Chrome ad blocker goes live in February

Earlier this year, Google announced plans to implement an in-browser ad blocker within Chrome. Those plans were revealed back in June, and at the time, Google said that the ad blocker it was working on would launch sometime in early 2018. Now when know when Google plans to send this ad blocker live, and it turns out that launch is right around the corner.

In a post to the Google Developers Blog, Google today revealed that its ad blocker will go live within Chrome on February 15. Obviously, this isn't going to block all ads like other ad blocking add-ons do. After all, since Google relies on ads to make a lot of its revenue, that would be an ill-advised move.

However, it will block some of the most annoying ads you're likely to encounter while using the internet. Google will begin blocking ads in line with the Coalition for Better Ads' "Better Ads Experience Program." This program attempts to define standards for online advertising, recommending against some of the more annoying ones.

On desktop, the Coalition's Better Ads Standard defines four types of troublesome ads: pop-ups, presitial ads with a countdown (ads that load before the content of the website itself loads), auto-play video ads with sound, and large sticky ads (which are ads that persist as you scroll through a page). If you've encountered these ads before, you know just how annoying they can be.

On mobile, that group expands to include eight types of ads. The four types of unacceptable desktop ads are considered just as bad on mobile, but they're joined by flashing animated ads, postitial ads with countdowns, full-screen scrollover ads, and sites that have an ad density greater than 30%.

Sites that are in violation of these guidelines can be reported to Google's Ad Experience Report. Once Chrome's ad blocker goes live on February 15, sites that have been in violation of the Better Ads Standard for more than 30 days will have all ads blocked until they fix the portions that are in violation and are resubmitted for approval.

All in all, this sounds like a pretty great move on the part of Google, as it should cut down on the number of problematic ads quickly. We'll see just how effective it is come February 15, so stay tuned.