Google To Spare Users ‘Abusive Experiences’ With Its New AdBlock Feature

Photo: szelmek (Getty Images)

Millions of web connoisseurs have recently turned to solutions like AdBlock to fight against an increasing number of websites that use abusive advertising practices to make a quick buck. Although browser extensions have been seen as the main form of defense against these practices, Google is ready to play its part in making the web a better place.

In Chrome Update 71, Google will be implementing a form of AdBlock of its own. Websites that employ what Google terms “abusive experiences” will have their ads automatically blocked within the browser. For websites that are used to relying on bad practices for ads, AdSense revenue could be driven to zero.

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The new feature will be offered as a toggleable setting that’s enabled by default, allowing those who prefer to be bombarded by experience crippling ads to disable the setting and continue enjoying free iPad pop-ups full of malware if they wish to do so.

Photo: Iain Masterton (Getty Images)

The big question is: what qualifies as an abusive experience? Google outlined this in a recent post, which lists the following with descriptions:

  • Fake messages
  • Unexpected click areas
  • Misleading site behavior
  • Phishing
  • Auto-redirect
  • Mouse pointer
  • Malware or unwanted software
  • Ads with missing or misleading branding

While a few of these are usually only found on exploitative sites that you probably wouldn’t want in your search history anyway, auto-redirects, unexpected click areas, and ads with misleading branding are all quite common in today’s web landscape. In other words, a lot of websites are going to require some attention to avoid being blacklisted by Google.

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Update 71 will be released in December and Google is providing a 30 day “grace period” for website admins to remove abusive behavior or potentially find themselves no longer making AdSense revenue.