We heard in April that Google was working on an ad blocker to bake right into a future version of its Chrome browser, and we now have a timeline. The company says publishers have until early 2018 to fix their crappy ads or have none of them show up at all for Chrome users.
The idea here is to improve the browsing experience across the web for people, and in the bargain, prevent them from having to resort to using third-party ad blockers that snatch ad revenue away from publishers.
So what qualifies as a crappy ad? As the Coalition for Better Ads industry group (of which Google is a member) says in its Standards guidelines, pop-ups, auto-playing videos with sound, prestitials with a countdown and large persistent banners are all disruptive to users’ browsing experience and are most likely to push them to adopt ad blockers.
To help publishers fix their sites before it flips the switch on its upcoming ad blocker, Google has created a tool called Funding Choices which lets you show visitors a custom message asking them to disable their ad blocker extension or pay to view content through the Google Contributor program (which offers a pass that you can top up and use on multiple sites).
It’s a smart forward-looking approach to tackling the issue of bad ads and revenue lost because of blocking tools. Of course, ad blocker makers aren’t going to be happy – a company called Eyeo, which makes Adblock Plus, charges companies to whitelist their ads on its extension. By building ad blocking right into Chrome, Google negates the need for a third-party tool and gives publishers a fairer shot at making money again.