Why it’s bad news that Google Chrome starts blocking ads

As of this Thursday, today, Chrome starts blocking advertising . The Google browser writes one more page of its history surrounded by controversy and a clear accusation: wanting to be judge and party . The debate is served.

We met their plans in April, through information leaked to The Wall Street Journal . A company that gets much of its income from advertising, which has a huge global ad network that gets millions and millions of dollars, paradoxically seems to throw stones on their own roof. But he does not. Their intentions go in other directions, as much with respect to the history that counts as to the one that underlies.

In July, Canary version of the browser through, we could know roughly how the integrated blocker would work . The company was going to focus on preventing the display of ads that it considers annoying , advertising that does not meet the standards of the Coalition for Better Ads , an external organization -presumably- that establishes good practices for the industry.

Ads that reproduce video with sound automatically, those that occupy a large part of the screen, the famous pop-ups or those that force your viewing by jumping with a countdown, among others, will be blocked .

However, those responsible for the popular blocker Adblock Plus ensured that the system designed for Chrome will only eliminate 17% of the banners . Axios , citing internal sources from Mountain View, pointed out that Google’s browser will barely block 1% of advertising . Because the goal, they explain in his blog , is “to improve the experience for all the users of the web” .

Judge and part twice: The Coalition for Better Ads under suspicion

The problem of being a judge and a party, however, is even worse if we take into account a detail known in the last few hours: according to The Wall Street Journal , Google seems to have much more weight than previously thought in the committees of the Coalition for Better Ads . Members of this organization have indicated to the newspaper that the creator was Google and that a large part of its rules are of its authorship.

Given that only Google and Facebook dominate 20% of the global advertising market, as indicated from The Guardian , and that 3 out of every 10 dollars spent on Internet ads goes to the Mountain View according to US business newspaper, go as a referee in the game does not seem like a good idea . At a minimum, it does not seem fair to the rest.

Even less if you follow the rules of a body advertised as external, according to The Wall Street Journal , which is not so much in reality.

Although other browsers also block certain types of ads, such as Opera or Brave, their responsible companies do not participate in the advertising business. And although Google evaluates the pages using a method that alerts the owners if irregularities are detected that could end up in blocks, giving them the possibility to solve them, and clearly the ads that veto with annoying, their position should prevent them from taking this role .

The least critical reading of this movement, and positive in the long term for the whole Internet, is that this initiative could prevent users from resorting to much more aggressive blockers and their massive use ends up putting the danger of the advertising-based business model of so many and many services and publications that we visit every day. Taking the reins of the situation thanks to the dominance that they have of an important part of the traffic that is generated and channeling waters that each time lower more revolts.

The annoyances that advertising causes to users who decide to block it must be addressed

Because according to GlobalWebIndex , 45% of Chrome users already use ad blockers that are, by default, significantly more aggressive than the browser now incorporates. An upward trend that will not be solved until addressing the concerns generated by advertising in users, from the annoyances of the most invasive formats to issues related to security or overload caused by websites with many banners , especially when browsing is done with data connection.

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