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.
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.