Here’s What You Need to Know About Google’s Crackdown on Ad-Block Extensions
Earlier this year, Google announced ManifestV3 — a set of proposed changes to Chrome’s extension framework. A particularly contentious portion of the announced changes would directly affect the ability of popular ad-blocking extensions, such as uBlock Origin, to function effectively.
Despite backlash from both users and extension developers, Google doubled down on that decision this week, announcing that Chrome’s “webRequest” API will undergo some changes that will render these extensions effectively inert. The updated API will allow the network to monitor assets being downloaded to the browser but not modify or block them. The only exception to this would be users who pay for the Enterprise version of one of the world’s most popular browsers, which holds approximately 66% of the global market share as of April 2019.
The move comes as unsurprising to those in the advertising industry as Ad Revenue represents a significant portion of their annual revenue. It makes sense that Google would eventually crack down on tools that restrict their main revenue stream.
Despite the backlash from users, this change will be accepted with arms wide open from within the digital advertising industry. Ad-blocking extensions have long left gaps in our data that were difficult, if not impossible, to fill. The degree to which this will affect our ability to collect and analyze data will yet to be seen but with one of the most popular extensions, uBlock Origin, being installed by over 10,000,00 users this will certainly be an interesting trend to watch in the near future.