Google Chrome Ad Blocking: Pros and Cons

Another day, another hurdle for publishers and advertisers. Or so it seems, after last week when Google Chrome began unrolling its new built-in ad blocking technology. Should you be worried or excited about Google’s newest feature? See below for the pros and cons of Google Chrome ad blocking and what it means for your brand.

chrome ad blocking


Consumer Demand

On February 12, Google announced that they would be unrolling their new Chrome ad blocking system. Chris Bentzel, an engineering manager at Chrome explained that this new function was at the request of the consumer. In a study of 40,000 people in North America, the majority of consumers found web advertisements “intrusive” and “annoying”.

“Filter”, not a blocker

Google claims that this new feature is not an ad blocking system, but an ad filtering system. “By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today,” Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, a Google vice president, wrote in a blog.

Better ads, more revenues?

Google Chrome ad blocking will now evaluate advertisements off of the Coalition for Better Ad Standards. Publishers and brands alike are already complying with these new rules, with 65% of sites already having made appropriate changes to their advertisements as of last week. Many feel that by getting rid of annoying ads, the consumer will actually pay more attention to the ads they see on their web pages.


Noncompliance = huge revenue losses

While chrome ad blocking may give advertisers who comply an upper-hand, those who do not adhere to the Better Ad Standards will quickly feel a drop in their bottom line. Publishers who violate the new ad blocking standards will have 30 days to revise their content. If proper adjustments are not made, Google will not only take down the offending ads but disable all of the ads on the website, causing a major decline in ad revenues to a given page.

Too much power?

Not everyone is a fan of this chrome’s ad blocking technology. Some feel that Google is leveraging their power of the internet to an extreme. Vice President of Mozilla calls it a “tremendous centralization”, while the Electronic Frontier Foundation claims that the Chrome ad blocking “ fails to address the larger problem of tracking and privacy violations” on the internet.

Third-party ad blockers

In addition to criticism, many feel that the use of the Chrome ad blocking will not prevent consumers who are advertising-averse from downloading other ad-blocking technology. Software like AdBlock Plus continues to be popular among internet users, who install the software into the web browser of their choice. Chrome ad blocking technology also does not block other ads that typically bother consumers, such as pre-roll ads on YouTube, thus giving users another reason to want third-party software.