Reports indicate that Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is in plans to launch a feature that will block ads on both the desktop and mobile versions of its Chrome browser. The feature would allow for the filtering out of certain ads which negatively impact a user’s online experience. Sources say that the default setting of the feature, which could be announced in the near future, could be on.
The ads that Google might deem unacceptable would be those that don’t reach a certain consumer acceptability threshold as was recently determined by an industry group known as Coalition for Better Ads. This could include video ads that autoplay, pop-up ads and ads that have countdown timers.
Consumer acceptability threshold
According to sources, Google may decide to block all the adverts that appear on a website that contains offending ads rather than just the ads that have been found to have fallen below the consumer acceptability threshold. This would mean that owners of websites will have to ensure that all the adverts on their sites meet the threshold or else all the ads will be blocked.
While the move by Google might seem counter-intuitive since most of Google’s revenues come from online advertising, it may actually be a defensive strategy. This is because web ad blocking tools have increasingly become popular and it is estimated that approximately 26% of users in the United States use such software on their computers.
Largest revenue source
The proliferation of ad-blocking tools is thus a threat to Google’s revenues as well as its partners who rely on online ad revenues. In 2016 for instance, Google generated $60 billion from online advertising.
Thus by developing its own ad-filtering tool, Google’s plan is to counter third-party ad blocking tools. This should not be hard for Google since Chrome is dominantly used to browse the web. In the United States, Chrome’s market share in the browser market is approximately 47.5% across all platforms. This is according to StatCounter, an online analytics provider.