In early 2017 Google announced controversial plans for a brand new ad-blocking tool to be added to the widely used internet browser, Chrome. With loads of people in the world already using the browser, the plans were met with widespread debate as to whether Google has too much influence over online advertising already – with the majority of Google’s revenue coming from advertising, people fear it will only give Google more control over the market. However, following on from it’s ad-block announcement, Google has revealed that Chrome’s new integrated add-on will only be removing ads that are considered non-compliant even if they are served from Google themselves. Google suggests its aim with the new ad blocker is to improve user experience for Chrome users and to help publishers remove ‘bad ads’ from across the internet.
Google has announced the date to go live for the ad-blocker from 15th February 2018. So, for the everyday internet user, what will this mean? And for businesses who are running online advertising campaigns – what will happen now? We’ve explored the scenarios to give you a greater picture into Google’s thought process behind the new feature.
Say goodbye to intrusive ads – hurray
You know those really annoying ads that pop up in a separate window whilst your browsing a website – well once the new ad blocker goes live these types of ads (according to Google) will then cease to exist on Chrome, something I think everyone can agree on is welcomed. Ads defined as intrusive are things like full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads, covering all the content. These types of ads have been found to cause users to either leave the website in which they were served the ad or in extreme cases prompt the user to install an ad-blocker to their browser. This perhaps flags an ulterior motive being displayed by Google, as users installing a third party ad blocker will block Google served ads – affecting Google’s revenue. By removing ‘bad’ ads Google are hoping this will prevent users from having to resort to a third party ad blocker.
Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, a group launched to represent online advertising standards for big advertising businesses. The coalition ‘has developed initial Better Ads Standards for desktop web and mobile web for North America and Europe’ to make digital advertising experiences safer and more robust.
Your browsing will be safer
With hackers buying up vast amounts of advertising space in some of the world’s most popular websites to load ads with malicious back end malware, this update will be a welcome sigh of relief to users who worry about a data breach from intrusive online ads. The new ad blocker will remove the majority of malicious online ads faced by users – although it still remains to be seen if the ad blocker will be effective, this is something we’ll find out post February 2018 but we have high hopes.
Business will need to be more attentive
With more and more scrutiny is being put on ad quality served by businesses, the new ad block feature only reaffirms this and Google’s position on ad quality going into 2018. For businesses who serve ads and advertise online it means they are going to have to put more emphasis on their ad quality – and whilst the majority will be fine as their ads are already compliant, some businesses may find their ads are being blocked, so we recommend checking Google’s ad compliance thoroughly before beginning any new ad campaign in the coming year, regardless of what ad serving platform you use.
As soon as the feature goes live, we’ll be sure to update you! In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to know more about advertising online, get in touch.