Wednesday, 10 May 2017 08:45

Google bidding to control ad-blocking space: claim Featured

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Google has decided to implement its own ad-blocker in the Chrome Web browser because it wants to control what can and cannot be blocked, according to the head of a company that makes a third-party ad-blocker.

Andrey Meshkov, the chief technology officer and co-founder of Adguard, said the most important reason why Google was doing this was to determine on its own what to block and what to allow.

"Google also wants to increase revenue from its own ad networks," Meshkov said. "It is a good idea to install ad-blocking on Google Chrome itself because Google’s own ad-blocking software is selective. So, actually, this move is intended to increase revenues, not to cut them as many people might think.

Google recently removed a third-party ad-blocker named AdNauseam from its store and blocked the extension from being used on Chrome.

The company has faced issues with its own ad network, with racist, sexist and extremist videos on YouTube running the advertisements of major advertisers. As a result, many big advertisers pulled their ads from the Google ad network.

Meshkov said Google's motive in introducing its own ad-blocker in its mobile browser was to compete with the UC browser.

"This browser is popular mainly in Asia," he said. "And in many respects (this is) due to the built-in advertising blocker. Now UC has 200 million users. The browser from Alibaba is gaining increasing popularity in one of the promising markets.

He said Google wanted to be able to resist the distribution of existing third-party advertising blockers, for example, through the realignment of Google’s search results (where Adblock now dominates) in favour of its own ad-blocker.

"Possibly, Google wishes to implement a substitution of concepts in the minds of typical, unsophisticated Internet users," Meshkov said.

"According to Google, the ad-blocker is an application that blocks only aggressive and inappropriate ads, and Google will make efforts to strengthen this view among users."

From looking at the experience of the Opera browser, Google's move would slow growth by about 3-% to 40%.

The audience of traditional blockers will shift towards "geeks" and privacy-concerned users.

"Publishers will have to adjust to the new reality, which means they will come to reject some advertising formats that Google (and other members of the coalition betterads.org) consider unacceptable," Meshkov said.

"We assume that many publishers will make a choice in favour of Adwords (or other advertising networks that are members of the coalition). This choice will increase Google's revenue in the future."

He said Adguard was already positioned as a "premium" blocker. "We always existed in a competitive environment with a lot of free blockers, so we believe that our growth will not slow down."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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