It’s been a few weeks since Google’s Chrome browser started blocking ads from sites that use intrusive ad formats like pop-ups, annoying flashing animated ads, and a few others.
Since there’s been a lot of confusion about exactly what Google Chrome will be blocking, and how that may impact either their campaigns or digital advertising in general, we wanted to take a few minutes to fill in some of the details here.
How does Chrome’s ad filtering work?
One misconception about Chrome’s new ad blocking feature is that it filters out only individual “bad” ad units. It actually will filter out all ads from particular websites that use either intrusive ad formats — or simply are too dense with ads, and light on content.
Here’s what they’re doing:
A group of companies and trade associations in the digital space organized a coalition called the “Coalition for Better Ads” surveyed a large sample of users in North America and Europe to identify the most intrusive, unhelpful, and — frankly — annoying ad formats on both desktop and mobile. With those results, the coalition identified a number of ad formats and website practices that they wanted to filter out of the web experience.
Google has surveyed, and continues to survey, sites for compliance with the “Better Ads Standards”. Sites that score poorly are warned and have the ability to have their site reviewed again once they have made updates.
Then, as a Chrome user browses the web, the browser checks against the sitelist to determine if the site is in compliance with the standards. If not, ALL the ads are filtered and replaced with a notice to the user that the ads haven’t been loaded. Users will see something like the image below if they load a site that is in violation of the standards.
Wait! Doesn’t Google make most of its money on advertising?!
Yes, and — to their credit — when they block all the ads on sites that violate the ad standards, they’re also going to be blocking their own text, display, and digital video ads. They’re betting that users will be happier with a cleaner experience, and that they can make up the revenue on users browsing better sites more often.
Although, it’s worthy of note that since YouTube is compliant with these standards, there shouldn’t be any changes in ads on embedded YouTube videos, nor would ads be blocked on YouTube itself.
How will this affect my digital advertising?
Well, the good news is, if you’re a DSPolitical client, it probably won’t.
That’s because of the way we buy media for our clients. We are sticklers for ad quality to begin with, so our clients don’t have to worry that they’re going to have any drop in delivery or negative impacts to the quality metrics they see in our reporting dashboards. Since we buy high-quality ad impressions on reputable sites, it simply shouldn’t be an issue — and we’re not seeing any impact in our deliveries.
More broadly, this is going to be good for internet users (including you and me) as a whole, which is always a good thing for advertisers. Mainly, improving the overall experience online by disincentivizing publishers from filling their sites with intrusive and irritating ads means that — down the road — good advertising will be even more noticeable and viewable. And advertisers won’t have to resort to extreme measures to make sure that users see their messages.
We’re pretty excited to see the long term impact of quality measures like this on the online user experience, and we’re definitely watching closely as things develop.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be happy to nerd out even more about this!