back to article Google Chrome ad-blocking to begin in February – but what is it going to block?

From February 15, Google's Chrome browser will begin zapping ads that don't conform with new taste guidelines. But what those guidelines mean exactly is anyone's guess. Google confirmed that blocking would begin in a developer blog post. Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads – a group launched last year to …

  1. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Thanks...

    ... but I'll stick to my Ghostery/Adblock Plus combo... it's the tracker blocking that swings it for me...

    1. msknight Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Thanks...

      You've also got to allow Googles analytics, have a registered google account and have the web site properties registered against your Google account before you can see the sites status. ie. you've got to tell Google who you are, and which web sites you own, before it will tell you what it's going to do with it.

      Talk about tracking !!!

      Only one worthwhile option... stop using Chrome.

      Not that I have ads on any of my sites, but I do like to know what Chrome is going to do to them. And if it blocks my sites because of some reason other than ads... like content... or falsely determining an ad that isn't an ad. I just don't trust Google. Full stop.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Thanks...

        I just don't trust Google. Full stop.

        The Computer is your friend. The Computer wants you to have fun and be happy. Happiness is mandatory. If you are not happy, The Computer will use you as reactor shielding.

        1. Flakk Silver badge

          Re: Thanks...

          The Computer is your friend. The Computer wants you to have fun and be happy. Happiness is mandatory. If you are not happy, The Computer will use you as reactor shielding.

          "The Computer is happy. The Computer is crazy. This, in turn, will drive you crazy."

          Best tabletop RPG ever! Any clones that suggest otherwise may report to the nearest convenient disintegration chamber for immediate termination. The Computer is your friend.

          1. Bob Dole (tm)

            Re: Thanks...

            I am sorry, citizen, but this post is currently placed at Security Clearance VIOLET. Reading any of the words contained within this page without appropriate security clearance is considered treason.

            Please proceed directly to your nearest available Termination booth.

            Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice daycycle.

        2. Tomato42 Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Thanks...

          > The Computer will use you as reactor shielding.

          if only... that at least sounds like it would be using my body to advance science

          in reality it will be done only to generate "value for shareholders"

        3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: Thanks...

          You make me feel paranoid ;).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @msknight ... Re: Thanks...

        I only use chrome when I have to use it for clients that meet via Google Hangouts and when I want to watch Comcast on my PC. Seems they don't like Firefox... While I don't get an overt message to not use Firefox, I keep getting stream errors.

        And I agree, not to trust Google. Want to bet that they'll offer a 'service' to the advertisers to white list their ads so you can't block them?

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: @msknight ... Thanks...

          They probably already have offered such a service in preparation for it, so they can seem like good guys to consumers ("hey we're blocking the BAD ads but we know you want to see ads about things you are interested in!") while using it as leverage to make advertisers pay them premium rates for ads that Chrome won't block.

          Of course we won't hear about this for a few years, because it will be protected by major NDAs in their contracts because the whole thing falls apart once people know the truth.

  2. Richard 81

    Giving the ad industry sleepless nights?

    Personally I wish irritable bowel syndrome on anyone in the ad industry.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Giving the ad industry sleepless nights?

      In the words of the prophet

      " if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan's little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. " (Bill Hicks)

      1. sloshnmosh
        Pint

        Re: Giving the ad industry sleepless nights?

        Have a beer for the Bill Hicks reference.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Giving the ad industry sleepless nights?

      Having experienced that misery can we give them the mercy of a clean hanging??

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Giving the ad industry sleepless nights?

        No!!!!!!!! I'm more inclined to recommend death on an anthill, or maybe 1000 fleabites. Or both. They don't show anyone else any mercy so why should we?

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Giving the ad industry sleepless nights?

      I'll raise your IBS with a couple of un passable Kidney Stones.

  3. Gashead

    Let's hope...

    I can finally get to read The Bristol Post's coverage of The Mighty Gas. At present it is a soul destroying exercise, one false move and I'm directed off to some web advertisement oblivion.

