There’s a Chrome update coming in 2018 that we cannot help but condemn. It’s dangerously blurring the lines between what we see as legal and illegal. We need to ask is it a fair competition if the giants amongst themselves are creating policies that favour themselves?

We’re talking, of course, about the adblocker feature that will come into action February 15, 2018. Our tech team has given this some serious thought and here’s some useful insight from them what the update means and how to work with it.

Trust?

We live in a world of trust. We trust our mail couriers not to open our mail before it arrives, we also trust the courier not to change anything inside our letters before they are delivered to us. The browsers and service providers we use know a lot of information about us and our behaviour. Naturally we place the same kind of trust in them to not regulate our behaviour or restrict our access to information. However, when your browser or ISP starts making decisions for you about what content you are allowed to see and what not, where is the trust?

At Adcash we believe that browsers should be independent, they should respect and align with the same standards as the ones defined by the W3C. Online advertising is very concentrated, 77% of a dollar in this industry goes to Google (Google Search, Browser, Android) or Facebook (Social Network, Browser, Messenger).
ad networks
Source WSJ
This situation also has another name – a cartel. After all what do you call an organized way of increasing collective profits by restricting other players? It’s hard to trust that this regulating happens on fair grounds.

The changes

Adcash has been in this business already for more than 10 years and we are continuously investing in developing and supporting our publisher partnerships. Which is why it’s especially sad to say that as a publisher you may have already received a warning (in your Google Search Console) that your ads could be blocked with the next Google Chrome update. It will by default block the ads of publishers that don’t comply with the BetterAds standards (initiated by Google).

It’s also important to keep in mind that Chrome contributes visitors on a large scale – out of the visitors that we receive to Adcash websites, Chrome represents up to 65% of them. It’s effect on your future revenues should not be underestimated.

This is not something that will only affect small publishers. Forbes and the Los Angeles Times, for example, received both a “failing” status from the Ad Experience Report. Other high-profile sites that have received warnings include CBS News, Kiplinger, Lifehacker, and Independent UK.

So what next?

Google Chrome 64 will be released on January 23, 2018. The adblocker update, which is based on a blacklist of publisher domains that is updated via SafeBrowsing, will come into action starting from February 15, 2018. The good news is, however, that you don’t need to wait that long to know how your website will look like. We have some great tools that you can use to check your sites. Publishers can check if their websites are blacklisted by Google Chrome here. Don’t forget, once a site is blacklisted, all ads on it regardless of format will be blocked in Chrome.

You can also enable a secret feature inside Google Chrome to unlock the new adblocker:

1) Install Google Chrome Canary

2) Launch Chrome with parameter:
–enable-features=’SubresourceFilter,SubresourceFilterExperimentalUI,AbusiveExperienceEnforce’

On MacOS:
open -a Google\ Chrome\ Canary –args –enable-features=’SubresourceFilter,SubresourceFilterExperimentalUI,AbusiveExperienceEnforce’

On Windows:
chrome.exe –enable-features=’SubresourceFilter,SubresourceFilterExperimentalUI,AbusiveExperienceEnforce’

3) Go to chrome://settings/content/ads
Switch “Ads” to off (it should be gray, and show that Ads are blocked)

4) Open a new tab, go to top right menu, select “More Tools”, then “Developer Tools”

5) Go to the settings of the Developer Tools (it’s in the top right menu of the Developer Tools) and tick
“Force ad blocking on this site”

Adcash is one of the largest independent internet companies in the market today and we are fully committed to an open internet, where everyone has equal opportunities for business. We hope that seeing a glimpse of the future version of Chrome will help you prepare for the changes yet to come and stay ahead of the game. We will continue to support our publishers and advertisers. Rest assured, should the darkest scenario materialize, we will still find a way to counter attack and bypass all interferences from any browser.

To continue this fight for fair and open online advertising, we are leading a new counter-movement that has brought together other internet companies that are in a similar position to us. Keep an eye on our blog here to always have the freshest information!

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