in Chrome said majority is going to start blocking ads, which in turn will cause anti-ad blocking to go nuclear with an increasing amount of websites starting to use increasingly sophisticated means of stopping ad blocking software.

  9. Rotten Scoundrel said on June 2, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I am largely with Tom Hawack, but would also point out that Google is OK-ing sites to demand payment to view, for browsers with ad-blockers. That made me laugh and spit coffee everywhere. The Internet advertising world would clean itself up in days as the millions of ad-blocked browser users found alternative sites that did not charge for a blocker. It is the rampant greed of those sites that want to force all of the passing traffic to see their ads.

    Check the efficacy of News-Media Paywalls. Most sites have now dropped them.

    On another note: Even Amazon allows ads that operate contrary to the The Better Ads format policies! I was using a friend’s laptop the other day and stunned at the ads on Amazon. Having uBlock and/or AdBlockPlus active on our PCs I have never seen so much crap before. As a Prime customer I do not expect to barraged with ads. Just another great reason for ad-blockers.

  10. Nebulus said on June 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    IMO ads mean three things: annoyance, security risk and tracking. Until ALL three downsides are gone the ads will stay blocked on my computers.

  11. Croatoan said on June 2, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Users have limited Internet and some websites love to use autoplaying videos that sucks Internet data. And they are interested why we block ads.

  12. Richard Allen said on June 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    My take on the announcement is to try and not yawn until I read that “Chrome will block all ads on those websites, not just the ads that are considered problematic by the industry group”. That’s harsh, but deserved. Unfortunately that will not be enough to eliminate the security threat delivered by ad networks.

    Some have been whining that ad-blockers will break the internet but I argue that advertising networks and publishers have already broken it by delivering abusive, intrusive, misleading, and privacy-stealing ads, trackers and… malware. One example is Forbes forcing readers to disable ad-blockers then delivering malware. Or Yahoo distributing malware with their own ad network to their own websites, for days. It’s crazy! The best and arguably most important security software on my computers is an ad/content blocker which is why I haven’t seen a single malware object on my computers in 9-10 years.

    Over the last few years I’ve cleaned about a dozen computers for friends and family members. All of them had two things in common; not using an ad/content blocker, and they all had 300+ malware objects. A couple had around a thousand. I’m serious! I felt bad when the owner of one computer saw me laughing when I saw a scan result. Families with teenagers! SMH

    1. Richard Allen said on June 3, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      June 3, 2017
      “Ads in Google Search Results Redirect Users to Tech Support Scam”

  13. 1984 said on June 2, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Google’s approach is a scam: They only block the visible part of the ad but the tracking…remains. In the end, AdSense ads won’t be blocked. It would destroy Google’s business model.
    Try Brave instead . It’s the clean approach.

  14. Tom Hawack said on June 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    It’s not because it’s a smart move that it’s bad. It’s smart because indeed there is no future for anti-ad-blockers, it’s not a bad move because better advertisement is a progress. It could be a fake deal for users extrapolating on a company’s virtue on the ground of its efforts if perceived as a win-win scenario : the company always holds the best share.

    It remains, IMO, an ambiguous project when in fact, besides the first aspect of modern Web advertisement which is disturbance and which this move intends to contain, remain tracking and “malvertisement”.

    For all those who enjoy a 100% ad-free Internet it will be as a return and avoided I believe. Here again the problematic of sites sustained by ads verses a user’s tranquility. I believe those of us who struggle to eradicate the tiniest ad are a minority, hence won’t break much and perhaps even less with Google’s move where some of us might consider a compromise. I won’t but I count on those who don’t feel as bad as myself with ads/intrusion to keep the system rolling.

    This is a worldwide scheme and advertisement will have to deal with the untouchables (those who refuse each and every ad), and it will accept them more easily if they are lesser tomorrow than today. Now, if the ad business continues it’s invasion regardless of reality, if it blocks compromises which include itself (that’s where Google’s move is welcomed) then it will loose its war. It shouldn’t be a war, it wouldn’t be if the ad business didn’t make it a war, it might no longer be if Google opens the solution, even imperfectly, with a true incidence on the ad business whatever it be.

    1. ddk said on June 2, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Quote: “then it will loose its war”.
      It’s “lose” not “loose”

      Most users don’t care if a site is plastered by flashing annoying ads. Ad companies rely on people being constantly distracted, it’s a cultural thing. We are raised and trained to be multi taskers and in the process regard constant distractions as normal in society. It’s psychological more than anything else. Advertisers take advantage of this knowing they’ll get “clicks” regardless of how messy an ad infested site looks.

