Google’s “no holds barred” approach to bad ads isn’t just for show. The Chrome ad blocker is real and currently being developed for Android.
Chrome Canary, an unstable developer-build for Chrome browser (for Android), was recently found containing a new feature: an ‘Ads’ toggle within the Site Settings menu. This option (turned off by default in the current build) gives users the option to “Block ads from sites that tend to show intrusive ads”.
Coalition for Better Ads (of which Google is a member) has already classified which ads are intrusive in their research.
The finding was first posted on Caschys Blog. The author took screenshots in German as well as English versions:
This led us to assume that as of now, Google may be testing the ad filter in countries where it is also testing Funding Choices – a metered paywall for adblock users which will let online publishers offer them one of two choices: Disable (third-party) adblock on the site or buy $1 ad removal pass to access content.
Named Funding Choices, the program is in beta and available to publishers in North America, U.K., Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, with roll out planned for other countries later this year. Google also has some helpful advice on how to craft the whitelist message.
This leaves many publishers in a bit of pickle.
“It is going to suck short term for publishers like us when we’re already fighting hard every day for yield. We may have to turn off some networks or ban interstitials etc. which would mean we take a short term hit. But in the long run, if it helps move the industry towards a better ad experience and reduces the use of ad blockers, it’d mean everyone wins.”
– James Hume, AdOps Manager, Neverstill Media
Chrome’s built-in adblock is set to go live early in 2018. The ad filter will allow Chrome users to block ALL ads on a website if it shows ads Google (and Better Ads) classifies as ‘intrusive’. For this reason, Google is advising online publishers to clean up their act before the feature goes live, i.e., to begin complying with Better Ads standards and remove annoying ads from their sites.