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On Thursday, Google will begin using its Chrome browser to reshape the web by eradicating ads it deems annoying or otherwise detrimental to users. It just so happens that many of Google's own most lucrative ads will pretty much sail through its new filters.
The move, which Google first floated back in June, is ostensibly aimed at making online advertising more tolerable by flagging sites that run annoying ads such as ones that auto-play video with sound. And it's using a big hammer: Chrome will start blocking all ads—including Google's own—on offending sites if they don't reform themselves.
Irony - Google - Aim - People - Software
There's some irony in that, given that Google's aim is partly to convince people to turn off their own ad-blocking software. These popular browser add-ons deprive publishers (and Google) of revenue by preventing ads from displaying.
Google vice president Rahul Roy-Chowdhury wrote in a blog post that the company aims to keep the web healthy by "filtering out disruptive ad experiences."
Company - Motives - Methods - Attack - Facebook
But the company's motives and methods are both under attack. Along with Facebook, Google dominates the online-advertising market; together they accounted for over 63 percent of the $83 billion spent on digital ads in the U.S. last year, according to eMarketer. Google is also virtually synonymous with online search, and Chrome is the most popular browser on the web, with a roughly 60 percent market share .
To critics, Google's move looks less like a neighborhood cleanup than an assertion of dominance—and maybe even a crackdown on its competitors.
Start - Google - Effort - Ad - Formats
Start with what Google is targeting. Its effort focuses on 12 ad formats criticized by a group called the Coalition for Better Ads, whose members include Google, Facebook, News Corp. and the News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. Among those blackballed formats are pop-ups, large ads that hover above the page, and...
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