A commit note, marked as work in progress on Chromium, suggests that Google Chrome will soon introduce a “Heavy ad intervention”. The change looks to target iframes that use excessive bandwidth or CPU resources.
Implement Heavy Ad Intervention
This change introduces a feature that unloads ad iframes that have been detected to use an egregious amount of system resources. This reuses the quiet safebrowsing interstitial UX, which gets loaded into the ad iframe. This intervention unloads ads that are in the .1% of bandwidth usage, .1% of CPU usage per minute, and .1% of overall CPU time. The current numbers are 4MB network and 60 seconds CPU, but may be changed as more data is available. The intervention is implemented as an error page loaded from the browser process. This is triggered from AdsPLMO.
This change would seem to be targeting heavy video creatives and possibly those using bad tactics like crypto mining. The “intervention” would be to block the creative and replace it with a notice that the ad was blocked. This is a very different approach to Chrome’s “bad ads blocking” that blocks all ads on the domain.
Given that few publishers want resource intensive ads slowing user experience and driving traffic away from their sites, this change is likely to be well received. It certainly seems to be aimed more at those distributing bad creatives than the publishers who unknowingly deliver them.
There is not mention of when this change is likely to enter public release. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to follow this, and other news that impacts web publishers.
November 2019: Google has now added the “Heavy Ad Intervention” feature to the most recently updated Canary version of its Chrome web browser. The feature is experimental and can be enabled easily by following these steps:
- Download and install the most recent version of Google Chrome Canary
- Type ‘chrome://flags’ into the address bar
- Search for ‘Heavy Ad Intervention’ and enable the feature
- Once enabled, you will need to restart Google Chrome.
Mat has been supporting content creators on the web since 1996. As Co-founder of OKO Digital, Mat became the first person in the UK qualified to AdSense partner status and repeated this first with Google Certified Publishing Partner programme.