To improve battery life, network usage and website speed, Chrome will delete ads that consume too many computing resources, Google said Thursday. Google will begin experimenting with the technology in coming months and plans to build it into Chrome in August, Google said in a blog post Thursday.
The move will excise only the worst ad offenders, including those that try to mine cryptocurrency, that use images with unnecessarily large file sizes, that demand more than 4 megabytes of network data or that occupy the browser’s main computing process for more than 60 seconds, Google said. Offenders will be replaced by a notice that says “ad removed.”
Google’s new ad intervention reflects a growing effort by browser makers to override website instructions and to try to fix problems that can degrade the web. Brave blocks ads by default, Vivaldi now offers ad blocking as an option, and Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla take various measures to block ads from tracking you online and infringe privacy.
Advertisers may not be happy with the changes, but many of us are taking even more aggressive actions than what browsers do by default. Ad blockers are increasingly common, now on mobile devices as well as personal computers. Other extensions block ad tracking, too.
The action will target ads Google discovered are the worst offenders in exceeding Google’s limits. “While only 0.3% of ads exceed this threshold today, they account for 27% of network data used by ads and 28% of all ad CPU usage,” Marshall Vale, a Chrome program manager, said in a blog post.
Google, which relies on online ads for the bulk of its revenue, said in 2016 that Chrome wouldn’t block ads. But it had a change of heart and in 2018 started blocking ads on websites that used too many in the judgment of Google and an allied industry effort, the Coalition for Better Ads.
Microsoft’s new Edge browser, based on the same Google Chromium project Chrome uses, also has moved to block intrusive ads.