Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Chrome's Native Ad Blocker Due Out Tomorrow

Chrome's Native Ad Blocker Due Out Tomorrow

Luckily, Google explained a bit about Chrome's ad blocker ahead of the feature's launch on February 15. The built-in ad filtering feature will cover up some of the internet's most annoying and intrusive ads, and ultimately convince publishers to get rid of them. This result led to the approach Chrome takes to protect users from numerous intrusive ad experiences identified by the Better Ads Standards: evaluate how well sites comply with the Better Ads Standards, inform sites of any issues encountered, provide the opportunity for sites to address identified issues, and remove ads from sites that continue to maintain a problematic ads experience.

Google believes if ads were more useful and engaging, fewer people would resort to installing ad blockers.

Failing is one of several review statuses that are part of the Ad Experience report, including not reviewed, passing, warning, and review pending. Google announced plans to bring ad blocking to Chrome in June of past year, but until now, it hasn't been clear just what it'll look like or how it'll work.

What do you think of the changes? If a site stays non-compliant 30 days after being notified of its violations, Chrome will start blocking its ads.

Roy-Chowdhury said repeated feedback suggests that intrusive ads are amongst the biggest pain points for users on the web. So if a user from India visits a site in Germany where ads are being blocked, that user won't see ads even if the filtering isn't live for Indian sites.As Google's product manager for the Chrome Web Platform Ryan Schoen told me, 42 percent of publishers that were in violation have already moved to other ads.

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Interestingly enough, Chrome will also give users the option to disable ad blocking by selecting "allow ads on this site". It said that while some of the ads that violate the standards have intrinsic problems, in other cases, the problematic experiences are the fault of the site owner - displaying high ad density or prestitial ads with a countdown. If so, Chrome will block any network requests coming from JavaScript or images that display ad-like URL patterns based on EasyList, the same open-source block list that powers Adblock Plus. If a match is found in cross-checking, Chrome will block the request and prevent the ad from being displayed on the page.

Here are Google's recommendations for ads to use in place of the "annoying" ads being blocked. They take up the same amount of screen space without covering content.

You can choose to opt out of the "SAFE_BROWSING" flag in settings of the latest version of Chrome, but it will be enabled by default.

While those are acceptable alternatives, Google says they should still be used sparingly. Normal ads will still run, which is handy, as many websites make their money from them in order to remain free to access.

Instead of using pop-ups or prestitials with countdowns, try using "takeover" ads that border the main content of the entire screen. Not only will Google appreciate it, it's likely your visitors will as well. It offers tools to help advertisers check that they are in compliance.

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