How do adblocking extensions are still happily surviving on the Chrome webstore when they could hurt profits of Google themselves?


By adblocking extensions I mean browser extensions that block ads from loading/showing up, and also, to certain extents, tracking analytics, which should be a large part of Google’s business model.

And companies like those have the reputation to restrict third-party options that affect their profits.

Are attracting/keeping the Chrome’s userbase more important ?

Are there “rules” preventing such behaviors ?

In: 72

Google’s ads are based on clicks, someone who blocks ads definitely isnt clicking on them.

Also, yes. The PR behind banning effective functional uncompromised extensions for a few pennies when you are a multi billion dollar company is a shithole they dont wanna fall in

I don’t think google cares about those few cents. Google bases ads off of your interest. If you aren’t clicking on them anyways, then it doesn’t matter. Google also cares a lot about customer satisfaction. They also make money off of their ad blocking extensions

[By coming up with new API rules for extensions that limit the usefulness of such extensions](

The “old” way was that extensions could filter all requests as they went through. With the proposed changes they’ll be limited to some ~~30,000~~ 150k more-or-less static entries each.

And the only option to avoid this is switching to Firefox or Safari, since any other browser is just Chromium (the “Open Source” base for Chrome) re-skinned.

Most people install ad blockers because of annoying pop up ads or banner/sidebar ads. These ads are usually administered by third party companies and not Google, so they don’t care either way.

They do lose out on a cut the money for YouTube ads, but you are still spending your time on YouTube, but it hurts content creators depending on ad cents more. Google benefits by having your time and not having to pay out adcents money

Google still makes money off of promoted search listings and most of all they make money by collecting your data when you use their services and they sell that data or use it manipulate/target outcomes for your future browsing

Google would much *prefer* you not use ad blockers, they make more money that way. Ads are more effective at influencing behavior and sparking interest in products/services you wouldn’t otherwise buy than people think.

However, the reality is users smart enough to install an ad blocker are smart enough to switch to another browser like Firefox or open source Chromium derivatives. Being more restrictive about blockers is a losing battle, they would lose browser marketshare among technically-savvy users.

Netscape Navigator used to be The Browser (It was included on your software disk from your ISP – most notably AOL) but Microsoft turned their eye on the browser market. IE had unfair market advantage because it was on every Windows PC as the default browser and Microsoft employed practices to discourage manufacturers including other browsers. Netscape Navigator over the years died but was resurrected in Mozilla Firefox. Firefox was multi-tab and addon king long before Chrome started making it’s mark. Apple meanwhile went proprietary with Safari and 5 years later Google followed on to create Chrome (also WebKit).

Chrome had to target the techie and anti establishment Firefox’s users and get them onboard while simultaneously getting the non techie and heavily corporate IE base to move over.

Firefox is still very much there and still an incredibly good browser with regular feature updates. Chrome has fought very hard to get it’s market share from Firefox and part of that has been not only allowing addons for the techie users but becoming the addon king in terms of Browsers.

It’s a delicate balance that Google transverses with maintaining good security, providing feature updates, making money for itself with advertising, maintaining dominance in the mobile phone market and making sure all the while that they don’t let the techie crowd get away from them – and adblocking addons are key to that.

Some other factors that haven’t been mentioned:

– Google chrome developers themselves fall into exactly the demographic of technically savvy people who would absolutely use ad-blockers 100% of the time. If I was working on a browser I sure as hell wouldn’t want to make my own browser unusable for me. There’s only so much the higher-ups can do in a company where the engineers command as much power as Google. Imagine how hilarious it would be for both PR and the internal development cycle if developers actually used Firefox when developing Chrome.

– Likewise, making Chrome unusable for any other sort of developer or technically-oriented person would very quickly kill its user share among the people responsible for *creating* the frameworks etc. powering web applications. Even when they first started trying to restrict the power of ad blockers, the word spreading between developers was to avoid Chrome for exactly this reason. It was considered more of a joke than a serious browser. That’s bad for PR.

Google started a program to try and make back their lost revenue from ad blockers

If they allow adblock extensions, they retain users, which they can more easily gather information on.

If they prohibit adblock, people that bothered to install it will move to a different browser that allows it.

If you want real adblocking, try pihole! It is a distro Fon raspberry pi that blocks *all* ads. Was a life changer

Ad blockers are like an antibiotic, eventually adds with get resistant, and evolve, which might be good or bad in the end
Google cares more about you using their browser and selling your data to businesses probably? After all have you seen their targeted suggestions and news? If you let google know all you search and look at it they end knowing you more than you know yourself.

another thing to add is, not every user is aware about addblockers. many people who use googles arent that tech savvy. I know addblockers are advertised everywhere (hell saw an add for one on tv before…), but you;d be surprised how many people don’t have any on any internet-accessible device-or they just don’t care enough to have one because some people only are for the very basic functionality of google- search the odd thing up and that’s it.

people who pirate media like anime, watch a lot of youtube, etc feel the annoyance of adds more so than some random person who just wants to google ‘how many chickens are there in the world’ or ‘what’s the phone number of X place’

* Not so many people as you thought use and even know about the existence of ad-blockers. A.k.a not everyone is tech-savvy.

* Large demography who uses whatever the default setting/configuration is. Which has few implications. As long as Chrome, the largest web browser, has no ad-blocking integrated by default, they’ll be fine.

* Also large portion of userbase is on mobile platform, which has little to none effective ad-blockers, or hard to install ad-blockers there.

* So large portion of userbase (we’re talking about magnitude of billion here) still sees ads and continues to do so, why even bother changing the status quo?

Google hasn’t done anything aggressive enough
against ad-blockers because ad-blockers haven’t hurt them yet. Imagine tomorrow everyone starts using ad-blocker on Youtube, their ad-click rate would go nil (based on my experience on Youtube; I haven’t seen a single ad there for years).

What does this imply? Be glad that *others* see ads for you, so you can use ad-block and don’t have to see any. Based on what happened to Twitch and their anti-ad-block system, if there was a battle between Google (or any big company with ad revenue) and independent ad-blocker developers, who you think would win?