Why Google released a built-in ad blocker on Chrome



July 12, 2023

increase in ad revenue
monetized page views
Better Ads Standards compliant

In 2018, Google introduced its built-in ad blocker for Chrome, which has since been rolled out to most users worldwide. Considering Chrome commands over 60% of the global browser market, its actions invariably impact the web ecosystem.

An interesting point to note is that Chrome's built-in ad blocker was designed to block even Google's own ads, despite the fact that the majority of Google's revenue comes from advertising. So, why did Google release an ad blocker that could harm its business? To understand, we need to examine what makes Chrome’s ad blocker different from other ad blockers.

How does Chrome's built-in ad blocker work?

Chrome does not block all advertisements; instead, it only blocks intrusive ads on websites that violate the Better Ads Standards. (For more about the Better Ads Standards and why Google forces publishers to comply with those guidelines, click here.)


Chris Bentzel, an engineering manager at Google, has explained Chrome’s ad-blocking process. When a user visits a website, Chrome checks whether the website complies with the Better Ads Standards. If it does not, Chrome begins to block ads at the network level using rules from EasyList(ads) and EasyPrivacy(tracker). These filters include rules that block AdSense, DoubleClick, Google Analytics, and other Google services.

Chrome will automatically block ads on any site that violates the Better Ads Standards, but users still have the option to disable this feature by selecting "allow ads on this site" in the browser options.

When ad blocking has been activated, Chrome will show the user a message indicating that ad blocking has occurred and provide the option to disable that setting by selecting "allow ads on the site."
Likewise, publishers can use the Ad Experience Report to check if their websites violate the Better Ads Standards. In addition, they can request removal from Google's ad block blacklist after they have addressed any issues regarding intrusive ads.

So why did Google add a built-in ad blocker in Chrome that could have a significant impact on its own business?

Most ad blockers, such as Adblock Plus, AdGuard, and Brave Browser, block all advertisements, posing a huge problem that threatens Google's business and the free web ecosystem that is driven by content creators with ads. To prevent users from installing ad blockers of that nature, Google had to assume their tasks, including blocking intrusive ads that would be disruptive or disagreeable to users.


As a result of Google's enforcement of the Better Ads Standards and the efforts of various participants, the penetration of ad block users, which had been rapidly increasing, has instead been mitigated.

Joon Yu
Founder & CEO