Chrome to Block Sneaky Web Page Popup Ads

John Lister's picture

Chrome browser users should see fewer cases of web pages unexpectedly being replaced by ads and other annoyances with some upcoming updates. The changes aim to tackle unwanted content appearing in three ways.

The first change deals with the problem of the page the user wants to visit suddenly being replaced by another page, usually advertising and often with no clear way of going back to the desired content. This is usually caused by rogue content in code on third-party ads that are meant to appear besides the content on the original web page.

Auto-Redirection Won't Work

Once Chrome gets the update, these redirects won't work unless the user actively clicks on the ad. Any attempt to automatically redirect will simply bring bring up a warning at the top of the page. (Source:

The second change is to tackle a particularly sneaky trick some pages use. It's the one where a user clicks on a link, but the page they expect to visit actually opens as a new tab. Meanwhile the original tab is replaced with an unexpected page, usually an ad.

Google says the Chrome update will block this trick in its tracks, again showing a warning message, but still allow the user to reach the page they expected to visit.

Hidden And Disguised Links to be Blocked

The third change is to deal with what Google labels "abusive experiences". That's where users are tricked into visiting a page unexpectedly. This covers a range of tricks including disguising links as a play button that looks like a video player, and even using transparent overlays that act as invisible clickable links.

Google hasn't said exactly how it will detect such tricks, but says that if any are detected, the site will be blocked from opening any new tab or window in Chrome. As that's a potentially serious punishment, site owners are getting a 30 day adjustment period during which they can use a Google tool to check if their pages would trigger the block. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Have you experienced any of these problems? If you don't already use Chrome, would these fixes encourage you to switch (assuming they work)? Will this make a big difference or will scammers and rogue ad sites simply find new tricks?

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Average: 5 (7 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

There are a few sites that I visit that engage in this extremely shady and annoying practice. Firefox 57 is due out this month and it's going to break a lot of the addons I use - so it may be time to finally make the jump to Chrome.

wysetech2000_6856's picture

Hey Dennis; I have been using chrome for many years and i like the way it works. I welcome the new features as i'm annoyed with these PoPuP adds.
Google isn't so "goody, goody" either though. Run a Malwarebytes scan after installing or updating Chrome and you will find at least 19 PuPs ready for quarantine.

Syscob Support's picture

If Safari cannot implement a similar fix then it should at least allow a domain or web site to be “blocked” by the user. I am tired of having to “Clear History & Website Data” on a daily basis to prevent such popup ads!

ecash's picture

i LOVE TO SEND MY COMMENTS to site that have 3rd party adverts..

If you have Noscript and Adblock..try this..

As you OK, the site scripts, TONS MORE pop up..
Many newspaper/news sites do the same..ITS A PITA...

I suggest to sites, that IF' they post that they Will be Liable for any 3rd party installs/virus/bots/... ON THE FRONT PAGE..I will allow them to post 3rd party..

NONE have taken the thought/idea/challenge..

georgewooden's picture

When I click a link and it takes 20-30 clicks to finish an article because 2/3 of each page is nothing but ads, they have lost me forever. My time is more precious than their marketing.