And it could also expose Google to criticism, since the company is a major player in the display ad market and it could theoretically "white list" its own ads in the Chrome browser, while excluding ads of competitors.
A native ad blocker for Chrome could cut against Google's business interests, given the search giant generates billions in revenue each quarter from online advertising, but it could also be a strategic move to get ahead of its users downloading other ad blocking software that it doesn't control. The sources indicate that Google hasn't ironed out all of the details yet, and that it may not ultimately go through with the feature.
In one possible application Google is considering, it may choose to block all advertising that appears on sites with offending ads, instead of the individual offending ads themselves. Additionally, unlike AdBlock, Chrome's plugin may not take all ads from a site, but just keep them unobtrusive to the user, thus still generating revenue and giving the user a positive experience.
The report says "people familiar with the plans" describe the move as a "defensive" one. It would filter out only the ads Google deems unacceptable.
Those types of ads (defined expertly by The Coalition for Better Ads) are the ones we all hate: they play audio (loudly) as soon as you land on a page, or are the ads with countdown timers on them, and possibly the worst - the ads that have the hidden buttons to close them. Rather, it seems the company intends to target "unacceptable ads", identified under guidelines established by the Coalition for Better Ads, of which Google is a member. Google already ostensibly bans many of these types of ads anyway. The service, called Contributor, allowed Web site visitors to pay a monthly subscription fee to avoid seeing ads.
Google did not respond to questions about the WSJ report's legitimacy in time for this article's publication.