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.
Those types of ads (defined expertly by The Coalition for Better Ads) are the ones we all hate: they play audio (loudly) as soon as you land on a page, or are the ads with countdown timers on them, and possibly the worst — the ads that have the hidden buttons to close them.
Google developing its own proprietary ad blocker, as a company that, as The Journal rightly points out, made over $60 billion in online ad revenue last year may seem counterintuitive, but Chrome has taken the lead as the most popular browser, holding over 47% of the market (up from 41% in mid-2016). By integrating their own ad blocker into their browser, they can work with sites to maintain the quality of ads deemed appropriate by the standardized guidelines, and edge out the competition (like AdBlock) that they pay in order to pass through AdBlock’s filters.
In other words, this is could not only just be a quality of life update for Chrome users, but a crafty power play by Google to edge out competition that is growing exponentially as ads become more and more depended on in the digital media space. Additionally, unlike AdBlock, Chrome’s plugin may not take all ads from a site, but just keep them unobtrusive to the user, thus still generating revenue and giving the user a positive experience.
In the industry, they call that a “win-win.”