Is Chrome’s Ad Filter enough? · 2019-07-09 16:30 by Susie Concannon
With all the hype about Chrome and their new Ad Filter, it’s important to ask what it really is, and also how it affects external ad blockers. Essentially, any effort in the web to address invasive and excessive advertisement is a welcomed endeavour. And Google is taking a step in the right direction with their new Ads Filter. Though, for many users, it may prove to be not enough for a quality web experience.
When comparing this new Chrome filter to Adblock Plus’ ad blocker, we can look at the comparison in two ways. Firstly, with Adblock Plus there is the option to block everything. This is not an option with Chrome’s Ad Filter. It responds to certain standards of ads that are allowed by default. Here we can say that Adblock Plus works like a big net that catches everything.
However, there is the option of using Adblock Plus with Acceptable Ads activated. The Acceptable Ads option is a middle ground that allows users to support creators and quality websites by agreeing to certain decent, non-invasive advertisement, as based on the results of the Acceptable Ads Committee. Thus, here is where the most interesting comparison of the two takes place because we can see how the filter standards vary.
According to the Better Ads standards that which Chrome follows, Chrome users who rely solely on Chrome’s Ad Filter to block advertisements see more than 80 percent of all advertisement formats. Now compare this to Adblock Plus with the Acceptable Ads standards, where only 7 percent of ads are deemed ‘acceptable’ and non-invasive to user experience. The result is that there is a huge influx of ads that the Chrome’s filter won’t block.
Though, apart from quantity, we are also faced with the question of type. Chrome’s filter lets through much more aggressive types of advertisements than Adblock Plus. This includes rich media ads, flash ads, expanding ads, and prestitial countdown ads which open before the actual content of a website loads, forcing the user to wait a few seconds for content on the site. With Adblock Plus and Acceptable Ads, all these ad types are removed.
Also regarding the size and placement of ads, Chrome’s filter is more tolerant. Up to almost a third of the screen can be taken up with ads before they are blocked. As for the placement of the ads, there are no set restrictions. The Acceptable Ads standards used by Adblock Plus, on the other hand, do not allow ads that interrupt text or other content. When watching videos, Chrome also only blocks the automatic playback of video ads with sound, but silent video formats may continue to play without consent. Adblock Plus blocks all video ads.
Additionally important to remember is that all of the above describes ‘out of the box’ features of Adblock Plus with Acceptable Ads. The above is what automatically happens once you have Adblock Plus installed. Though, there are also many options for customization and personalized filters for those who want to engage in a more hands-on way, thus giving even more control and freedom to the user.
One final question users may have, apart from the level of effectiveness of Chrome’s new filter, would be, ‘How do these changes affect my ad blocker if I still want to use one?’ Luckily, they will have no effect on Adblock Plus, and you can continue using it with Chrome just as before.