Google's Chrome Ad Filter Has Hidden Power

Why would one of the biggest collectors of digital advertising revenue threaten to block all ads on a website, if it doesn't comply with new Google Chrome standards?


One argument: By ensuring that websites eliminate annoying ads — like those featuring autoplay with sound or force you to watch an ad for several seconds before moving on to the site — Chrome users will be less likely to use ad blockers across the browser. That results in a better experience for users and, perhaps, more advertising dollars for Google. 

Though it was rolled out on February 15, Google’s new Chrome Ad Blocker’s impending arrival was announced months in advance. Because of that, only about 1% of websites will be affected. That number, though, is astonishing.

According to a blog posted by Google last week, 42% of sites notified changed their ad formats to comply before the February 15 deadline.



Chris Bentzel stated in the post: “We're encouraged by early results showing industry shifts away from intrusive ad experiences, and look forwarding to continued collaboration with the industry toward a future where Chrome's ad filtering technology will not be needed.”

Google worked with the Coalition for Better Ads, a group of industry insiders, to improve the online advertising landscape. Over 40,000 internet users in North America and Europe evaluated ad experiences through a survey to determine what was preferable, which shows the company is focused on bettering its users' experiences. 

The punishment for not complying is clear.

Sites will be evaluated using a passing, warning or failing system, based on how many violations are found on a sample of a site’s pages. Sites that are issued a failing grade will have 30 days to comply with the Better Ads Standards. If they fail to do so, all ads on that site will be blocked.

Google has set up an Ad Experience Report in Google’s Search Console, where site owners can view the results of their evaluation. A “What We Found” column will list all violations. A list of negative ads will be provided separately.

The threat of taking away a website’s advertising by not complying is a bullying move by the search giant. The argument that ads are intrusive and annoying is valid ,and Google’s new standards will hopefully make for a better user experience across the web.

However, there is an unease in one company having enough power to control so much of the digital landscape through its browser popularity and advertising dominance.

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