Have you noticed any less annoying ads while you’ve been surfing the web lately? In February, Google started blocking ads that violate the Coalition for Better Ads standards on mobile and desktop websites that are accessed through its Chrome browser.
The Coalition for Better Advertising, which is comprised of advertising companies, tech companies (including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft), and publishers, surveyed 25,000 consumer internet users in North American and Europe to figure out what ads they considered are the most annoying. They used the results to develop a set of guidelines called the Better Ads Standards. Only ads that violate the standards will be blocked.
“Advertising is a critical component of the web, keeping content open and free for everyone. However, over the years, we’ve increasingly heard from users that while some types of advertising are fine, other can seem overwhelmingly frustrating or intrusive. Due to these poor ad experiences, the usage of extensions that block ads across the web continues to rise, up about 30 percent from just last year. This reduces the ability for publishers to continue creating free content and threatens the sustainability of the web ecosystem,” said Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Google Vice President of Product Management in a blog post.
Therefore, the guidelines identify several types of overly annoying and intrusive ads. There are four specific types of desktop ads and eight kinds of mobile ads that users deemed completely unacceptable. These are ads that take up too much screen space such as large sticky ads or ads with full-page interstitials, also on the list are ads with countdowns, pop-up ads, and ads that unexpectedly play video, sound or animation.
Google is currently reviewing sites through a combination of manual and automated methods for these types of violations. Prior to blocking the ad, Google provides violators with an Ad Experience Report, which includes video of the problematic ad. Sites then have 30 days to resolve any issues and resubmit their site for review. After 30 days with a failing status on the Ad Experience Report, Chrome will remove/filter ads from the site.
Chrome is used by over 50 percent of web users, according to statistics from StatCounter. So sites do not want to be filtered by Google due to violating these new standards because it could result in a significant loss of revenue for them if they’re unable to reach consumers. Giving users a good ad experience will also discourage users from installing more aggressive ad-blocking software that could potentially hurt revenue for everyone.
It’s important to note that a single ad violating the Better Ads Standards will not result in an ad publisher receiving a failing grade. The Coalition provided thresholds starting at 7.5 percent of page views for the first two months of the program and then dropping in the months thereafter.
If you’re an online advertiser, make sure you have reviewed the Better Ads Standards and are in compliance with their guidelines. Reaching consumers in a positive way that doesn’t disrupt their web use is just a smart business practice in the first place.