As the ad blocking debate rages on, Google has made their next move by announcing today that they intend to launch an update on Chrome in the coming weeks that will have technology built in to block ad blockers themselves.
The technology itself is fairly straightforward – any type of ad blocking software will just not function on Chrome as its own blocker blocks the ad blocking technology at its source. This is an interesting decision from Google as the issue of ad blockers has become more prominent in recent months. Just this month the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) released a study showing that 22% of adults actively use ad blockers and nearly half of all adults would use ad blockers to access content. At these ever increasing numbers, it is no wonder that Google decided to take action.
Google’s revenue from display ads is fairly high, with some of our clients spending more on display than on paid search, so losing out on 22% of that revenue/inventory would make anyone sweat – and the engineers over at Google have decided to take action.
In doing so in such a bullish way, this will no doubt cause a backlash. Google have worked hard to protect their users when it comes to data protection, so this in an interesting move from them. Although, according to their blog, no official announcement will be made and it will be quietly released to market. Quietly bullish.
Another very real implication of this move is that it could lead to the start of an ad blocking arms race where ad blocker-blockers will be tackled by ad blocker-blocker-blockers and so on. This farcical battle knows no bounds, and with the amount of adspend hanging in the balance, both sides of this tech wall will stop at nothing to have the last laugh – and as such the last buck.
From an advertising point of view, this is interesting news, as the rise of ad blockers has put question marks over our display inventory – and with 69% of people using Chrome (according to February’s stats released by w3schools.com) then, this may no longer be a problem.