Google is reportedly planning to integrate an ad-blocker into its Chrome web browser - a move that would present some interesting implications for digital advertising companies, online publishers, and for Google itself. There are lots of them out there, but building a blocker into Chrome could help give Google some control over the ad-blocking experience since some folks may opt for the blocker built into Chrome rather than using a third-party service. Today Chrome covers over 50 percent of the browsing market, according to Net Market Share, and Google would kill its income if it started blocking Google ads.
It's a plan that's sort of akin to operating for years with very thin margins or at a loss to block out the competition, nearly the way Amazon approached e-commerce.
But one option could be blocking all ads on sites that had one offending ad, placing a bigger burden on site owners to ensure all advertising meets standards.
Of course, the plan offers plenty of potential pitfalls. It would filter out only the ads Google deems unacceptable.
Citing unnamed sources, the report also claims that Google is still considering how best to implement its plans. This includes pop-ups and auto-playing video ads, in addition to other ad types. It's said that Google may choose to design the feature so that it blocks out all ads on a particular website if it detects that there is even a single ad that could cause a bad experience.
What isn't clear is whether Google's tipped ad-blocker will block only the offending advertisements or if it will block all the ads on a website that is found to have sub-standard advertisements. Google already ostensibly bans many of these types of ads anyway.
But the continued growth of ad-blocking is a worrying trend for Google, which generated over $60 billion in revenue from online advertising in 2016. Were it to be widely adopted, the company would also be the arbiter of all ads people see.
In the U.S. Chrome has almost 47.5% of the browser market across all platforms, according to online analytics provider StatCounter.