Google could be about to add a native ad blocker into its Chrome browser, preventing certain ads from showing up if it thinks they’re likely to disrupt the experience.
“People familiar with the company’s plans” told the Wall Street Journal that the feature could be turned on by default in the coming weeks, although they made it clear it wouldn’t block all ads, just those that impact the user experience.
Those ads would be identified by the Coalition for Better Ads, which released a list of what it deems to be “acceptable” ad formats back in March. The blacklist includes pop-up adverts, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers, so it’s likely these would be the first targets of Chrome’s new ad blocker.
The WSJ‘s source said that instead of just blocking the ads, Google could go one step further and block the websites these ads appear on, then giving the user the opportunity to unblock the content if they wish, rather than asking users if they want to block the websites first.
Although the WSJ noted that Google’s revenues are mostly made up of advertising income, this would be an important step to stay competitive against third party tools like AdBlock Plus.
By acting as the gatekeeper, Google will hopefully be able to keep its paying advertisers happy as well as helping boost its market share for those using alternative browsing tools such as Firefox, Safari and Edge.