When google announced it was about to implement an ad blocker into Chrome it raised a few eyebrows to say the least. Site managers, sales teams and digital agencies went green thinking that their bubble had burst and that we’d have to now completely rework our web revenue strategy. People from more of a development background didn’t seem quite so stressed by it all.
In fact, being from a development background myself and being someone who uses the internet a hell of a lot I welcome the development. Why? Well simply because Google have reinforced what many of us have been saying for quite a while. “Internet advertising is an essential part of business these days, but the obtrusive ads that seem to hijack our user experience need to be kicked out!”
The truth is that this google ad blocker implementation may actually result in more ads being shown, just in friendlier formats. (I’ll tell you a little more about how. . . just keep reading!)
Google are not just making up a load of rules here to ensure people start using their ad platforms and offerings, they are genuinely trying to improve the user experience of browsing websites.
In fact Google, Facebook, the IAB and many major brands got together and created the Coalition For Better Ads, a global initiative, to set standards and improve ad solutions.
How many times have you been browsing the web and an AD completely takes over your screen, or starts playing a video with sound automatically ?
Pretty annoying isn’t it!
These are the types of ads Google are hoping to cut down on.
Google aims to take a sample set of pages from publishers sites and give it a grade.
The grades will be:
If a site fails then the publisher will have 30 days to set things right. After that Google Chrome will block the ads deemed to be in violation of the standards.
You can check your Ad Experience Report in Google tools. If your site has not yet been reviewed then Ad filtering will be off for the time being.
Googles ad blocking WILL NOT block your sites usual content and posts, there will simply be a message saying it has blocked a particular ad slot, it will also give the user the choice to enable the ads if they so choose.
Publishers that fail and take action can request a review from within the Ad Experience report.
In the past 3 years Ad blockers have grown massively in popularity and that is one of the reasons I welcome this coalition approach rather than 3rd party apps that block all ads which has cost publishers heavily.
Of course there will be those people that say Google has been the key player in this Coalition for Better ads and that they have positioned themselves and their platforms safely so that they remain unaffected. Well that’s true but google have also stayed away from the annoying ads because they know it is key that user experience remains fluid and uninterrupted so that to maximise the user experience. After all, without users, google is dead!
Industry Standards are important in whatever industry you work in, this goes someway to implement standards that have been completely ignored by some digital agencies in recent years to try and get that extra few pounds, often at the cost of lost readers!
So earlier in this article I mentioned that it may actually result in more ads being show, what did I mean by that?
Well it’s estimated that 30% of users these days run an adblocker on their pc, laptop or phone. These blockers look for ad scripts and block them totally, this is costing publishers large pots of money but with the google blocker those publishers, who might actually have some great content, will only see the ads deemed obtrusive blocked.
So yes there may be areas of some of our websites where we will need to make slight amendments but in an age where the biggest turn off for end users is “too many obtrusive ads!” I think we need to embrace this change and hope it results in higher readership and site trust.