Google has said it will be adding an ad blocker to Chrome next year. But don’t celebrate so fast. After all, Google gets most of its own income from web advertising. Here’s David Dayen in The Intercept:
The real goal for Google appears to be not just blocking ads sold by other digital suppliers besides Google, but to undermine third-party ad blockers, which stop Google ads along with everyone else’s… It’s hard to build a coalition in favor of annoying ads. And publishers would be guaranteed a revenue stream, either through charging consumers for an ad-free experience, or from the ads themselves. So the policy aligns the interests of virtually everyone on the web content side. Improving Google’s bottom line and crushing anyone who tries to compete is just a nice side benefit.
The current web advertising world is brutal for readers and publishers alike. But is Google riding in on a white horse to save the web, or just using its leverage to prop up its own core business? This is a complicated story, and needs to be approached with skepticism and scrutiny.