Wednesday, December 20th 2017

Google Chrome's Integrated AdBlocker to Go Live on February 15th

In what is certainly a major step forward for Internet advertising and the way these are delivered to users, Google has announced that their in-Chrome AdBlocker, which will ship embedded on the Chrome web browser, should be up, running, and being distributed in installation packages by February 15th. This move by google comes after the company joined a voluntary association in the form of the Coalition for Better Ads Experience Program, which aims to better the Internet - and its ads - on both consumers and publishers. This coalition's aim is to define standards for advertising, marking ads as either acceptable or not under the standard's rules, and will "certify web publishers that agree not to use the most disruptive ads identified in the Standards and will accredit browsers and advertising technology companies that will assess publishers' compliance with the Standards and filter digital ads based on the Standards."

Following its integration in the Better Ads Coalition, google will officially activate its AdBlocker on February 15th, whose criteria for blocking ads will be based off of the Coalition's white and black listing of websites and ads according to whether or not they conform to the body's advertising Standards. Google wrote on a developers blog post that "Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition's guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a "failing" status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days."
Pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, prestitial ads with countdowns and large sticky ads have all been identified as falling below the Better Ads Standard on desktops. For mobile environments, the Coalition has identified pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30 percent, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdowns, full-screen scrollover ads and large sticky ads as being non-acceptable.
Google itself is taking a pretty heavy approach with the Chrome-embedded ad-blocking: a single ad on a page that is categorized as non conforming with the Coalition's Standards will push Chrome to block all ads on that page, even if all others are in compliance with the Standards. It seems that the fight against ads has received a heavy nudge in the right direction. Even so, users should always remain cautious; Google makes most of its revenue out of ads. That a Google product is now shipping with an integrated adblocker may truly fit in the company's "Do no Evil" philosophy, and have only the best intentions in mind. However, one also has to consider that with a Chrome-integrated adblocker, Google can also pick and choose exactly which ads are serviceable for their customer's (and Google's) needs or not, giving the company even more fine-grained control on what is displayed on users' screens. Sources: Coalition for Better Ads Experience Program, Google, Coalition's Ad Categories PDF, via TechSpot
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31 Comments on Google Chrome's Integrated AdBlocker to Go Live on February 15th

#1
Ubersonic
I'm not a fan of ads by any means, I use uBlock myself and before that Adblock.

But those are third party apps/extensions, and I don't think giving Google (a seller of adverts) control/dominion over what adverts should/shouldn't be seen online is a good idea.
Posted on Reply
#2
Raevenlord
News Editor
Ubersonic said:
I'm not a fan of ads by any means, I use uBlock myself and before that Adblock.

But those are third party apps/extensions, and I don't think giving Google (a seller of adverts) control/dominion over what adverts should/shouldn't be seen online is a good idea.
Was going to add something along those lines to the story, but then just forgot about it. You reminded me of it, and has now been updated on the story with some more content regarding those same fears. Thanks for posting about this =) :toast:

And I agree with you on those accounts. It has to be supervised to ensure there is really no foul play here.
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#3
TheLostSwede
I'm more concerned about the crap that's started to happen on a lot of websites recently (thankfully not TPU yet) where ads redirect your browser to some random third party spam site that tries to make you download something. It happens more frequently on my phone and it happened twice to me reading Tom's Hardware yesterday and I got similarly hijacked today using my desktop browser reading some mobile phone news on another website. I don't understand how this works, nor how this kind of stuff have infiltrated the ad networks, but it seems quite serious, as some people will most likely follow the instructions to download some third party spyware or whatnot and adblockers clearly aren't blocking this, as I'm running one on my desktop browser for most sites, including the one where I got hijacked.
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#4
RejZoR
This won't win me over, especially if it's not in user's control to block all or just non-acceptable ads. I'll stick with Opera. It has some pages whitelisted, but you can throw them out and then it blocks them all.
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#5
Vayra86
A good initiative, self regulation is the first step to developing a best practice when it comes to serving ads.
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#6
john_
I think we need a mining blocker more than an ad blocker.
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#7
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
RejZoR said:
if it's not in user's control to block all or just non-acceptable ads.
This^^

Though if there is the option to block all I'd like it and will use it, otherwise I keep using ABP.
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#8
bug
Putting both ads serving and ads blocking in the hands of the same company? I think I'll pass.
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#9
RejZoR
bug said:
Putting both ads serving and ads blocking in the hands of the same company? I think I'll pass.
This is especially bad because it would give Google a monopoly over advertising. And that's a big no-no.
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#10
iO
Meh, this will only help with super annoying ads but leads to a massive spam of still annoying "acceptable" ads to compensate for the loss of ad revenue.
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#11
Dave65
Fox guarding the hen house perhaps?
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#12
bug
RejZoR said:
This is especially bad because it would give Google a monopoly over advertising. And that's a big no-no.
Why monopoly? And why would you think a company wants to become a monopoly?
The thing is, they can simply decide to design a type of ads the Chrome won't block. That's the road I don't want to take.
Posted on Reply
#13
RejZoR
bug said:
Why monopoly? And why would you think a company wants to become a monopoly?
The thing is, they can simply decide to design a type of ads the Chrome won't block. That's the road I don't want to take.
Monopoly among advertisers. Only Google dishing out "allowed" ads in Chrome while blocking everyone else. Considering the market share Chrome has, that's an issue... Or they'll just extort advertisers to be listed under "allowed" ads. Either way, it's good for them and bad for everyone else. Among many things why I'm using as little Google products as possible lately. They're doing shit dirty and I hate that.
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#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
prestitial ads with countdowns
So...Google is going to start blocking their own ads before Youtube videos then? That seems both stupid, and like a slap in the face to the content creators.

