Google is switching on Chrome's ad blocker against disruptive ads

Google kicks off Chrome ad filtering on sites that persistently display annoying ads.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google this week is switching on its partial Chrome ad blocker, which will stop showing ads on sites repeatedly flagged for irritating advertising.

In line with what Google told developers in December, Google confirmed that Chrome will start blocking ads on some websites on February 15.

Google of course makes its money from online ads but the company also wants to ensure people don't feel compelled to block all ads because of those that are extremely intrusive and disruptive.

Two examples that Google highlights are video ads that play at full blast or giant pop-ups where you can't seem to find the exit icon.

Sites won't be immediately punished for displaying these types of ads but they will be if their site receives enough complaints.

There are two key elements to the plan, consisting of how it's decided which ads are unacceptable and, secondly, the monitoring and enforcement process to determine the sites on which Chrome will no longer show ads.

Google says it is relying on the Better Ads Standards from the Coalition for Better Ads to determine the types of ads that are considered intrusive on mobile and desktop.

Site owners will need to contend with the Ad Experience Report, which is part of the new ad-blocking system that Google is bringing to Chrome.

Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a 'failing' status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days as of February 15.

Failing is one of several review statuses that are part of the Ad Experience report, including not reviewed, passing, warning, and review pending.

Google says it will review a sample of a site's pages to determine its status. Those sites with a failing status will be subject to what Google calls 'ad filtering', which will come into effect 30 calendar days from the date it sends an email to the site owners. Failures for mobile and desktop are treated separately.

Site owners can request that Google reviews their status. The first two review requests will be handled without any delays. But after that, if the site remains in failing status, the site owners won't be able to request the third review until 30 days after the previous review has been submitted. Google has set out more details on the circumstances ad filtering is applied or lifted in a support page.

"We've already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren't doing anything disruptive," writes Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, vice president of Chrome.

"By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today."

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