    1. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Let's hope...

      @Gashead

      Local papers are all the same.

      Our local rag is a riot of full screen pop overs, redirects, surveys to read articles etc etc.

      If I didn't care about the local football club coverage therein, I'd never visit the page.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's hope...

        Most local papers are owned by one of a small number of national companies, so its quite possible a lot of them are using the same Web host design ( these are the same companies that successfully lobbied to have the news/weather/traffic etc pages removed from BBC local radio web sites ).

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Let's hope...

        "If I didn't care about the local football club coverage therein, I'd never visit the page."

        does it still work with 'NoScript' running?

    2. MrWibble
      Devil

      Re: Let's hope...

      "At present it is a soul destroying exercise"

      Isn't that always the case for that team?

    3. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Let's hope...

      Tried Firefox and no script?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's hope...

        Pale Moon here, NoScript and Ublock Origin tightly bolted on.

  4. frank ly Silver badge

    That picture

    I assume it's from an advert for Better Abs.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: That picture

      That or he's advertising one of those special machines Noel Edmonds belives cures cancer...

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: That picture

        I've never trusted Noel Edmonds since he shot Clive Anderson dead.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: That picture

          I still can't watch Deal or no Deal without "Blobby, Blobby, Blobby!" running thorugh my head.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That picture

      I thought it was Rock Hudson at first but then I'm thinking Viz advert picture.

  5. Excellentsword

    uBlock Origin is like mana from the heavens. I'm set, thanks but no thanks, Google.

  6. blokedownthepub

    Download now

    Those ads with a big green "Download" button, right next to the thing you really want to download. Source of much of the world's crapware.

  7. Geoff May (no relation)

    "Ad Experience Report"

    Who writes this report?

    How is it controlled?

    Can anyone influence the report in any way?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Ad Experience Report"

      You have to turn your ad-block off if you want to join in.

      Thought not.

  8. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    We reached out to the Internet Advertising Bureau for clarification

    Please don't do that.

    Ask them for comment

    Send them an email

    Try to telephone them

    But "reaching out" is one of those phrases that I'm hearing more frequently these days from less technically-minded people.

    It's management-speak, and I expect better of El Reg

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

      Put out an advert and see if they spot it?

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Management twat-speak.

    3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Urban dictionary :

      Reach out

      A sort of sweet-talking, cliche term used by temp agencies and other employers to give you the impression they have some particular vested emotional interest in helping you, when really they are just screwing you over.

      An unfortunately creepy term that is means "to contact" or similar. Brings to mind grasping and undesirable contact from strangers.

    4. 's water music Silver badge

      >>We reached out to the Internet Advertising Bureau for clarification

      Please don't do that.

      Ask them for comment

      ...But "reaching out" is one of those phrases that I'm hearing more frequently these days from less technically-minded people.

      It's management-speak, and I expect better of El Reg

      I dunno, someone in the bed next to you and fucking you up the arse seems like one of the scenarios when saying you reached out to get a comment seems literally ok

    5. spunkypete

      That's called nit-picking. You show disdain at "reach out" but I'm sure you're quite happy with "reach around"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "They [Google] call it ad filtering, but that's the ad blocking we've been propagating for years," Eyeo comms chief Ben Williams told us last month.

    Seriously Ben, if you now allow whitelisting of acceptable ads and block the non-acceptable ones then it's filtering not blocking. Stop being such a snark.

  10. My-Handle

    Putting the reins of ad-blocking in the hands of the biggest ad-slinger. Now that's a great idea.

    </sarcasm>

    "Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads – a group launched last year to represent digital advertising businesses including Facebook and big brands."

    To me, this reads as "...the Coalition for Better Ads - a cabal of the ad-slinging big boys who will use their new ad-blocking toy to unfairly discriminate against smaller advertisers. Now I'm no fan of the smaller ad networks (in my experience they tend to be worse for malware, popups etc) but at least most of them don't track your soul across this world, the next and the one after that as well. For that, you need the likes of Google and Facebook. Should a smaller, new ad network with a much greater ethic and better user experience pop up (stop laughing, it could happen!), I'm fairly sure they'll somehow run afoul of this new feature.