Ubersonic said:
I'm not a fan of ads by any means, I use uBlock myself and before that Adblock.

But those are third party apps/extensions, and I don't think giving Google (a seller of adverts) control/dominion over what adverts should/shouldn't be seen online is a good idea.
bug said:
Putting both ads serving and ads blocking in the hands of the same company? I think I'll pass.
I think this is specifically why they are using 3rd party blacklists and whitelists. They aren't the ones deciding what ads to block and show, and the 3rd party has some pretty clear rules on what they use to determine an acceptable ad.

This isn't the case of Google just deciding to block whatever ads they feel like.
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#15
Vayra86
RejZoR said:
This is especially bad because it would give Google a monopoly over advertising. And that's a big no-no.
True but they already effectively have that
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#16
bug
RejZoR said:
Monopoly among advertisers. Only Google dishing out "allowed" ads in Chrome while blocking everyone else. Considering the market share Chrome has, that's an issue... Or they'll just extort advertisers to be listed under "allowed" ads. Either way, it's good for them and bad for everyone else. Among many things why I'm using as little Google products as possible lately. They're doing shit dirty and I hate that.
Companies actively avoid becoming monopolies. When you become a monopoly, you're subjected to all kinds of oversight and regulations. You can still "smooth things out", but it's better to avoid getting into that position.
newtekie1 said:
I think this is specifically why they are using 3rd party blacklists and whitelists. They aren't the ones deciding what ads to block and show, and the 3rd party has some pretty clear rules on what they use to determine an acceptable ad.

This isn't the case of Google just deciding to block whatever ads they feel like.
True, but they can devise a specific technology for showing ads that their blocker won't stop. No 3rd party whitelist would help you then.
At the same time, no harm has been done and I tend to like things Google does. I'm simply noticing there's a possibility things could go wrong sometime in the future.
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#17
BluesFanUK
Can't enjoy a good free pr0n site without seeing ads now.
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#18
RejZoR
Vayra86 said:
True but they already effectively have that
Not when they are blocked just the same as everyone else with independent, non white listing blockilists like EasyList.
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#19
Totally
Ubersonic said:
I'm not a fan of ads by any means, I use uBlock myself and before that Adblock.

But those are third party apps/extensions, and I don't think giving Google (a seller of adverts) control/dominion over what adverts should/shouldn't be seen online is a good idea.
Same thought instantly popped into my head, possibly headed down the road "If it isn't a Google ad, it is a bad ad." and of course their own ads will never get blocked.
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#20
LogitechFan
they can keep it. uBlock origin does everything I need it to do, and it will keep doing it.
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#21
Vayra86
RejZoR said:
Not when they are blocked just the same as everyone else with independent, non white listing blockilists like EasyList.
Was mostly referring to Google AdSense and its domination of this market. That doesn't change here at all. In fact, this is the kind of responsibility I would prefer to see from monopolists - only a company of this magnitude is capable of implementing this and making it work. Adoption rate will be high, and this will make it relevant.

I'm not too worried about Google employing all sorts of trickery here, because there is no question in my mind that for example the EU will carefully watch this unfold. In fact it may do the opposite - the ad business really needs to de-escalate in every way and this is one possible way of doing it. At the same time there is already a win in this for Google. This is an awesome way to strengthen their brand and the AdSense proposition.

In my mind it can't really get much worse than it is today - we're already getting malware through ads and they are already page filling, pop up, autoplayed content, scrolling bars and all that other nonsense. In the end, we can always block things ourselves. I think the realization is starting to sink in that people are losing trust in ads they get served, and this will hurt the business far more than ad blocking does. When people lose trust, the value of ads will quickly and sharply drop, quite similar to how currencies work.
Posted on Reply
#22
bug
Vayra86 said:
In my mind it can't really get much worse than it is today - we're already getting malware through ads and they are already page filling, pop up, autoplayed content, scrolling bars and all that other nonsense. In the end, we can always block things ourselves. I think the realization is starting to sink in that people are losing trust in ads they get served, and this will hurt the business far more than ad blocking does. When people lose trust, the value of ads will quickly and sharply drop, quite similar to how currencies work.
Imho it can get worse and it did. Do you remember the flash overlays with a tiny, almost hidden close button? Or intellitext? This is never going to be over, the line between acceptable and unacceptable will always be contested, but I think ad blocking has already made users' lives better.
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#23
Darksword
Basically, Google gets to decide for me which ads are "acceptable" or not based on how much money Google is making on the ad. :confused:

An extra ad blocker is nice, but I'll be using this in conjunction with Ublock Origin and Adblock Plus, not in place of.
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#24
bug
Darksword said:
Basically, Google gets to decide for me which ads are "acceptable" or not based on how much money Google is making on the ad. :confused:

An extra ad blocker is nice, but I'll be using this in conjunction with Ublock Origin and Adblock Plus, not in place of.
How do you figure Google decides for you? No ad blocker till now isn't configurable, why would this one be any different?
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#25
laszlo
Google image stunt...& ad competition nightmare...for sure they'll be sued for blocking clean paid ads others than theirs..

i use ABP(chrome+firefox) and quite happy with it even is not blocking 100% ...
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