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BizReport : Advertising archives : February 12, 2018

Ad blocking and anti-ad blocking an "escalating arms race"

Google is turning on its native ad blocker this week, but in what is being dubbed an "escalating arms race" more publishers than ever are using anti-ad blocking technology according to new research from the University of California (Riverside).

by Helen Leggatt

In just a few day's time, Google will turn on Chrome's native ad blocker. As of Thursday February 15, 2018, Chrome will begin blocking certain types of ads. The move comes as part of Google's partition in the Coalition for Better Ads, a body that publishes quality standards for display ads online.

To this end, any full-page ad interstitials, flashing ads, or ads that begin playing audio unexpectedly, will be blocked. Not only that, Chrome will block all ads on a website even if only one ad doesn't follow the Coalition's standards.

According to Google, the move aims to reduce the use of third-party ad blockers than hide all online ads. Such blockers impact publishers' bottom lines and threaten the sustainability of the online ecosystem.

Meanwhile, research from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) has found that the use of anti-ad blockers that prevent users of ad-blocking software from viewing site content has risen significantly among online publishers.

The "Measuring and Disrupting Anti-Adblockers Using Differential Execution Analysis" study reports that publishers are using anti-ad blockers 52 times more than other research has suggested.


In what UCR professor Zhiyun Qian calls "the escalating arms race between ad blocker and anti-ad blockers" 38% of the top 1,000 websites were found to be using anti-ad blocking technology and among the top 10,000 websites that figure was 30%.

According to Qian, the industry's bypassing of ad blockers increases the possibility of malware delivery and "widespread tracking will come back to threaten the stability of digital interconnected systems."

Tags: ad blocking, advertising, Chrome, Google, publisher advertising

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