    I'm with most other commentards thus far. I'll stick with adblock etc.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      It won't bring back any of the people who already ad-block. It might stop some more people installing one, if they're really careful about which annoying ads they allow.

      If that stops them whinging, it's a good thing, but I don't much care anyway.

  11. Not also known as SC Silver badge

    "This is a timed advert that restricts the user from viewing content until the countdown has expired"

    Like on YouTube?

  12. anothercynic Silver badge

    If only they also banned...

    ... Ads that redirect you to an app store for their app 'for a better experience'. OH. DO. F***. OFF! I don't want your bloody app or I'd be bloody using it, you nitwits!

    UGH! I am glad to see autoplaying videos blocked, or interstitial ads with countdowns, or similar horribleness. Then I can finally read my local paper again too.

    1. Boothy

      Re: If only they also banned...

      I wouldn't mind these too much if they at least included a button/tick box option that included 'Don't tell me again about the app'.

      One offender of this is reddit, I mostly use reddit on the PC, and only tend to look on the tablet or phone if it's to check someone response to something I posted (which isn't often).

      I don't see the point in installing an app, for the once a week at most chance of me accessing reddit on a mobile device.

      And besides, the reddit mobile side, actually works perfectly well. So there really is no need for an app, unless you want things like live notifications. But email works fine for this as well, and also work son the PC!

      Thats' just one example, lots of other similar things.

      Another is example MS Teams web site, it keeps asking me to use/install the Desktop app, rather than the website, 'because it's faster/better etc.'.

      Well, no it isn't, MS on the Desktop (Win 10 company laptop) is horrendously slow, whereas the web site is quite nippy, and most of my time is spent on a Linux development laptop anyway, which they don't even support!

      </rantmodeoff> Time for a drink, coffee or beer?

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: If only they also banned...

        "I don't see the point in installing an app"

        And I see plenty of point in not installing such apps. If your website is so bad that I need an app to read it on a mobile device, then I'm just not going to read it on a mobile device.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: If only they also banned...

      If only they also banned:

      a) anything with scripting or 3rd party cookies or user-identifiable URLs. Period. [if I click on the link and it tracks me on THEIR servers, that's their business. But the ad itself should be benign].

      b) anything that has motion in it [especially flash and *shudder* HTML5 video, even WITHOUT sound]. Animated gifs are just as bad and should never 'autoplay' anyway.

      c) anything larger than 100k bytes. yes, I'm being generous.

      d) anything that requires a user interaction in ANY form, even if it's to stop the countdown early

      e) anything that blocks the content if "not viewed" (including those for sites that give you 'forbidden' or other errors from nginx if you happen to have noscript running)

      f) anything requiring downloads from a separate URL [script, CSS, whatever] - see '100k bytes' limit

      g) anything that re-directs directly to ANY kind of installer - no exceptions!

      h) anything that consumes more than 5% of the CPU over a 2 second period to render on an average device (mobile or desktop). Don't waste my battery either!

      I call that "a good start"

      [what, you mean shoving it in my face and blowing a loud horn until I press 'OK' isn't making me want to BUY your product??? That practice should have GUARANTEED sales attached to it!]

  13. benderama

    30 days grace for crappy ads sounds highly exploitable

  14. JohnFen Silver badge

    Not acceptable

    The ads that the Acceptable Ads Committee and the Coalition for Better Ads consider "acceptable" are anything but. As long as tracking is allowed, I will continue to block all ads.

    1. Wade Burchette

      Re: Not acceptable

      In addition to tracking, I also noticed that javascript within an ad is not considered unacceptable. That javascript definitely helps with the tracking. But is also means that malvertising will still exist. Two days ago, I was helping someone on their computer and every time we went to yahoo.com, his browser was redirected to a scam "Microsoft alert!" page. This happened every time, and each scam page was a different domain.

