Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy on Chrome ad blocking: ‘It’s the ultimate fallback option’

The only things holding back the flood of ad blockers on mobile are technological limitations, said Sridhar Ramaswamy at an event for publishers in Chicago Tuesday.

Asked about the impact of the ad-blocking capability coming to Chrome next year, Ramaswamy said, “We have to get a handle on the whole problem.”

Google will peg what is and what isn’t a user-friendly ad against the standards laid out by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group founded by Google and others to address the rise of ad blockers. With the Chrome update, ads that don’t pass the Better Ads Standards will be blocked automatically when viewed in Chrome. Google will provide publishers a report with screen shots of ads that Google’s system detects “are likely to annoy your users.”

“We spent a lot of time looking at various experiences,” Ramaswamy told the audience of publishers, which included representatives from The New York Times, NewsCorp, USA Today Network and WebMD. Google says just 5 percent of publishers the company surveyed expressed doubts about the coming change.

“Our hope is once this is in place, there’s no need for ad blocking on mobile,” Ramaswamy told reporters Tuesday. He bases that hope on the supposition that consumers use ad blockers primarily to avoid obnoxious ad experiences, including slow-loading ads. “That’s the race we need to have in this industry because mobile is the future.”

“It’s the ultimate fallback option,” said Ramaswamy.