Google is going to launch an ad-blocker inside Chrome, but has a plan to soften the blow

Key Points
  • Google's ad blocker is reportedly coming next year
  • Google won't suddenly start blocking ads in Chrome
  • It'll give publishers a six month lead to get things in order first, the WSJ says
Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2016.
Beck Diefenbach | Reuters

Google has a plan to block ads inside Chrome, which could mean big problems for media companies, but it has a plan to soften the blow.

The company won't just flip a switch and leave publishers out in the cold. Instead, Google will give publishers a 6-month lead time to get things in order, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Publishers will have access to a new tool that'll let them know whether or not their ads are deemed unacceptable by the Coalition for Better Ads.

The move may end up hurting smaller sites that rely on lower-quality ads the most, since those types of ads are more prevalent on sites that don't generate as much traffic as much larger publishers. The Coalition for Better Ads' website identifies both desktop and mobile web ads that it deems unacceptable for end-user experiences.

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The unacceptable list includes pop-ups, ads that auto-play with sound, ads that appear before the homepage loads, and large sticky ads on the desktop. On mobile, it expands the unacceptable ads to include full-screen scrollover ads, flashing animated ads and ad density higher than 30 percent.

Alphabet relies heavily on Google's ad business, which generated $21.4 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2017. Google's move is likely to encourage Chrome users to turn off existing ad blockers, allowing a larger percentage of high-quality ads to still present themselves. In turn, that might increase Google's ever-important click-through rate.

Google hasn't yet said exactly when the new ad filter will launch in Chrome, but it's expected next year. A Google spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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