Google to start removing resource-rich ads from Chrome in August

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Illustration of an article called Google to start launching resourceful ads on Chrome in August

Photo: Mark Lennihan (AP)

Google plans to put a resource cap on all Chrome ads after finding that a small contingent of resource-hungry ads is responsible for more than a quarter of all ad-related network data and CPU usage. On the user side, such advertisements can “drain battery life, saturate already strained networks and cost money,” wrote Marshall Vale, product manager, web browser, company blog Thursday.

Testing has already started, Vale continues, and full deployment is planned for August. While some of these “most egregious” advertisements are intentionally resource intensive, such as the ads used to extract cryptocurrency, others are just shabby programmed or not optimized for network use.

With this feature, ads cannot exceed the following three thresholds before a user interacts with it: 4 MB of network data, 15 seconds of processor use in 30 seconds, or 60 seconds of total processor use. Ads that exceed these limits will be deleted and the ad frame will access an error page.

To determine these limits, Google looked at data usage among some of Chrome’s worst offenders.

Overall percentage of heavy and non-heavy announcements and total use of each person's resources.

Overall percentage of heavy and non-heavy ads and total use of resources for each.
Graphic: Chrome Blog (Google)

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“We targeted the most egregious ads, those that use more CPU or network bandwidth than 99.9% of all ads detected for this resource. . . while only 0.3% of ads exceed this threshold today, they account for 27% of network data used by ads and 28% of all ad processor usage, “said Vale.

To give businesses time to adjust their ads to these new thresholds if necessary, Google will not fully implement its resource-intensive ad blocker until at least August. Google will also intervention reports available so that advertisers can better understand why an individual was unloaded.

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