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Google Chrome Adds A New Default Setting To Block Heavy Ads

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Google is starting to roll out a new default setting on Chrome to block advertisements that violate its heavy ad intervention policy. The company had announced this development back in May. At that time, Google said the new setting will be implemented in late August 2020, without revealing an exact date.

Now, sources have told AdExchanger that the new default setting to block "heavy ads" on Chrome will be rolling out gradually starting this week. The roll-out of the new ad policies coincides with the release of Chrome 85. The latest version of Google's browser is now rolling out with a whole slew of changes including faster page loading, collapsible Tab Groups, revamped share menu, QR code sharing on desktop, and more.

Google Chrome will automatically block heavy ads

Google defines heavy ads as those that use more than 4MBs of network data or 60 seconds of total CPU. Ads that mine cryptocurrency or host mini-games are some examples of such ads.

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Although just about 0.3 percent of ads exceed these Google-defined thresholds, they reportedly make up 27 percent of total ad data network consumption. Such "heavy" ads also account for 28 percent of total ad CPU usage. This is certainly not ideal for consumers and Google wants to do something about it.

Given the small volume of heavy ads, Google's latest move will not affect many advertisers and publishers. However, those who rely on "long-form videos and rich media ad units" would be impacted. Some companies also risk losing money on blocked ad units.

Ads distribution platform Teads welcomed Google's decision saying the impact would be minimal for ad tech companies that have already cut down on data and CPU use in their ad units. "Low file sizes and minimal CPU usage are things we've been considering for years," said Jeremy Arditi, chief commercial officer at the company. "So we're aligned with the motivation."

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Google has been putting in efforts to improve the ad quality on Chrome for some time now. Back in January, the company announced that it would phase out third-party cookies from its browser over the next two years. This move will certainly disrupt how publishers monetize internet traffic and will give Google more control over digital advertising.

The web giant is also a member of the Coalition for Better Ads. This group develops Better Ads Standards for desktop web and mobile web. They are reportedly working on tracking down on ad formats like pop-ups and autoplay video ads.