Is Google getting more involved in efforts to cut down ad blocking? At least one report suggests the Internet giant is looking at the possibility of an acceptable ads policy.
That would make sense since Google, along with Facebook, controls the majority of the digital ad market. Google is likely to have a lot of influence on ad formats that become industry standards. The two company have much at stake, so it make makes sense that that they would find ways to ensure that ads get around ad blockers.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) L.E.A.N. standards are a tool that’s designed to address ad blocking. L.E.A.N. or “light, encrypted, AdChoice-supported, non-invasive ads,” is a scoring tool, and the IAB expects to have a scoring algorithm in place by Q4. Meanwhile, publishers are developing their own ad-blocking tactics by asking readers to turn off their ad blockers or blocking readers from accessing content altogether. Ad-blocking companies have also developed “acceptable ad” programs that allow ads to get through that they decide are unobtrusive. Hopefully whatever Google’s developing will tie in with the IAB’s L.E.A.N. initiative.
Google is in a good position to effect change, but how would it work? Clearly, Google could create standards on what runs on its own site, plus YouTube and AdX, the exchange through which publishers sell their inventory. Creating standards could help speed ad-load times.
On a related note, Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), aimed toward faster loading of mobile articles. AMP discouraged the use of ads that would cause pages to slow slowly and was perceived as Google’s response to Facebook’s Instant Articles initiative, which is designed to keep people inside the Facebook ecosystem.
Whatever Google does, it needs to get publisher and industry input about the criteria for “acceptable ads.”