Inside sources say Google is working on an ad blocker that it plans to ship with Chrome in the upcoming future.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the new ad-blocking feature would be turned on by default for all users and will work similar to normal ad blocker, with one condition.
Sources say Chrome's upcoming ad blocker will block only ads that do no comply with a list of standards released by the Coalition for Better Ads, to which Google recently adhered.
This means Chrome's ad blocker will let some ads through but will block only overly-aggressive ad formats.
According to the recently released standards, this list includes sound-enabled auto-playing video ads, popups that cover a large section of the page, sticky ads that cover large portions of the screen, or prestitial ads, a term that refers to ads that have their own page that loads before the intended URL and features a countdown timer (eg.: Forbes).
Furthermore, Google is said to also consider an option to block all ads on a website if that site is showing at least one type of unacceptable ad format. If implemented, the move will have the direct effect of webmasters reviewing the ads they show on their sites and removing the ones that don't comply with recently released ad standards.
For many users, Google's move is mind-boggling, seeing that Google earns most of its revenue from advertising.
In reality, the move makes a lot of sense, as Chrome has a browser market share above 50% and any built-in ad blocker would allow Google to become the dominant force on the ad blocker market.
By controlling what is blocked, Google could make sure its own ads are shown, at least to Chrome users. Currently, Google ads are blocked by most third-party ad blockers, and where they're allowed to show, Google has usually paid a fee to do so.
According to PageFair, an analytics firm specialized in ad-blocking technologies, 11% of the entire Internet population is currently using ad blockers, and the number is increasing each year, growing by 30% in 2016, compared to the previous year.
The ad blocker market is expected to expand and have a much louder voice in how the Internet will develop.
Just like Google broke ground when it launched an Internet ad service and then a browser, the company is now looking to counteract any threats to its main revenue stream — which is advertising — by moving into a market that will soon have the power to influence it.
Last year, Google made over $60 billion from its advertising business, which was over 90% of its entire revenue.