Google's proposal to block Google Chrome ad blockers



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Google withdrew a controversial proposal that would have hindered the capabilities of Chrome-based ad blockers after a third-party study determined that the supposed performance benefits that resulted were imaginary. Or, as some suggest, invented by Google to limit the blocking of ads, its main activity.

"We are committed to preserving the ecosystem of extensions on Chrome and to ensuring that users can continue to customize the Chrome browser to meet their needs," said Devlin Cronin, of Google, in an article from the Google Extensions group. "This includes continuing to support extensions, including content blockers, development tools, accessibility features, and many more. It is not and has never been our goal to prevent or remove content blocking. "

Google was immediately criticized when it proposed to change the way Chrome handles certain classes of extensions. The big problem was a technology called the webRequest API, which is used by many common content blockers, including ad blockers. Google has stated that the proposed changes were intended to improve performance and privacy. But the individuals and companies that make advertising blockers, in particular, have seen a darker possibility. Google was deliberately blocking its ad blockers because its business is entirely dependent on ad revenue.

An extender manufacturer, Ghostery, went so far as to threaten Google with an antitrust lawsuit.

"Whether Google does it to protect its advertising business or just to impose its own rules on everyone else, it would be nothing less than another case of abusive use of its dominant position in the marketplace. ", explained a statement from Ghostery.

Whatever you do with this problem, we should credit Ghostery with discovering the truth behind Google's performance statements. He studied the impact on the performance of popular Chrome content blocking extensions such as uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus, Brave, DuckDuckGo, Ghostery 8 and revealed Google's lie.

"Our comparison shows that the most popular content blockers are already very effective (with a median decision time of less than one millisecond per query) and should not result in visible overhead by users," says Ghostery's study. . "We have shown in another study, The Tracker Tax, that ad and tracker blocking reduces web site loading time by up to twice, and the efficiency is constantly improving." technologies such as WebAssembly will go even further. "

A ZDNet report on this problem also cites other studies that come to similar conclusions: ad blockers and other content blockers do not slow down web browsers, they actually allow faster loading of web pages .

Whether it's the Ghostery study or the simple negative reaction – I'm not aware of any credible person or organization that would defend Google's proposed changes to Chrome – the giant online search has declined.

"The webRequest API will not be completely removed," wrote Cronin. "Once again, we have committed to supporting extensions in Chrome. We will continue to work with the developers. "

Tagged with Google Chrome

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