Google said to be planning ad-blocking filter for Chrome browser

Google Chrome Android app

Google is reportedly preparing for an update to both their Chrome desktop and mobile browsers that will feature a free built-in ad blocker meant to clean up those pesky ads that, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, ruin user experiences. Ads that are deemed unacceptable in some way - for example, pop-up countdowns that force you to view an ad before the page loads, or auto-playing videos - would end up being blocked by the browser.

The ad-blocking step may seem counter-intuitive given Google's reliance on online advertising revenue, but the move is a defensive one, people familiar with the plans said.

One is to block all advertising that appears on the sites with offending ads, instead of individual offending ads. This could be muscle flexing by Google, considering a major portion of web traffic comes via Google Chrome, this might lead to more advertisers moving on to Adsense.

Another thing that Google doesn't like is that services like Adblock Plus offer programs that allow companies to pay their way onto an "Acceptable Ads" list. Simply put, Google doesn't want more people downloading ad-blockers that it has no control over.

In the U.S. Chrome has almost 47.5% of the browser market across all platforms, according to online analytics provider StatCounter. The search giant now pays Adblock Plus's parent company for exactly that. The sources indicate that Google hasn't ironed out all of the details yet, and that it may not ultimately go through with the feature. In this case, site owners may need to ensure all of their ads meet the set standards.

This brings up the question as to what ads would be Google consider unacceptable. The company declined to comment at this time, but hopefully we'll know more about its plans sooner than later. The WSJ says this isn't yet a done deal, but if it does come, it might be announced sometime within the next few weeks (maybe at I/O in mid-May?), so we shouldn't have to wait long to find out how much this rocks the online advertising industry boat.

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