Today, Google announced that they might be changing your online ad experience forever: the Google Chrome ad blocking feature that has been in the works for about a year is being released tomorrow. On February 15th, Google Chrome will begin filtering out the worst web ads in an attempt to make online browsing much more enjoyable. For those who use Chrome regularly and are wondering exactly how they’ll be affected, this is how Google Chrome ad blocking works.
It’s important to note that Chrome ad blocking will not be exactly the same as something like AdBlocker, an extension and app that blocks most ads when you’re online. The Chrome ad blocker is going to be blocking the most annoying types of ads — you know, the videos that pop up out of nowhere, the flashing ads, and the ads that autoplay annoying sounds. You’ll know an ad is being blocked because you’ll see a small pop-up that gives you the option to allow the ad to run (and yes, it is definitely strange that Chrome will be blocking ads by using a pop-up to let you know they’re doing so).
The below image shows the types of advertisements that are going to be filtered out once this feature comes out tomorrow.
How do they determine which ads are a no-go? Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, which is an industry group that does research on what web advertising irritates people the most. There’s a list of 12 types of experiences advertisers should be avoiding. Google will be enforcing this list by blocking the ads that go against it.
At first, Google will take a sample of various pages on a domain and analyze them to see if the ads go against the rules. The site will then get a grade: either Passing, Warning, or Failing. Sites that don’t pass get notified by Google and receive an ad experience report. This gives them the chance to make a change. If they don’t make any changes, every ad on the site will be blocked in 30 days. Since ads are the way most websites make money, this could significantly affect them.
There are some questionable details about this process. A lot of people have felt the need to point out that Google has their own ads. Gizmodo says Google controls “around 42% of the US digital ad market and 75.8% of the search ad market.”
But TechCrunch points out,
Overall, Chrome’s new ad blocking feature has the potential to make your web experience a whole lot more satisfying. Think about what it would be like to scroll through your favorite website without any pop-up ads.
We’ll see how it goes once it’s released.