      1. Earl said on June 4, 2017 at 7:37 pm

        As such, most “clicks” probably occur by mistake, some users being quite confused by the plethora of non-content, clickable links and regions on a page. (Confuse the visitor enough and you get the desired result.)

        Technically speaking, the human brain does not multitask–never has. We are capable of focusing on only one thing at a time. Some, though, are more easily distracted than others.

        Mixing ads with content was never a good idea and will never actually work to promote any product or service. The current business of advertising is basically just a rip-off of those trying to promote their products and services.

        Best case, Google’s approach won’t make things any worse from the standpoint of annoyance. Providing another vector for malware attacks is what really needs to be stopped. Tracking? good luck.

      2. Tom Hawack said on June 2, 2017 at 7:23 pm

        I agree, ddk, and I’ve even say it’s a good thing, the fact that some users are not as concerned by ads as others in that it contributes to sites staying alive. This is why I’d never hold any demagogy against advertisement, not only because those who support it allow those who can’t stand it to continue nevertheless to visit their favorite sites, but also because I cannot say I have a position of principle against advertisement, an intellectual opposition so to say : informing others and advocating one’s work is perhaps as old as the world. It’s more in the way it’s done, no limit, more and more… and that, I just can’t stand anymore, be it on the Web, on TV … I’m getting mad watching The French Tennis Tournament on TV (only) interrupted by too many ads. It’s physiological, nervous, I’m done with this excessive and often deeply stupid advertisement policy.

        Include tracking if it doesn’t bother them as well but malvertisement is another problem because one’s acceptation of ads, when it comes to malvertisement, may have consequences beyond himself, like driving.

        Tomorrow, less ads, better ads, no tracking and no more malvertisement and I’s stop using adblockers. I’d love not having to hate ads as they are now, because irritation is bad for health and because love is always closer to joy than hatred. But I feel force-fed.

        To “lose” a war, ok: I must have had a “Footloose” in mind!

  15. chesscanoe said on June 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    From a user perspective, almost any solution is better than the current lack of default solution. But progress is being made for Edge now, as Microsoft Store now has blessed uBlock Origin.

  16. Mike said on June 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    I can’t blame them for doing something on the mobile side, the mobile version of Google Chrome is terrible because of all the terrible mobile ads some websites choose to have. Still, I’m not sure this has much effect on me when Brave on Android became my default mobile browser some time ago and uBlock Origin is unbeatable in terms of user options/performance.

  17. Yuliya said on June 2, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    >Google Contributor
    When this came out it really made me laugh. The worst part about ads, which is tracking, this thing takes it to a whole new level, since it requires you to be logged in and accept third party cookies (I guess).

    But, Google trying to block popup ads (maybe including those new-ish overlay popups that you reported here a while ago) and high volume autoplaying video ads – there’s a website which Google ranks quite up on many results, I don’t remember its name, and even if I did I would not want to make them publicity, they have a video ad auto playing on every page, it is so anoying that whatever fix to whatever software issue they provide it’s not worth it and I just close the tab and look elsewhere. To make things worse you can’t stop it by clicking in the middle, you have to precisely click on a very small play/pause button. If Google will block this cr.p, forcing these site owners to quit using such obnoxious means of serving ads, that would be really appreciated.

  18. DarkThemeNT said on June 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I use Microsoft Edge and hate to see all over the web ads asking me to download Google Chrome. It would be nice if Microsoft started blocking that shit too.

    1. TianlanSha said on June 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      if it wasnt for the support of extensions, namely ublock, the 14 people that use that joke Edge worldwide would’ve still been using Chrome or Firefox or whatever

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm

        I haven’t understood anything to your comment.

    2. insanelyapple said on June 2, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Guess what’s Microsoft doing when you run through their sites? Advertises Edge.

    3. jeff said on June 2, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Seriously you deserve that just for using Micros~1 GarbEdge.

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        Sometimes words, wordings can be funny even when out of reality, but when they are and funny and so exactly relevant of facts, then it’s the ultimate, the laugh starts in the brains and amplifies in the soul. “GarbEdge” is brilliant, bravo!
        GarbEdge, wow, love it :)

    4. Yuliya said on June 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Your OS shows ads in start menu, taskbar, tray popups, built-in applications, you name it, yet you’re complaining about internet/online ads about Google’s products on what it most likely seems to be Google’s property? :) Eh, idk..

      1. Yuliya said on June 2, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        “Using Win 10, aren’t you?”
        No, I don’t.

      2. kalmly said on June 2, 2017 at 2:17 pm

        Maybe your OS does, but mine does not. Using Win 10, aren’t you?

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