The ad-blocking step may seem counter-intuitive given Google's reliance on online advertising revenue, but the move is a defensive one, people familiar with the plans said.
The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.
Lots of folks run ad-blocking add-ons in their browsers, but soon Google may be adding an ad-blocker of its own to Chrome.
It's a plan that's sort of akin to operating for years with very thin margins or at a loss to block out the competition, nearly the way Amazon approached e-commerce.
According to the WSJ, Google is considering whether its ad blocker would block just the one offending ad or the entire page ad entirely.More news: Serena Williams announces she's pregnant
Of course, the plan offers plenty of potential pitfalls. The sources indicate that Google hasn't ironed out all of the details yet, and that it may not ultimately go through with the feature. That would cover things like pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, and "prestitial" ads with countdown timers. As a result, advertising on Google's search engine and some of the other ads it powers are allowed to pass through Adblock Plus's filters.
What isn't clear is whether Google's tipped ad-blocker will block only the offending advertisements or if it will block all the ads on a website that is found to have sub-standard advertisements.
It may sound counterintuitive for a corporation whose entire business pretty much depends on internet advertising to consider an ad-blocking feature in the world's most popular web browser. Of course, Google won't block Google ads.
So wait, why would an ad company want to block ads?
Chrome held 54% of the browser market share worldwide in April 2017 on desktop and mobile combined, according to StatCounter, followed by Safari with 12.4%; UC Browser 9%; Firefox, 8%; and Edge, 2%.