Commentary

Google's Chrome Ad Blocker Will Not Harm The Advertising Industry

Say the words "ad blocker" to an advertiser or publisher and you can guarantee they will cringe. When Google announced its new built-in ad blocker for Chrome last year, it was no exception. The feature, which went live February 15th, is intended to reduce "annoying ads" on desktop and mobile -- or ads that infringe on the user experience.

More specifically, it will block anything that Coalition for Better Ads deems unruly, including pop-ups, autoplay videos with sound, sticky ads, and ones that make users sit through a countdown before they can get to their desired content. 

Annoying ads will be overtaken by high-quality content

The loudest, most outrageous people in the room always get the most attention. And the same thing happens in advertising. Ads need to be big, flashy -- and often downright annoying -- to get consumers to notice on the web.

And for advertisers who still want to craft clever, high-quality content? Well, there’s little point when another advertiser will just come along and buy an annoying ad on the same site, which can cause users to exit their browsing session altogether.

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Annoying ad formats are cheap, and they’re the most likely to get people’s attention. However is catching someone’s eye worth it if they just end up feeling irritated by your brand?

For the advertising industry, it has become an exponential problem: the more annoying ads show up, the more other advertisers create them to stick their heads above the crowd.

But thanks to Chrome’s new ad blocker, the industry needs to change. Since February, websites that don’t comply with the new rules have 30 days to take down the ads from their site.

Now, it is high-quality and trustworthy advertising content that rules the day -- a benefit for consumers and advertisers alike. For one, the Google Chrome ad blocker gives advertisers the needed push to enter into the growing content space. American adults now spend more than 12 hours consuming media a day -- a huge window of opportunity for advertisers to provide consumers with interesting things to read, listen and watch.

Secondly, investing in good-quality content across various channels can help build more engaged audiences. While no one would ever stare at a flashy banner ad for 30 seconds, an interesting article may just catch their attention. We have found the active reading time on a branded article is 73 seconds.

With Google’s new ad blocker in place, publishers and advertisers that have already repositioned themselves to invest in relevant ad content are coming out on top. But for everyone else, it’s not too late.

To improve the digital advertising experience, the IAB advocates that advertisers focus on relationships with their audiences, and take risks to use innovative technologies. And Google just asks that the ads don’t obstruct user experience. To see what AdBlock suggests Chrome will block, check out the excel sheet here.

The truth is, Google’s new built-in ad blocker for Chrome might just have the power to change the advertising industry forever -- forcing advertisers to build better relationships with their audiences, and present more valuable content to consumers.

 

3 comments about "Google's Chrome Ad Blocker Will Not Harm The Advertising Industry".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, April 12, 2018 at 9:51 a.m.

    Here's the best way to block the bad ads: Block all the ads. Who's going to care if they miss a terrific ad, really? Just the agency and the buyer and the old-model media mavens.

    Even on Facebook you can use the fbpurity app.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, April 12, 2018 at 9:44 p.m.

    Douglas, I suspect that without ads you (and I) would not be able to comment on MediaPost.

  3. peter Smith from mag, May 2, 2018 at 4:48 a.m.

    Few comments - in bullet point as I've got a few points to make:
    * Yes, agree the industry can shift to better ad standards via the appropriate bodies & standards can make these improvements, what has happened here is somewhat autocratic. Google or Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) are not regulators but are acting as if they are. 
    * CBA can freely impose these ad "rules" on themselves but doing so to other publishers is very unsound.
    * The CBA research is early days, it's recently formed group. If you read CBA site today you can see they are planning to adjust their rules and findings, so constant flux is expected. 
    * The CBA standard google implementation are also not clear or easy to digest, just visit CBA site & the language makes it difficult to understand what is & isn't acceptable - this confusion results in scare tactics to publishers - especially smaller ones
     
    * Google online resource to support global publisher queries on this topic is dismal.
    * An example of questionable rules & its complexities, the ad page density now can't be more than 30%. At first, that sounds reasonable, but questions sent to google team include, how do I measure that 30% level and google reply say's they don't know of a service that can allow a publisher to test page ad density + the calculation depends on some rather complex considerations (90% publishers won't be able to work it out). So if a smaller publisher (or even large) was looking to add a sponsored links provider to their site, they could, for example, add outbrain native text links or adsense. Outbrain links/ads take up more space per ad (i.e. bigger images etc), though as a small publisher I'm going to lean towards adsense which I think their ads look boring but will take up a little less space. Please note, the chrome built-in ad blocking rules are complex & are changing - it's totally unrealistic for the vast majority of publishers to with confidence digest all these finer details, thus they will be forced to make 'safe and sound' choice verse the right choice. I think for the industry the approach being rolled out is very unsound & also helps google to continue to dominate the ad space, where the industry badly needs innovation.
    Note: Jerrid Grimm. MediaPost rev-model includes its subscriber base where this asset can be monetised. I need to point out your registration methods are not GDPR compliant & somewhat contradictory to your article. To add a 'comment' or to register you have a tricky sign-up path that really forces me to sign-up to newsletters, i.e. to add a post, I need to registered + receive enough of your e-bulletin. I'm making this comment as your article is about best practice. Personally, I'd prefer 31% banners on your page vs being pushed into your e-messages.  That said, mediapost needs to have choice, lucky google's chrome not filtering these choices too :)

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