What Google Chrome's Ad Block Feature Will Block

The latest version of Google Chrome with autoplay and ad blocker became available through Google Play on Wednesday for devices running Android mobile.

The feature basically prevents websites from opening new windows or tabs without the permission of the site visitor. The blog TechDroider points to code for the new version, 64, outlined in the Git log, but Adblock Plus Ops Manager Ben Williams and team translate the tech speak into plain language.

Williams said the company wanted to tell Adblock users what to expect. "It's important for [advertisers] to understand that for those who block ads, it won't really affect the uptick in ad blocking," he said. "It will take away the absolute worst in ads, according to the research, but it won't affect the increase of ad blockers."

Williams said it seems that Google is only really trying to remove the absolute worst ads from the web -- which is positive -- but it won't make ad-blocking users stop using the technology.

It allows advertisers to find a way to reach young, tech-savvy consumers, which Williams defines as a "very valuable audience." He said "there's a way to reach this demographic on their own terms." 

To determine the type of ads Chrome will block, an Adblock Plus team used the specification from the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) white paper published in 2017 called Determining a Better Ads Standard Based on User Experience Data, along with some other data.

The CBA's white paper published the results of tests on 55 different types of desktop ads for acceptability. Adblock compared what the CBA qualified as acceptable ads against Adblock's current Acceptable Ads definition.

The analysis found that Google Chrome will block autoplaying inline video ads with sound. This ad unit is a 640x390 video ad placed between two paragraphs in the article on a web page. It automatically begins playing and sound is enabled on the player. It will not block the ads without sound if they are muted.

Google will also block a pop-up ad with countdown, and a prestitial ad with countdown. This means that before the article loads, a user is shown a full-page ad contain with a 300x250 image. The ad has a 10-second timer, after which an easy-to-see skip button appears. 

Chrome also will block "sticky" ads, either 970x250 or 580x400, but not 728x90 ads that serve up at the bottom of the site visitor's screen and remain there regardless of whether the person scrolls up or down. And Chrome will not block static inline 300x250 image ads placed between two paragraphs in the article.

AdBlock's analysis of Google's new feature suggests that Chrome will block nine types of ads out of 55 possible scenarios. Advertisers can find a complete list here


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