Google Chrome to crack down on invasive, misleading ads

Chrome lapel pin

With the release next month of Chrome 71, Google is planning to crack down big-time on websites that bombard you with shady, abusive ads, with the worst-offending sites in line for the harshest punishment of Chrome blocking every ad on the site altogether.

Redirecting to another page without user interaction If a web page redirects to another page without any user interaction.

When Chrome 64 was released, Google introduced new features that blocked abusive advertising techniques such as tab-under behavior and malvertising redirects.

Abusive content on a site might lead to unexpected results; a click on a "watch video" link should not result in the automatic download of an APK file for Android or the download of another file, and clicking on a close button should not spawn new popup ads on the screen.

Google gives site owners 30 days to fix the issues before the entire site is flagged and advertisement is blocked in the Chrome browser. Examples include ads or other elements that are missing a company name, branding, and a logo-even if a generic description is included. Barring that, the new version of Chrome will simply block every single one of the ads on your site. As a fair explainer, Google will publish an Abusive Experience Report to let site owners see if any abusive experiences are there on their site, and needs to be corrected or removed.

Google revealed yesterday that Chrome caught only half of the abusive experiences with the implemented set of protections.

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Google says that there are only a small number of these sites in existence.

While users can disable their Chrome settings to allow them to see more ads of this type, its hard for me - and clearly Google - to see why they would want to. "The Chrome 71 update is an extension of that".

The company said in a blog post that while it has launched features for Chrome to block misleading ads and pop-ups, this approach did not go far enough.

Google explained: "Last year, after hearing from Chrome users, we launched a set of user protections against "abusive experiences" - experiences created to intentionally mislead and trick users into taking action on the web".

"In fact, more than half of these abusive experiences are not blocked by our current set of protections, and almost all involve harmful or misleading ads", he added.

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