Google plans to release its own ad blocker for Chrome in early 2018, referred to simply as ad filter. While it’s still not happening for many months, the company tells website owners to get ready. Google wants them to readjust their advertisement strategy and remove the most annoying ads from their pages.
The new ad filter will not completely rid the Internet of advertisements. It will assess websites to find if they have too many intrusive ads, and eliminate them. Say goodbye to these disruptive banners and autoplay videos. Others, more subtle, will still be displayed.
Google executives say that the new software will block even ads, owned or served by the company if pages do not follow ‘Chrome’s guidelines’. The tech giant offers a tool that publishers can use to see if their web pages will meet the requirements. A group, named the Coalition for Better Ads, is working on analyzing unacceptable ads. The group includes members of Google, Facebook, The Washington Post and others.
The benefits of Google’s ad filter
The benefits for users are obvious – cleaner websites offer a better experience. In addition to slowing down the web, ads can make it hard to navigate through pages. That’s what initially made people install Adblock, a plugin that hundreds of millions have on their computers and smart devices nowadays. This absolutely wrecks publishers, since the absolute majority of them rely on advertisements.
With the ad filter, publishers will be able to continue using the model, and perhaps, increase their profits to stay afloat. If users accept the world without Adblock, which eradicates all ads and switch to Google’s software.
The bad and the ugly (potentially)
But when Google enforces the policy, it will ultimately get to decide what websites should look like. The company will have the final word on what qualifies as good advertisements, and what isn’t. Chrome is already the most popular browser there is, which means the filter might only expand Google’s monopoly on the Internet. However, since the standards are established by a group of different organizations, the situation is unlikely to get out of hand.
Hundreds of millions of users have had Adblock installed for years
Let’s not forget, though, that Google is basically an ad company at its core. Advertisements generate almost 90 percent of its revenue. Publishers, in the end, will receive fewer options to monetize their web pages. And given the popularity of Chrome, they will have very little choice, but to comply.
But these are the potential risks and advantages of the new software. We will see if it’s good or bad only after the release. Google also says, it will give users an option to give money to websites, whose ads they block. If publishers want to use the program, called Funding Choices, they will need to enable support for it individually. It’s hard to see this as a very useful feature and a stable source of income, though.
Google says it wants to make sure that every publisher will be able to use advertising as a sustainable way to make money. It would be nice to find a balance between user experience and profits.
Source: The Verge