Google Chrome will soon no longer allow you to have ad-blockers

It’s no secret that advertising is Google’s main source of revenue. That’s why Google themselves have admitted that ad-blocking extensions are a risk factor to Google’s revenues in an SEC Form 10-K filing by Alphabet.

New and existing technologies could affect our ability to customize ads and/or could block ads online, which would harm our business.

Technologies have been developed to make customizable ads more difficult or to block the display of ads altogether and some providers of online services have integrated technologies that could potentially impair the core functionality of third-party digital advertising. Most of our Google revenues are derived from fees paid to us in connection with the display of ads online. As a result, such technologies and tools could adversely affect our operating results.

It makes sense from Google’s perspective as Chrome can be seen as Google’s attempt at delivering the best ads to you. That’s probably why they created it in the first place.

So by allowing ad-blocking extensions, Google can’t deliver ads to your devices and it affects its bottom line negatively.

Google is looking to change the status quo soon by implementing Manifest V3 for Google Chrome extensions. The most impactful change is that the webRequest API’s ability to block requests before they are loaded will be deprecated. Only enterprise users are exempt from this rule because they are a separate revenue stream for Google.

Instead, Google is introducing a much less effective rule-based system called declarativeNetRequest.

The issue with this system is that Google is imposing a new rule limit of 30.000 rules. Popular ad-blockers easily use 70.000 rules and upwards so this will severely impact the ad-blockers’ capabilities. Only enterprise users are exempt from this rule to allow them to develop in-house Chrome extensions that still use the webRequest API.

When will Google Chrome no longer allow you to use an ad-blocker?

The Manifest V3 (MV3) stable release is expected to be in 2020.

What can you do if you still want to use an ad-blocker after Manifest V3 release?

Use Mozilla Firefox.

Microsoft’s new Edge browser, Opera and Brave are based on Google’s Chromium software so they will eventually also disallow you to have ad-blocking extensions at some point.