Google Explains How Chrome Will Filter Bad Ads From Good Ones


Ahead of the release of Chrome's ad blocker tomorrow, Google has now released a new blog post which looks to further explain the fundamentals of the feature and how both users and websites can expect it to work. First and foremost, this is not an ad blocker in the traditional sense due to it only blocking some ads and as a result the terminology Google uses to describe the feature is an ad filter – one which looks to filter out ads that are deemed to be "bad" or in other words, intrusive ads and/or ones which impact on the overall user experience.

Therefore the ability to determine whether an ad is deemed intrusive enough to be filtered out is going to be the biggest hurdle for the feature. To overcome this Google is drawing on the data underlying the Better Ads Standards. As it will essentially be ads that are deemed to have violated the Better Ads Standards which fall foul of the ad filtering. This include different types of ads which impact on the user experience in different ways and differently, on different platforms. Some examples of the sort of ads which will be affected by the change can be seen in the image below.


The Chrome ad filtering itself will take effect by first scanning the page when a user is directed to it – but before the user has arrived on the page. At which point if the filtering software detects any of the intrusive ads then those ads will be blocked from view when the user arrives on the page. Although that is only what will be happening at the user level as regardless of whether a user is accessing the page or not, sample pages will be accessed by Chrome and will be used to form a judgement on the site as a whole. This judgement is fairly rudimentary (pass, warning, or fail) and will be further determined by how many intrusive ads are found during the scan. The outcome of the judgement will then play in to the user experience. For example, before filtering out ads Chrome will check whether the page directed to is part of a site that has a pass or fail mark. Depending on the results of that cross-referencing will determine whether the questionable ads will be blocked. Those sites that have been deemed to fail the Better Ads Standards in general will be notified of the grading and will have thirty days to rectify the use of the failed ads or face more widespread ad blocking. According to Google, early research on the use of ad filtering has proved beneficial with a number of sites who had previously failed the Better Ads Standards benchmark already adjusting to avoid filtering and blocking. From the user perspective, the actual act of blocking ads will appear on mobile as shown in the image below – along with the option for the user to choose whether to show the ads are not.

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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