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Chrome 71 will take ‘abusive’ ad blocking to the next level – here’s how

Google will significantly ramp up its crackdown on bad ads with the next major Chrome browser update. Chrome 71, due to roll out next month, will block all ads on a page that persistently shows abusive advertisements.

Google says it is fighting back against naughty ads that redirect users to new tabs and windows, when they attempt to close them. Ads that show fake play buttons, system messages or phish for personal information are on the hit list.

The company says its current measures aren’t doing the job, and it hopes the threat of a blanket ban on all ads for sites that regularly show this kind of content will discourage offenders. Websites will have a 30-day grace period to get rid of the abusive advertisements, but a failure to comply will see all ads disabled, potentially cutting off the revenue supply for websites in question.

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Chrome 71, which is scheduled to roll out in December, will follow-on from the “trick-to-click” measures taken in Chrome 68 earlier this year. That version looked to clamp down on “links to third-party websites disguised as play buttons or other site controls, or transparent overlays on websites that capture all clicks and open new tabs or windows.”

A GIF showing different tabs opening in a browser after clicking a cross on a special offer pop-up ad

In a blog post on Monday, Google said the actions taken in Chrome 68 hadn’t gone far enough to curtail the abusive experiences.

It wrote: “More than half of these abusive experiences are not blocked by our current set of protections, and nearly all involve harmful or misleading ads. These ads trick users into clicking on them by pretending to be system warnings or “close” buttons that do not actually close the ad. Further, some of these abusive ad experiences are used by scammers and phishing schemes to steal personal information.”

Google says domain owners will be able to test their sites with its Abusive Experiences tool in order to determine whether their pages are likely to trigger the block.

Do you think browser providers are doing enough to clamp down on abusive ads? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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