Google makes most of its money from ads. Google may soon build an ad-blocker into its Chrome browser. Ironic, right? It doesn’t feel like it makes any sense, but dig a little deeper before passing judgement.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, that’s exactly what Google has in mind. To make matters worse, the blocker would be on by default. Consider that Chrome is the most popular browser today, used by over half of the web-surfing audience.
Google isn’t going to shut down its own ads, of course. The purpose of the blocker will be shutting down the ads found unacceptable by the Coalition for Better Ads. Earlier this month, OnlineVideo.net published the Coalition’s list of the 12 online ads people hate the most. On desktops or mobile devices, people hate auto-playing video ads with sound. Those ads might get solid viewing numbers, but every marketer around knows they’re annoying.
Other hated ad experiences include pop-ups, prestitial ads with a countdown, flashing animated ads, and full-screen scrollovers.
But Chrome’s ad blocker might do something no other ad blocker does: It might punish an entire site for a few unacceptable ads by blocking all of its ads. That would be the nuclear option of ad blocking, since no site could afford to lose that much revenue. Sites would have no choice but to comply and immediately remove the most hated ad types.
If that happens, it could actually lead to fewer people using ad blockers, since they wouldn’t have as many problem ads to block out. And if people don’t use ad blockers, they’ll see more ads and advertisers will reach more consumers. So Chrome blocking ads could actually save the online ad community. Yes, it’s ironic, all right.
Look for Google to announce the feature in a few weeks, the WSJ says. Don’t wait until the last minute: Start planning new ads now.