      This whole situation just seems like a distraction. Tell people you are concerned with only acceptable ads, make the definition of acceptable purposefully weak, and then tell everyone you care so don't use an ad-blocker. This is an ad-slinger trying to trick you into letting them make more money off you by pretending they care.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Not acceptable

        There is only one definition of an acceptable advert: one that isn't there.

  15. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Stop

    STOP THIS AT ONCE!

    I'm detecting a less than positive attitude from the users of this thread, both towards the benevolent motives of Google and the delights of adverts. Adverts I might add that have been carefully and specifically targettedchosen to meet your individual needs and desires.

    What kind of cynical grumpy-guts are you people, to fail to appreciate the care (No! The LoveTM) that Google showers upon you? Everyday and everywhere you go, we are watching over you all.

    Our motto is "don't be evil". What more do you want?

    I love Google! Google are doubleplus good!

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

      I must admit that having habitually turned off and blocked everything I can bar the actual content of the web, my eyes were opened to what I have been missing when I tried out the YouTube app on my new, inevitably "smart", TV. Watch a handful of videos and within minutes the pre-roll and mid-roll advertising starts to reflect the content of what I've been watching.

      I now appreciate the extent of Google's warm love showers much in the same way, I imagine, as pot plants appreciate the extent of Harvey Weinstein's.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

        "my eyes were opened to what I have been missing when I tried out the YouTube app on my new, inevitably "smart", TV"

        I shall resist owning one of those, for the abovementioned reasons. THAT, and the "dumb" ones are cheaper.

        1. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

          I shall resist owning one of those

          Good luck with that - if you want a larger screen size with a decent picture quality you're likely to be out of luck. The reason the "dumb" ones are cheaper is that they strip out everything - including the more expensive panels and advanced video processing.

          I also suspect (though I have no actual knowledge) that the cost of "smart" TVs is to some extent subsidised (or the margin is maintained) by the potential to upsell commercial streaming services and/or user behavioural data, so the incentive to sell dumb devices is diminishing.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

            " if you want a larger screen size with a decent picture quality you're likely to be out of luck."

            Fine by me. A larger screen size and HD picture quality are not worth the downside of having a "smart TV".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

      Sadly, without adverts there would be no internet. You you really dumb enough to think everyone works for free?

      Pretty much every review of anything is payola, and there isn't a single news website that isn't funded by brown envelopes.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

        "Sadly, without adverts there would be no internet. You you really dumb enough to think everyone works for free?"

        Just look at how the internet didn't exist before ads got so out of control! And we all know there is no other conceivable way for sites to generate revenue.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

          Internet before adverts, it was called ARPANET..

          I have been online since the mid nineties and advertising had been pretty much the only money earner, bar subscriptions.

          So either go to the pay model or you have adverts, it's that simple. How do you think el-reg makes money and keeps an office open? They rely 100% on advertising, be it obvious advertising like banner adverts, or less obvious "reviews"

          1. spunkypete

            Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

            These people are DIRTY COMMIES and should be STOPPED

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: STOP THIS AT ONCE!

            I've been on the internet for even longer, and I remember when ads weren't so invasive.

            "So either go to the pay model or you have adverts"

            Not at all. There are many other ways to aside from those two, and you used to see them much more often. The "problem" with them is the site operators have to do them themselves, rather than taking the lazy route and offloading it all onto a third party such as an ad network.

  16. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Unhappy

    ad lock

    I personally run ad-block but white list sites that dont act like total Muppets sadly its so far a very short list consisting of el reg and phis.org.

    I understand that companies especially small publishers have to make a profit some how but the choice these days seems to be see invasive crappy adds or pay a huge monthly bill.

    I have no idea what my eyeball time on the reg daily is worth to them, but i cant see it being the tenner a month most similar pay-walled sites seem to want.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: ad lock

      I whitelist nothing -- there is no site I love so much that I'm willing to voluntarily submit to ad network tracking.

