In a digital world that constantly bombards you with ads in a multitude of ways, it’s easy to just want to block them all out. From ads appearing in your Gmail inbox to retargeting ads that follow you around after leaving a website, it’s easy to see ad blockers as a solution to this annoyance. A recent study from Global Web Index showed that 40% of survey respondents had used an ad blocker of some sort in the last month.
The trend has spread with users so much that even Google and Apple have recently announced new ad-blocking features in their Chrome and Safari browsers, respectively. These may seem scary or threatening to advertisers, but the real underlying effort here is to improve the user experience online. Ads still serve a purpose and can benefit users, but it’s clear that users and developers have decided to start reigning back advertiser’s ability to place ads.
Related: What Google Chrome’s Native Ad Blocker Means For Marketers
Ad Blocking Has Consequences
While many people will still gravitate toward ad blockers, the end effect is not always the one they intend. It’s easy to think that ad blocking is the best way to “stick it to the man” and put those greedy advertisers out of a job. However, the reality is you may be harming your favorite websites and content creators.
Many websites and content creators rely on revenue from ads served to users. When these ads are blocked, you may be harming your favorite sources of content. Additionally, ad blocking may create a better experience for now, but will likely create a more frustrating trip later. With the mass adaptation of ad blockers comes the rise of ad-blocker blockers. These are websites that see you have an ad blocker and then request you turn it off, often resulting in a content-blocking pop-up that’s more annoying than ads.
Make Ads Better, Not Blocked
What are users to do since many websites and content creators rely on ads to stay in business, but you’re tired of annoying and non-relevant ads? Google is taking steps to make ads better for you (yes, you specifically).
While Google Chrome has taken steps to block certain intrusive and annoying ads, users can make their remaining ad experience online better by customizing the types of ads they see in a new convenient ad personalization center in Google Ad Settings. This new feature gives users a layer of transparency into what demographics they are targeted by and the ability to remove certain preferences.
Google now directly tells users what attributes are associated with your profile and gives you the ability to turn off specific types of ads.
Google now directly tells users what attributes, demographics, and interests that are associated with your profile and gives you the ability to turn off specific types of ads.
For example, if recently you’ve been shopping for a new car, you probably have a lot of car listings and dealership advertisements following you around everywhere. During the car shopping experience, you might find some listings for cars at good prices via advertisements. These ads can enhance your experience online and help you find the right car at the right price. But once you’ve made that purchase, you probably don’t want to see those listing ads over and over for the next 30 days.
With Google Ad Settings, you can now easily access your profile and disable the “Vehicle Shopping” attribute to effectively block those ads.
With a simple click of a button, you can easily customize your ad experience to be better and not have to worry about your favorite websites shutting down or fighting against ad blocker-blockers.