Ad blockers are on the rise. And this week’s launch of Google’s built-in ad blocker in Chrome has made it even tougher to reach consumers if you don’t comply with the Better Ads Standards.
This move takes ad blocking to a new level. Instead of consumers actively installing an ad blocker, this technology is built into Google’s Chrome browser. That’s significant because Chrome is far and away the most popular browser and is used for 56 percent of all accessed pages, according to Statcounter.
A survey published by Interactive Advertising Bureau in 2016 found 26 percent of web users had installed ad-blockers on their computers. And 15 percent had ad-blockers on their smartphones. Respondents gave a variety of reasons for blocking ads, including privacy concerns, page load times, and visual clutter.
What it Means for Advertisers
Google’s ad blocker, is designed to filter out ads that repeatedly violate standards put out by the Coalition of Better Ads. That means Google will block websites with pop-up ads, ads that are displayed before content loads (with or without a countdown), autoplay video ads with sound, large sticky ads, flashing animated ads, fullscreen scroll over ads, and ads that are particularly dense.
Chrome’s ad filter will first check whether that page belongs to a site that fails the Better Ads Standards. If so, network requests on the page are checked against a list of known ad-related URL patterns. If there is a match, Chrome will block the request, preventing the ad from displaying on the page. The patterns are based on the public EasyList filter rules, and include patterns that match for Google’s AdSense and DoubleClick.
Websites will be completely blocked when displaying ads with a ‘Failing’ status in the report for over 30 days. Website owners can request that they be re-reviewed after addressing the non-compliant ad experiences.
There’s Some Opposition
While the intent is to provide a better experience for consumers browsing the web, not everyone sees it that way. Some industry watchers suggest it’s more about Google forcing publishers and advertisers towards ad standards that benefit Google. And also move advertisers to Google’s advertising platforms, which relies on deep and exhaustive data collection.
Additionally, some oppose ad blocking technology citing a changing acceptance of advertising. This is especially true when it’s provided in exchange for free content.
Regardless, this is a good reminder for marketers to align themselves with partners who value quality ad solutions. They should invest in creative work that delivers a great user experience.