- Google Chrome announced in a blog post that it will stop showing disruptive ads worldwide beginning July 9, following the news that Better Ads Standards would be expanded. The standards have been available in North American and Europe and Google Chrome has been filtering ads on sites in these countries since last year.
- The standards, developed by the Coalition for Better Ads, filter ads based on 12 experiences that users find intrusive and advertisers and publishers should avoid using. Publishers worldwide can view their Ad Experience Report to uncover whether they have intrusive ad experiences on their sites, their status of passing or failing and resolve the issues.
- Two-thirds of publishers who were once noncompliant to the Better Ads Standards are now in good standing, as of Jan. 1, according to Google. Of the millions of sites reviewed by Google, less than 1% have had their ads filtered.
Expanding its ad blocking worldwide is part of Google’s continued commitment to improve user experiences on Chrome. Over the past year, Google has rolled out other tools for Chrome with the user in mind. For its new version of Chrome released in January 2018, new functions allowed users to mute reminder ads and entire sites that auto-play videos.
Approximately one in four U.S. Internet users employ an ad blocker, although rates aren't growing as quickly as once expected, according to a recent report from eMarketer.
The company says its adoption of the Better Ads Standards last year has encouraged many publishers to improve the advertising experiences on their sites. But, critics have said that the move was more self-serving, and that Google would have too much influence over which ads would be blocked. Another concern was that Google’s ad-blocking policy mostly doesn’t apply to ads placed on Google sites, which could lead advertisers to spend more money with the company. Most of the blocked ads include pop-up and autoplay ads, and Google generates most of its revenue from text search ads and display ads.
The Coalition for Better Ads uncovered the ad formats that were most annoying and disruptive to online users, including pop-up ads, auto-play video ads with sound, large sticky ads and prestitial ads for desktop. On mobile, the most disrupted formats were pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads and large sticky ads.
By encouraging publishers and advertisers to avoid these formats, Google insists it is helping advertisers reach their desired audiences and get around online users’ growing use of ad blockers. In the U.S., 26% of consumers were using ad blockers in 2017, a 16% increase over the year before, according to an OnAudience.com report. U.S. publishers were projected to lose $15.8 billion in revenue in 2017 because of ad blocking.