Why does Google allow you to use AdBlock on Android and Chrome and even list it on the Chrome Web Store?
In 2012, Google lost more than $887 million due to AdBlock apps and services. In 2015, Google lost $6.6 billion from its revenue, and in 2020 Google lost $35 billion. Despite this huge loss, Google allows its users to use AdBlock services on its platforms like Android and Chrome through Chrome Extensions, which users can download from the Chrome Web Store.
AdBlock and ADGuard are some of the most popular Ad-Block extensions listed on the Chrome Web Store. Many users might think that Google should take down these extensions from the Chrome Web Store and Google Play Store or take some reasonable action against AdBlock services which wouldn’t be that hard for Google.
Google has already taken this seriously on its YouTube mobile platform, whereas AdBlocks isn’t effective on the YouTube app. However, users can work around this by using third-party apps like ReVanced or by using YouTube on a mobile browser with AdBlock enabled. Browsers like Brave, Samsung Internet Browser, and Edge offer AdBlock options on both their desktop and mobile platforms.
Yes, Google paid AdBlock Plus $25 million to exclude search ads, and this is how the AdBlock website generates revenue. In return, Google saved $3.5 million in 2014. It seems like AdBlock actually benefits Google and increases their CTR (Click Through Rate), conversion rate, and even ad rates. Not only this, but by doing this, Google remains dominant in the ad space.
Interestingly, Google had plans to have a built-in ad blocker for Chrome back in 2017.
Why Does Google Support AdBlock? A company is not going to support AdBlock if they have a net loss. As it turns out, it is more beneficial for Google instead of blocking it. One reason for this is a monopoly – to maintain their monopoly in web browsers as this browser is completely supported by the ad business.
Other browsers like Samsung Internet Browser, Microsoft Edge, and Safari are not supported by ads but instead are more focused on their ecosystem and enterprise business. However, Firefox, which is a non-profit browser, receives donations from Google.
Google is an ad business, and Chrome is well-supported by the ad business, which makes most of its money through ads. So if Google restricts AdBlocks from Chrome, then other browsers like Brave and Opera, whose primary feature would be AdBlocking capabilities, will attract users who will switch to them. So all the users who have been actively using AdBlock will switch to other browsers.
At this point, all other browsers are using Chromium and have been developed after the fact, which is why those browsers don’t need ads. So if you want to take some market share from Google’s Chrome, then you should still allow AdBlock. Yes, allowing AdBlock is a problem in some sense, but the alternative is sacrificing market share, which is more valuable.
Ad Performance By allowing AdBlockers, Google has reached a point where they get better ad performance. Only users who actually don’t want to view ads which make up 42.7% of users, use these AdBlockers and don’t want to see ads. If they do see ads, they are not going to convert, which Google doesn’t want either because Google mostly cares about Pay-Per-Click.
This means that if ad performance is good, then advertisers are likely to spend more.
Companies with the highest bid will have their ads shown first on the platform. If no one clicks on the ads, then the company doesn’t need to pay anything. Google gets paid for visibility and results, so it’s in their interest not to show ads to users who are not going to convert. Ad-blockers don’t work on built-in ads on Google core products like Maps, Gmail, Books, Shopping, or YouTube on mobile platforms. Even if some apps are able to disable ads from these products, Google is still able to collect your data.
However, they are bidding on third-party websites, which is not something that affects Google. You might not know that Google themselves have disabled ads on websites with poor ad experiences, which are disabled by default on Chrome. Sites with too many ads, annoying ads with flashing graphics or auto-playing audio, and ad walls before you see the content are among the things that have not yet been disclosed, which leads to a better user experience and stronger retention.
AdBlock Google is looking for ways to benefit from using AdBlock to protect its market share and boost its ad performance. Google understands that blocking AdBlock isn’t a solution, but instead, making ads less intrusive, less annoying, and more appealing is the way forward. Google may take down all AdBlocks in the future to please shareholders, and indeed they are following this approach as of now.
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