As promised, Google has confirmed that this is the week its Chrome web browser will start blocking ads from some websites.

The move may seem odd for a company that makes most of its money by selling internet ads. But it makes sense for a company that wants people to keep looking at some ads, because the truth is that the more obnoxious ads you see the more likely you are to install software to block all ads.

So here’s the deal: starting February 15, when you use the Chrome web browser to visit websites that have ads that violate the Colation for Better Ads’ Better ads Standards, you won’t see any ads on that page.

image: ctrl blog

Google is essentially blacklisting entire sites, even if they have a mix of “good” ads and “bad” ads. In order to get whitelisted, web publishers will need to remove the offending ads and ask Google to re-review their site from the Google Search Console.

So what constitutes a bad ad? Here are a few examples:

  • Pop-ups
  • Auto-playing videos with sound
  • Prestitials with countdowns (the kind that block the screen and make you wait xx seconds before you can see the page)
  • Large sticky ads that cover the content
  • Mobile ads that cover more than 30 percent of the page
  • Flashing animated ads on mobile sites
  • Full-screen scrollover ads on mobile sites
  • Postitial ads with a countdown on mobile sites

Google Chrome is one of the world’s most widely used web browsers, and I’m curious to see whether Google’s move will result in publishers dropping support for some of the ad types mentioned above… or if they’ll double down on obnoxious ads to make up for any revenue lost due to Chrome users no longer seeing those ads.

I’m happy to say that while Liliputing makes most of its revenue through advertising, we don’t accept ads that violate the Better Ads Standards, and that’s been true since long before I even knew the standards existed. So the good news for me (and maybe less good for you) is that, come Thursday, you’ll probably still see ads on this site unless you’re using a third-party ad blocker.

And if you are, please consider making a contribution to help keep the site running.


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9 replies on “Google to turn on Chrome’s (partial) ad blocker Thursday, Feb 15”

  1. As much as I understand Google’s business necessity for making this change, I don’t think it will help that much from a consumer perspective.

    Sure, annoying and malicious ads are a big problem, but the way I see it, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Native advertising, “around the web” content (like Revcontent, Outbrain, and Taboola), and downright false advertising (“This [insert your GeoIP location] startup is disrupting a $20 billion industry!”) are massive issues that have overtaken many otherwise legitimate sites.

    They are almost always irrelevant, misleading (in many ways), and, in a word, clickbaity. Things like “click your age to see how much you could save” when the entire image is just one link, or “you won’t believe what $CELEBRITY looks like now!” leads to something completely different. I’m sure you’ve seen something similar somewhere.

    Unfortunately, ABP’s “non-intrusive” advertising allows this sort of advertising, and it sounds like Google’s filters won’t deal with this either. This sort of mental spam is as much a problem as anything else to me, which is why I use an ad blocker. I turn it off when I can or support people directly, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify turning it off these days.

    At least here I can expect some generally tech-related ads, but I still get lots of untargeted nonsense.

  2. As someone who has had a third party adblocker since the day they came out I just did a test on your site …….and, yeah, the ads actually are unobtrusive. As a result I’m going to turn the adblocker off for your site permanently. Only the 3rd site I have ever done that to. I’ll try support by clicking through to some ads too 😛

    1. Please do NOT click any ads unless you’re honestly interested in the content. Clicking just because you want to support a site is called click fraud and can actually do more harm than good.

        1. That’s why I used the word “some”. The main page is a bit ad heavy though. It’s causing the browser to rip.

  3. So, no more “Critical Alert from Mi-Cro-Soft” blaring from the speakers if you dare to step into the shadier side of the Internet?

    I recently came across one such “ad” that somehow managed to force a seemingly infinite number of downloads to start simultaneously, causing Chrome to lock up completely. Since nothing actually downloads, I guess they’re trying to con people into thinking their computer really had crashed so they would call the US number in the ad, which inexplicable always seems to redirect to somewhere on the Indian subcontinent…

    When one of these fine people cold called me recently, I kept him on the line, and after a little back and forth, I just told him I knew he was trying to scam me. Typically they hang up at this point — a barrage of expletives being an optional extra — but this chap was quite chatty and ended up trying to persuade me that I should travel to India sometime. I guess he’d already met his quote for the day, or something.

    Back to the ads, if this Google blocker is effective, I wonder what these shady sites will do. They already load up the sites with so many ads that it’s impossible to use them without an ad-blocker, so goodness knows what they will try next if most of them are successfully blocked by default.

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