Google has decided to pull the plug on ad blocking extensions for Chrome browser. As the ad servers are becoming more intelligent to target internet users, so the modern ad blocking extensions for Chrome. And that’s what, apparently, annoying Google the most.
Does that mean all 2 billion Chrome users would no longer be able to enjoy the ad-free experience? Not at all.
Google has decided that only the enterprise customers of Google would be able to install modern ad blocking extensions.
A sizeable number of Chrome browser users may find the move quite annoying, it makes a perfect business sense for millions of publishers who are struggling to stay afloat due to the increasing install base of ad blocking extensions.
A majority of online content publishers solely rely on the revenue generated from the traffic monetisation. Ad revenue accounts for a lion’s share of total revenue many top publishers including, Forbes and WSJ, garner every month.
With each passing month, generating compelling content to attract eyeballs of millions of internet users is becoming more challenging for content publishers; thanks to the rising competition due to exploded adoption of smartphone and high-speed mobile internet.
Chrome + Ad Revenue + Ad Blocker = Dead End
Chrome browser is the most popular Desktop and Mobile browser. With over 66% of market share, Chrome browser plays a vital role in the success of ad-powered websites, worldwide.
At the same time, Google Ad Network is the world’s most popular and widely used ad network trusted by millions of advertisers and brands. The worldwide digital ad spending is estimated to reach $298 billion in 2019, and Google alone would account for one-third of it.
It is also important to note that digital ads account for nearly 83% of Google’s quarterly revenue. Hence, digital ads matter the most for Google. In the last few quarters, however, the company’s revenue growth is slowing down. In fact, Google’s revenue growth in Q1 2019 tanked to the lowest in the last two years.
For publishers, and Google as well, serving free lunch to ad blocking Chrome users is turning out to be a dead investment. A sizeable share of Chrome users, who have been consuming high-quality content for years, never made any contribution to the publishers’ revenue book by blocking ads. The modern ad blocking extensions installed by such users have been providing ad-free and dollar-free experience to millions of Chrome users for years now. It is resulting in a loss of billions of dollars in revenue for Google and hundreds of thousands of content publishers.
The decision, however, may create uproar against Google’s Chrome policy. Many disappointed Chrome users may even threaten to switch to Mozilla, the nearest competitor to Google. But Mozilla, also, is struggling with the privacy lapses off late.
Google’s decision to withdraw the support to ad blocking extensions for Chrome browser will definitely spark a debate between users endorsing ad-free and ad-powered content experience. Whatever may be the final outcome, a level playing field is much needed to ensure the existence of publishers who are committed to producing high-quality content without making users pay for, upfront and directly.