Google seeks end to unwanted ads, launches ad-blocker for its Chrome web browser

By Elizabeth Ogunbamowo

After so many years of being exposed to intrusive and unwanted ads on the internet, users are now assured of their safety against such ads as Google recently launched an ad-blocker for its Chrome web browser.

The choice of which ads to block will be determined by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) – made up of companies including Google and Facebook. According to reports, Sites will be given the ultimatum of 30 days to remove disruptive ads before blocking begins.

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Last year, Google announced its intention to curtail full-page and auto-playing video ads among other things. A survey of 40,000 US and European web users found that the most intrusive ads were full-page ads that hide the content of a web page and flashing animated ads, according to a blog by Chris Bentzel at Google where he noted that the Chrome browser will automatically block ads on sites that fail to adhere to the Better Ads Standards.

Benzel wrote, “When at least one network request has been blocked, Chrome will show the user a message indicating that ad blocking has occurred as well as an option to disable this”. The Chrome browser is in use on approximately 60% of computers and mobile devices, according to statistics from Stat Counter, W3Counter and Net Applications.

Amidst the fear of adblocking, some sites have started altering the ads that they show to users after being warned by Google, these sites include the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. However, users who simply want to block as many ads as possible may seek other solutions.

However, rival Adblock plus has proved the inefficiency of the Chrome and blocker. In its analysis on how effective a CBA ad-detection tool can be, in terms of its ability to block ads, it was established that the CBA blocker failed to prevent ads that re-positioned article text on a web page while users were reading it, for example to make way for auto-playing video ads.

A spokeswoman for rival Adblock plus said that the new CBA-endorsed ad skimmer will only block 16.4 percent of the ad types listed in its white paper while Adblock Plus blocks 92.7% of ads by comparison.

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