Published: Wed, December 20, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Chrome ad blocker goes live in February


As someone who doesn't mind basic ads on websites, I think Chrome's ad-blocker could be useful without hurting publishers and websites that I actually want to support.

There's a good technical reason why Chrome can't come to the Windows Store in a way that's more helpful for Windows 10 S users: Google insists on using Blink, its own web rendering engine, while Windows 10 S requires browsers to use Microsoft's own technology for the same.

Google first announced its plans for ad blocking in June. This Program provides guidelines for companies like Google on how they can use the Better Ads Standards to help improve users' experience with ads on the web.

Google will notify websites that contain these ads of a potential blocking through its Ad Experience Report tool.

Chrome will begin blocking offending ads on February 15.

On desktop, the Coalition's Better Ads Standard defines four types of troublesome ads: pop-ups, presitial ads with a countdown (ads that load before the content of the website itself loads), auto-play video ads with sound, and large sticky ads (which are ads that persist as you scroll through a page).

As Venture Beat highlights, Google's timing is interesting as it doesn't coincide with the launch of a new version of Chrome (Chrome 64 is set to arrive on January 23 followed by Chrome 65 on March 6). If a website doesn't abide by those rules, Chrome will block ads on the site.

Sites will be able to appeal their status to Google after they change their advertising practices. Beginning the day after Valentine's Day, sites sporting ads that don't meet the Coalition for Better Ads' standards for 30 days will have all ads blocked in Chrome. But if you were wondering why Google's shipping a native ad blocker in Chrome, you're not the only one. The group devised and curates specific standards for non-intrusive ads that are more effective for consumers.

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