According to The Wall Street Journal, Google might be working on its own ad-blocking feature, which could come enabled by default within the mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome web browser. Ads that are deemed unacceptable in some way - for example, pop-up countdowns that force you to view an ad before the page loads, or auto-playing videos - would end up being blocked by the browser. Rather, it seems the company intends to target "unacceptable ads", identified under guidelines established by the Coalition for Better Ads, of which Google is a member.
The unprecedented move would surely send shockwaves through the online advertising industry, with Google itself being a business that's highly-dependent on ad revenue. That's according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, who say that Google's ad-blocker would filter out ads that have been deemed as bad for users by the Coalition for Better Ads. It's also a concern for other online publishers and services that rely on advertising revenue to support their businesses, many of which work with Google to help sell advertising space on their properties.
It's also suggested that Google will block every ad on a site with a rule-breaking one so that site owners and advertising companies will better police the advertising. Its closest competitor is Safari with 14 percent and the rest are struggling with single digits.
Google has naturally declined to comment on what is as of this time largely a rumor, but the move does make a lot of sense in some ways.
Still, the WSJ notes that the idea isn't etched in stone and Google could still decide to drop the project. The search giant now pays Adblock Plus's parent company for exactly that. The search giant could use its position of power to impose standards on the kinds of ads that are allowed through its blocker.
It's still just a rumour from the WSJ, however they do have fairly decent contacts, so we'll probably have to wait a while more to see where this goes.