As we reported back in December, Chrome's going to start filtering ads by default this month. Google posted an entry today on the official Chromium blog that talks exactly how the filters will work when they hit production tomorrow. Let's dig in and look at the specifics.
The new information from Google details exactly what will get a site's ads blocked, and how site owners can deal with the problem. Google is part of the Coalition for Better Ads, and Chrome will adhere to a set of criteria called the Better Ads Standards. The chart above shows twelve types of advertising experiences that Google claims users find particularly annoying. Pages with these types of ads are considered to be in violation of the standards. If sites are found to have multiple or repeated violations, they will be marked down as "failing" and that site's ads will be blocked in Chrome. Site owners can check Google's Ad Experience Report to see if their site is in violation, and how to fix it.
Google goes on to describe the process in depth. First, Chrome will check a page to see if it belongs to a site that fails the Better Ads Standards. If so, the site's network requests will be checked against "a list of known ad-related URL patterns." Like most ad-blockers, Chrome will block matching requests at the network level, preventing the content from even being downloaded. Interestingly, the list of filters that Google will be using is based on the popular EasyList ruleset that is commonly used in combination with AdBlock Plus and uBlock Origin, among other blockers. Google admits that even its own services (AdSense and DoubleClick) are included in the rules list.
Google also shared the above screenshot which demonstrates what the blocker looks like for Android users. The company says that desktop users will see a similar notification in the address bar. Upon tapping "Details," users can select to permanently allow ads on the site, or find out why the site's ads were blocked.
The search giant—which makes the overwhelming majority of its income from advertising—is careful to note in the blog post that its goal is to avoid filtering any ads at all. Instead, Google says its intention for the Chrome ad blocker is to improve the web for everyone by eliminating intrusive advertising. The company says that 42% of sites that it informed were failing the Better Ads Standards are now passing the check.
Nobody likes intrusive advertising, so let's hope Google's efforts have the intended effect without having too much of an impact on the bottom line of sites like this one. For our part, we've always had extreme caution to avoid annoying ads on TR, and Google's tests currently show a green checkmark for our ads—as it should be. We hope you'll reward us for that consideration by whitelisting us in your ad blocker or by subscribing.