Chrome plans to block annoying ads


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Google unveiled a new logo on September 1. (Gareth van Zyl)

Johannesburg – Internet web browser Google Chrome has introduced an ad blocker to its browsers across all platforms.

Chris Bentzel, engineering manager at Chrome, said in a blogpost that the company would introduce a built-in ad filtering function in browsers after increasing demand from users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive. 

“The most intrusive ad experiences include prestitial ads (those full-page ads that block you from seeing the content on the page) and flashing animated ads,” Bentzel said in the post. 

Research by the company led to the approach Chrome takes to protect users from many of the intrusive ad experiences identified by the Better Ads Standards. 

Better Ads Standards will evaluate sites by examining a sample of pages from the site.

Depending on how many violations of the Better Ads Standards are found, the site will be evaluated as having a status of Passing, Warning, or Failing. 

When a Chrome user navigates to a page, Chrome’s ad filter first checks if that page belongs to a site that fails the Better Ads Standards. 

If so, network requests on the page – such as those for JavaScript or images – are checked against a list of known ad-related website address patterns. 

If there is a match, Chrome will block the request, preventing the ad from displaying on the page.

Bentzel said that over 40 000 internet users in North America and Europe participated in surveys where they were shown common ad experiences and asked to evaluate how intrusive the experiences were. 

“For desktop users, the notification in Chrome’s address bar will look similar to Chrome’s existing pop-up blocker. Android users will see a message in a small infobar at the bottom of their screen, and can tap on “details” to see more information and override the default setting,” he explained. 

Chrome will automatically block intrusive ads on sites that have been found to violate the Better Ads Standards, but users have the option to disable the feature by selecting “allow ads on this site”. 

According to Chrome, as of February 12, 42% of sites which were failing the Better Ads Standards have resolved their issues and are now passing. 

“We’re encouraged by early results showing industry shifts away from intrusive ad experiences, and look forwarding to continued collaboration with the industry toward a future where Chrome’s ad filtering technology will not be needed,’ Bentzel said. 

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