Google Ad Blocker
Dianna Albanese, SourceMedia
Pop-ups. Auto-play videos with sound. Prestitials with countdowns. According to The Guardian, these are some of many advertisements that are now automatically blocked within Google’s Chrome browser for being intrusive.
Image Source: Coalition for Better Ads
On Thursday, February 15, Google, the Internet’s largest advertising company, began blocking digital ads on sites that repeatedly displayed disruptive advertising. The idea behind the software is that advertising should be a pleasant experience that benefits both the brand and the consumer - if the consumer finds most ads to be disruptive and an annoyance, downloading an ad blocker that blocks ALL ads can harm everyone, even those who create tastefully placed and enjoyable ads. The following is from a blog posted by Google a few days before the official launch:
“It’s important that we work to maintain a balance—and if left unchecked, disruptive ads have the potential to derail the entire system. We’ve already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren’t doing anything disruptive. By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today.”
The industry leader has a point: Internet users are not ones to shy away from downloading an ad blocker to get a better online experience. eMarketer conducted a study of United States users of any age who access the Internet at least once per month via any device (including mobile). In 2014, 12.5% of these 39.8 million users were using ad blockers. That number is predicted to jump to 25.4% of 83.5 million users in 2018, showing a steady increase in ad blocking over the past few years.
How does all of this affect publishers and advertisers? The answer is simple: it may not, says Wired. It claims that despite the type, Chrome will only actually block ads on fewer than 1% of the 100,000 most popular sites in North America and Europe. In fact, Google’s move affected the web before it even rolled out the blocker: it notified sites in advance that they may be subject to filtering, and 42% of those made preemptive changes.
So what can brands do? Digiday suggests focusing more on great user experience when creating ads. According to The Drum, at the 2016 DoubleClick Leadership Summit, Paul Muret, Google’s then VP of display, said, “If ads are not integrated well, it can lead to ad blindness, or worse, annoyance and ad blocking. As an industry, we need to come together and come up with a better experience.” For example, in June 2017, SourceMedia launched its “in-article” Outstream video units. With the video ads placed within relevant text content, as well as having to interact with the video to enable sound and learn more, they prove to be less-intrusive than other forms of ads.
Overall, if your brand is embracing the “Better Ads Standards” that Google and the Coalition for Better Ads have put in place, you won’t be bothered by the advertising police - in fact, you may even see an improvement in how users interact with your ads and brand overall.
The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/15/google-adblocker-chrome-browser
The Drum: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/07/19/google-unveils-amp-ads-native-ads-dbm-and-outstream-video-dfp
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