Google is planning to introduce a built-in ad-blocking feature to both the mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome web browser.
Rather than blocking all ads, the built-in feature will filter out more intrusive ads that result in bad browsing experiences for users, the Wall Street Journal reports. Google is expected to announce the feature within weeks.
Sources told WSJ that introducing the feature was a defensive move designed to counter the rise of third party ad-blockers installed as Chrome extensions, which have impacted Google's own ad revenue streams.
Google generated more than $60bn in revenue from online advertising in 2016.
Industry commentators believe the move could lead to Google having greater control over the ad-blocking business given nearly half of internet users favour Chrome, according to StatCounter.
The use of online ad blocking tools has grown rapidly in recent years. About 26% of US users are using the software on their desktop devices.
The growth of ad-blocking tools is a matter of concern for Google as well as publishers and services that rely on advertising revenue, as many of them work with Google to help sell their advertising space.