Everything You Need to Know About the New Google Ad Blocker

51% of ad blocker users maintain that too many ads are annoying or irrelevant. Are you one of them?

For those that work in digital marketing, the above statistic could be concerning. With the new Google Chrome ad blocker now blunting ads, how will this impact the marketing landscape?

The rules for online advertising are changing. Read on below to be in the know.

Google Makes Waves

Google announced last year that certain ad types would be blocked for users of its Chrome browser.

That date is now as the update was released in February, for the world's most popular web browser.

As big as Google and Chrome are - it cannot be understated that the entire digital marketing landscape is undergoing a shift to improve the ad experience.

A fact not lost on digital marketers: Google is both the world's largest ad seller and now they are playing arbiter of what ads can be served.

Looks like it's Google's world and marketers just have to live in it.

Consumers Frustrated

We started this article with a statistic showing that web users are annoyed about ads.

Some web users also state concerns over viruses or bugs as a concern regarding ads.

Per Google's own research, there were over 5 billion "mutes" with people selecting the "mute this ad" feature in 2017.

With so many frustrated consumers on the web, the adoption of ad blockers has simply skyrocketed over the past few years.

Why is Google Doing This?

Google is not going after ALL ads. The idea to go after sub-par ones.

After all the search engine giant knows that advertising supports the vast majority of the content that we take in online.

The new ad standards Google hopes will create a better user experience, but in the short term that could mean some ad formats a by some marketers are blocked.

The offending websites that violate the new ad standards will be given 30 days to remove their ads, before they are blocked by Google Chrome ad blocker.

Mobile is Impacted As Well

Chrome is 62% of the mobile browser market. 

It turns out as people spend more time on mobile devices, the tension about ads increased. The smaller screens make it more difficult to avoid ads on a website.

With the Google update, there will be a total of 8 mobile ad formats affected:

·       Pop-up Ads

·       Prestitial Ads

·       Ad Density Higher Than 30%

·       Flashing Animated Ads

·       Auto-playing Video Ads with Sound

·       Postitial Ads with Countdown

·       Full-screen Scroll over Ads

·       Large Sticky Ads

These are broad categories - but common sense dictates that effectively every mobile ad format will be impacted.

On the Desktop

If you're auditing the ads you will be running on desktop web browsers, we've outlined the formats Google is looking to remove.

·       Pop-up ads

·       Prestitial ads with countdown

·       Auto-play video ads with sound

·       Large sticky ads

The standard your ads will need to meet is called out in the Better Ad Standard which we will explain further down in this article.

Advertisers React

The marketing industry, in addition to brands that advertise online, has been under threat for a while now.

After all, how do you both preserve the valuable revenue model of ads while supporting a publishing world that is almost 100% digital nowadays?

Advertisers are finding out that adding more value, might make users more open to accepting ads online.

Put simply, ads that are more relevant will always be better received versus ads that do nothing more than just shout to get user attention.

Ads can also be made to be more relevant, in terms of context, to what the user is doing while online.

Google maintains that initially, their ad blocker will affect 1% of ads, so the shift might not be as monumental as initially feared.

The Better Ad Standard

The Better Ad Standard is an important element and helps dictate what the Googe Chrome ad blocker looks for.

The Better Ad Standard awards a site one of three grades: passing, warning or failing.

The standard Google created that websites need to match, is documented in their tool called the Ad Experience Report.

In summary, the tool allows advertisers to view examples of screenshots and videos of annoying ad experiences so they can be corrected or prevented.

The Google Chrome Ad Blocker

When a user loads a webpage on Chrome, the browser will check the site against what is called a Better Ad Standard, mentioned above.

If the site has a history of not meeting the standard, Chrome blocks the network request and prevents the ad from being displayed.

After an ad is blocked, Chrome will prompt the user with a message notifying them.

Also, note that Chrome will give users an option to disable ad blocking for the specific site.

Related

Also related to the Google Chrome Adblocker are a few other initiatives aimed at improving the online experience.

·       Google-served Retargeting. Users that are signed-in will be able to turn off individual retargeting ads.

·       Mute This Ad. This works on all user devices when they are signed into a Google account.

The above is dependent on users signing into their Google account, something not all people feel comfortable doing because of privacy concerns.

How to Navigate

Ad related URL patterns, network requests, content-filtering. It can all sound super technical, and really complicated.

A good marketing agency should not only be strong in technology but also helping brands deliver amazing customer experiences.

Brands that advertise online need their branded moments to reach customers at several stages, and touchpoints.

If your company needs help navigating the digital world, agencies like Blirt are experts at online customer experience strategy.

Moving Forward

For both publishers and online advertisers, now is the time to start creating a better ad experience.

Google is to be believed when it says they would, ideally, prefer not to block any ads at all. But the tradeoff is the ad experience for all must be improved.

Hopefully, by staying informed of the latest tools and resources, you can stay ahead of Google. Read more on this topic on the blog at Blirt Digital Strategy Consultancy.