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Google Prepares To Counter Ad Blockers, But Stumbling Blocks Exist

Google is trying to figure out how to deal with ad blocking. It currently pays an annual fee to AdBlock Plus-owner Eyeo to whitelist its ads. AdExchanger reports that it pays some $25 million, though some sources tell AdExchanger the number is closer to $40 million or $50 million. Still a tiny percentage of Google’s revenue -- in first-quarter 2016, Alphabet reported $18 billion in ad revenue alone -- "shelling out to an ad blocker puts Google in the weird position of financing a tool that eats into publisher revenue." Still, Google has some internal ad guidelines and policies in place as to which ads are acceptable, including technical requirements geared toward user experience. "Google also operates an ad preferences center where users can manage what ads they see, and it’s been doing research to try and figure out what makes ads annoying to users," AdExchanger reports. Plus, there's a strong incentive for Google to take action: "The challenge with Google coming up with their own acceptable ads initiative is that I don’t believe they would be able to enforce it on the wider web, said Dean Murphy, creator of popular iOS 9 ad-blocking app Crystal, which accepts a monthly payment from Eyeo to allow ads from companies on ABP’s whitelist to slip through its filter."

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