Megan Porter, DEG Paid Media Manager, coauthored this post.
Starting February 15, Google will start natively blocking ads on Chrome that are deemed overly annoying or intrusive. This announcement is in response to the concerns of consumers who find these types of ads to be intrusive and degrade their user experience.
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Last year, eMarketer predicted that more than one quarter of US internet users would use ad blockers in 2017. By automatically blocking ads that violate the standards from the Coalition for Better Ads in Chrome, Google hopes fewer consumers will rely on restrictive third-party ad blockers that prevent advertisements completely.
Ads in danger of getting blocked are determined by those that don’t meet the standards put forth by the Coalition for Better Ads. Examples of desktop ads include pop-ups, autoplay videos with sound, prestitial ads with countdowns, and large sticky ads. On mobile, this also includes ads with a density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, and full-screen scroll over ads. Webmasters and advertisers can see their Ad Experience Report online to see if they are in danger of getting blocked.
How will this impact paid media?
This may seem counterintuitive since Google received more than $60 billion in online advertising in 2016. However, there’s growing concern as more and more people are using ad-blocking technology. It’s possible Chrome users won’t feel the need to use additional ad blockers if they are seeing fewer intrusive ads on sites. In the long run, Google will be able to continue to see growth in ad revenue, even if there is a decline in the short-term.
Chrome accounts for nearly 47.5% of the browser market, so advertisers will want to ensure they’re creating ads that follow the Coalition for Better Ads guidelines, and are placing ads on sites that are more stringent about managing their advertisements.
Google Chrome’s announcement means advertisers will have to be more creative when trying to capture the attention of consumers.
Once these changes roll out, advertisers will have to be more creative when trying to capture the attention of consumers. While some ‘failing’ ad types were annoying, they didn’t go unnoticed by viewers. Now that these ad types will potentially disappear, ad viewability will become even more of a focus than it already is. This rollout could also end up becoming a slippery slope if additional ad types are included to the list due to public outcry. Google will need to walk the line between appeasing users who want an uninterrupted user experience and focusing on profitability.
We think consumers will be appreciative of the moves made by Google to prevent annoying ads from ruining their experience and, as a result, will be less likely to install ad blockers or switch to different browsers.
How will this impact organic search?
When it comes to ad blocking, many people would just assume that fewer ads are better for everyone. However, this isn’t the whole truth—even from the perspective of focusing on organic search. Many websites and content creators rely on ad revenue to fund their efforts. Without a steady source of revenue from ads on their websites, many of your favorite writers, blogs, and news outlets could disappear.
Additionally, many users that are already using ad blockers have discovered a new problem while browsing the web. Websites that detect ad blocking software can prevent a user from accessing content until they “whitelist” or unblock their website’s ads.
Rather than allowing this game of blocking and blocking the blockers (and even another layer of blocking blocks getting blocked), Google has decided to step in and find the best compromise: displaying ads in a way that doesn’t degrade or ruin the user experience.
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