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Google reportedly planning built-in ad-blocking feature for Chrome

Google reportedly planning built-in ad-blocking feature for Chrome

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On both its mobile and desktop browsers

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Photo by Nick Statt / The Verge

Google plans to introduce an ad-blocking setting in both the mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome browser, according to The Wall Street Journal. The option would be opt-in, and it would remove any and all “unacceptable” ads as defined by Coalition for Better Ads industry group. Those types of ads include pop-up ads, autoplay videos, and what are known as prestitial ads, or those ads that are often fullscreen and show up before you’re taken to the homepage or desired website.

Google wouldn’t be blocking its own ads

How Google will implement this feature is still being debated, the report says. One option includes blocking all advertising on a website if it includes even just one offending ad, which would ensure that website owners keep all forms of advertising up to standard. The other option is simply to block the offending ads in question, though it’s unclear whether Google will go forth with either strategy. Google declined to comment for this story.

It may sound counterintuitive for a corporation whose entire business pretty much depends on internet advertising to consider an ad-blocking feature in the world’s most popular web browser. However, Google has a vested interest in ensuring web users don’t turn to third-party ad-blocking tools that don’t differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable ads by industry standards and, in some cases, charge website owners money to bypass ad-blocking filters, effectively defeating the purpose of using ad-blocking plugins in the first place.

The company has a history of disallowing or preventing what it sees as harmful ad practices, like blocking pop-ups in new tabs and issuing malware warnings. So in a way, Google appears to be taking additional steps to clean up advertising bad practices and keep users happy, even if it means throwing a healthy chunk of the lower-end ad market under the bus.

Update at 7:54PM ET, 4/19: Added that Google declined to comment.

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