In response to the ever increasing prevalence of third-party ad blockers, Google has, as of yesterday, begun rolling out integrated ad blocking functionality within its Google Chrome browser.
According to a report from PageFair, over 615 million global devices now incorporate ad blocking and a report from 2015 estimates that ad blocking costs publishers $22 billion per year.
This represents a significant threat to Google and the publishers which rely on its ad network to monetize their web presence; last year, 84% of Google’s revenue was generated from advertisements.
In order to address the problem, Google became a founding member of the Coalition for Better Ads.
The Coalition for Better Ads conducted a survey of 25,000 North American users to discover which ad formats and types they find most annoying and this information has been used to create guidelines called “Better Ads Standards”.
These guidelines have been adopted by Google to help determine the ad formats that will be blocked by their browser.
According to the survey, the advertisements users deem most annoying are autoplay videos, pop-up advertisements and “large sticky ads” (which follow users as they scroll).
The guidelines are also segmented by device type, signifying the 4 ad experiences desktop users find most annoying and the 8 ad experiences mobile users find most annoying.
According to a report from Wired, the new functionality will only affect one percent of the 100,000 most popular websites in North America.
Google has reviewed a number of the most visited websites in North America and will notify them before it begins blocking ads. Upon notification, publishers have 30 days to rectify the problems identified before Chrome begins blocking their advertisements.
Users of Chrome will see a notification if advertisements on a page have been blocked by the browser and, according to Wired, 42 percent of the publishers contacted to date have taken pre-emptive action to revise the manner they deliver advertisements to their users.
While the integration of limited ad blocking in Chrome is a significant development, particularly considering, according to StatCounter, it now commands a global market share of 56%, it isn’t the only browser attempting to rid users of annoying and frustrating experiences with advertisements.
Yandex.Browser announced a similar measure a few weeks ago and its ad blocking functionality will conform to the standards set down by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s guidelines.
Similarly, Safari, with a global market share of over 14%, has taken even stronger steps to improve the browsing experience for its users. Last year it implemented a feature called “intelligent tracking prevention” to stop users being tracked as they move between websites.