      1. spunkypete

        Re: ad lock

        That's called being a DIRTY COMMIE. You want everything for free

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: ad lock

          If I'm being spied on, then it's not "for free". But that aside... if what were true, then I wouldn't pay money to sites I value (and that allow me to). Yet, I do. But I won't whitelist those sites, either.

  17. sabroni Silver badge

    Fox henhouse

    Ffs.

  18. Sherminator
    Facepalm

    Is this censorship?

    I find this most amusing, coming from the worlds biggest data collector.....

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Is this censorship?

      not censorship, a prelude to a tollbooth - pay Google, or your ad won't be seen in Chrome! [even non-google ads].

      that's right - PAID white-listing. It's inevitable. In fact, doesn't at least ONE ad-block service do that already?

    2. spunkypete
      Alert

      Re: Is this censorship?

      COMMIES!

  19. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    "...including Facebook..." ??

    "...Coalition for Better Ads – a group launched last year to represent digital advertising businesses including Facebook..."

    The very worst on-line ads that I'm ever exposed to are to be found on Facebook. Trying to watch a short little video of something interesting, and right in the middle, an ad suddenly pops up and interrupts the video.

    Facebook FAIL.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "...including Facebook..." ??

      You want the "FB Purity" plug-in just for that sort of shit.

      Assuming the best option of simply ignoring Facebook is not possible...

  20. Paul 87

    There's no way this feature will survive, it's an entire anti-trust lawsuit waiting to happen for an abuse of monopoly, linking their pre-installed browser product with ad-blocking when they also sell adverts.

  21. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Ads that don't conform with new taste guidelines

    Good-bye ads for sausage rolls?

    Seriously: Will Google now disable ad-blocking add-ons like uBlock Origin?

    Paris, because Taste.

  22. Bucky 2

    Not nearly good enough

    I advocate blocking all ads that the hosting website does not serve.

    If I'm requested to download an ad under the auspices of a web site, I require that web site to take responsibility for it. If they don't want to risk it, then for goodness sake, why should I?

  23. David Webb

    Stable Door Bolt Etc.

    I'm a regular reader of eurogamer, for game news. They would put the frikken annoying videos that autoplayed in the middle of the article, you'd start reading the article then all of a sudden you'd get a video for some PS4 game (that I already owned anyhow). I naturally now block all adverts on eurogamer. Now they throw a hissy fit "we notice you're using an adblocker, please stop it", sorry, doesn't matter which "better advertising standard" you've signed up to, if you were a dick in the past you're on my adblocker and staying on it.

    The register however is not on my blocklist, so far their ads are tolerable and this is a site I use more than 2 or 3 times a day.

    1. Jamesit

      Re: Stable Door Bolt Etc.

      Noscript can block the ad-blocker blocker.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Stable Door Bolt Etc.

        NoScript may be able to act as an ad-blocker blocker blocker, but can it block the ad-blocker blocker blocker blocker?

        1. Boothy

          Re: Stable Door Bolt Etc.

          I've also used uBlock Origin to block the ad-blocker blocker.

          I've had a few sites that have done large, or full screen overlays over the entire article, complaining that I'm using an adblocker. (This on sites with annoying ads). So I just used the pipette tool in uBlock Origin to select the warning, and hey presto, the article is back :-)

          I forget how bad the web looks these days for people who don't use ad blockers:-/

          1. Bob Dole (tm)
            Facepalm

            Re: Stable Door Bolt Etc.

            I forget how bad the web looks these days for people who don't use ad blockers:-/

            I turned off my ad blocker for a few minutes last week. After doing so I went to google news and clicked on an article (while using Chrome). Immediately I got a notice that Defender had stopped a trojan from installing. That's going to be the last time I ever turn that off again.

  24. spunkypete

    Take out the trash

    So.... we want services like search and social media but we don't want to pay a subscription fee and we either don't want adverts or we'll only accept adverts if they're so unobtrusive as to be ineffectual.

    Which dirty commies are driving this filth?

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