In an effort to boost the consumer web experience, Google is apparently planning to block annoying ads across its Chrome browser.
Publishers will be able to view an ad score provided by Google which ranks a digital property in terms of how annoying its ad content is.
The move would be a direct stab at ad blockers and ultimately could halt their growth altogether. If users are able to run Chrome without disruption on mobile or laptop/desktop devices, they wouldn’t be seeking out third-party ad blocking tools – or so the logic goes.
In addition, publishers will be able to offer consumers who use their own ad blocking software the choice to either whitelist their site or pay a small fee for ad-free content viewing. That’s a tactic which has been trialled and tested by a range of larger media outlets over the last year.
There had been discussions of Google planning its own ad blocking tactics since April this year and the company hopes that the filter could ultimately eliminate what consumers dislike, but allow for well-placed and thoughtful ads to continue to run. After all, publishers rely on ad revenue to fund their online properties. Mobile is another key target for the ad industry to avoid ad blockers seeing widespread adoption.
The latest effort is part of a development by the Coalition for Better Ads, which Google is a member of, alongside companies such as Facebook, Thomson Reuters and The Washington Post.
“We think getting ads right is really, really important to the future for the internet. We love the sources of information that makes the internet great. What’s scary is ad blocking has been a big problem on desktop and has been a big problem for the last few years. […] Hopefully leading to a much better, much stable ecosystem for everybody.”
However, if the Chrome filter goes ahead it could also backfire for Google, given that the company is also one of the largest advertisers worldwide. By controlling its adverts more tightly, the company runs the risk of attracting much criticism. Though it’s not entirely clear if the filter will be launched, it could be rolled out over the next few weeks.