Ad blocking extensions – Any threat to Google revenue?

Google Chrome the browser extension is now live though in beta with some 300 or so extensions available. This follows in the heels of the beta release of Chrome the browser for Mac OSX 10.5 or later and Linux. One of the notable extensions that people will actually be using is ad blocking extensions. What I am actually wondering is how Google’s revenue is going to be impacted (if at all) by ad blocking extensions like Adsweep and adThwart.
It really looks ironic to have a Google browser that has some extension which does not show ads, considering the fact that Google is the biggest ad company in the world. I actually have no doubt in my mind that Google already looses quite a lot of money thanks to the legendary Ad Block Plus on Firefox. I am also wondering what kind of relationship Google is going to have with ad blocking extension developers for the Chrome browser.
Knowing how popular ad blocking extensions are on Firefox, will Google’s revenue be impacted when such popularity is repeated with the Chrome extensions? I know Google is quite bigger than these hypothetical threats to it revenue, but then what happens when it becomes mainstream knowledge that there are extensions that can actually block ads from your browser? What happens to its revenue when using an ad blocking extension becomes almost a must for users?
It is too early to tell and Google is a company that can hardly be predicted. However, I would be grateful if you also share your views with me on whether you think ad blocking extensions, especially on its own browser, are a threat to the revenue of big G. I know Chrome has less than fifty million users, but hey, that could change with the advent of the much hyped Google ChromeOS.

2 Replies to “Ad blocking extensions – Any threat to Google revenue?”

  1. This is a interesting discussion that must be taken very seriously.

    Most people consider online ads a nuisance (perhaps rightfully so), but the fact is that ad revenue is the most significant and in many cases only source of income for online businesses. It is what keeps services like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs running. Without ads these services would probably not exists. Most people don't realize this.

    Broad based use of ad-blockers might very well mean the end of free services, as the service providers can no longer sustain themselves on advertisement alone. More services will be pay walled and available only to those who are willing and can afford to pay. Millions of users will be deprived of valuable services and information. The consequence will be an even larger technology gap then what we have today.

  2. Yup. If all should start blocking ads. That would be the end of the free internet as we have it today.

    Yes some ads can be a real nuisance, pop up ads for example, can be very off-putting. But then I strongly believe that ads are a very important component of the internet. Not only are they sources of finance for most of what we take for granted, but also great for discovering some really useful things.

    What I think should be done is to strive for a balance between ads that do finance businesses on the one hand and also provides value to readers in a way that does not distract user experience.

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