After years of resisting the temptation to block ads without generating revenue, Google will introduce an ad-blocking feature in its Chrome browser for desktop and mobile, according to one media outlet, citing "people familiar with the company's plans."
Sources tell The Wall Street Journal the ad-blocking feature could be switched on by default and filter out ads its algorithms deem to be a "bad experience for users" as they traverse publisher sites.
The Coalition for Better Ads released a list of ad standards in March that could provide a template for defining a bad experience.
Ad formats for the mobile Web, for example, fall "beneath the initial Better Ads Standard: pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, and large sticky ads."
Google experimented with generating income without showing display and banner ads on publisher sites in the United States. The service, called Contributor, allowed Web site visitors to pay a monthly subscription fee to avoid seeing ads.
Google shuttered the original service and said it would launch a new version early in 2017. In the original model, part of the subscription price went to the creators of the Web site in an ad-sharing revenue deal.
Chrome held 54% of the browser market share worldwide in April 2017 on desktop and mobile combined, per StatCounter, followed by Safari with 12.4%; UC Browser 9%; Firefox, 8%; and Edge, 2%.
Still, the WSJ notes the idea isn't etched in stone, and Google could still drop the project.
I'm sure Google's definition of "bad experience for users" will not include those ads delivered by its own ad networks, or perhaps for ads that its own engineers create. Goodbye digital agencies. It's all about world domination.
Somewhere there should be some anti-trust investigation? I guess we should wait until after they launch at least.