With Chrome 71, Google is stepping up its fight against the internet’s abusive ads problem by blocking every ad on a site that persistently shows them. Abusive ads come in many forms, but broadly speaking cause your browser to misbehave by either generating fake system messages, automatically redirecting you, or attempt to steal personal information.
This isn’t the first time that Google has tried to use Chrome to address the problem. Back in July, Chrome 68 would prevent sites from opening new tabs or windows if they were reported for serving abusive experiences. Chrome 71, scheduled for release in December, will give site owners a 30 day grace period to clean up their site after an abusive experience is reported. Failure to remove the abusive ads will cause Chrome to block every ad on the site — regardless of whether they are classed as abusive or not.
Although users will have the option of turning this filtering off, the majority are likely to leave their settings at their default values, effectively withholding a huge portion of a flagged site’s revenue. It’s a big incentive for sites to prevent this bad behaviour, even if it’s an uncomfortable reminder of how much power Google now holds over the internet.