In Allowing Ad Blockers, a Test for Google (New York Times)
To kickoff 2010 we thought that maybe a discussion of our newly redesigned website should be the topic of our first post, that is until we saw this story that is bound to make web marketers scratch their heads. Essentially Google, through its Chrome web browser, is allowing developers to test ways to let web surfers block ads, including Google’s own ads.
Now such methods for blocking ads on browsers has been around for some time with the open-source Firefox browser, where software developers construct their own plug-in extensions to perform various tasks including blocking ads. But Firefox is not in the business of generating revenue from ads, while Google is and this is what makes this really interesting. For the thousands of websites that depend on the Google’s AdSense revenue program this development is worth following.
For now, Google is playing only on the fringes by tolerating ad-blocking programs on Chrome, despite the implied threat to its livelihood. Chrome is still a fringe browser — in the vastness of the Internet, 40 million users is still fringe — and ad-blocking browser additions are still a relatively fringe experience.
Is there any chance Google will allow this to continue in the long-run?
Image by Robert Scoble