Last year, to the surprise to of marketers, advertisers and publishers, Google announced that they intended to introduce an inbuilt adblocker feature to their popular browser, Google Chrome. This feature will finally be launching tomorrow (15th February) to all Google Chrome users. But, isn’t advertising one of the main revenue streams for Google? So why are they doing it and what does it all mean? In recent years, the use of third-party Adblocker plugins has been rapidly increased in popularity with over approximately 9 million UK users blocking ads on websites. However, despite this rise in adblocking, most websites must publish ads in order to provide free content something which most users fully understand – even if they are reluctant to wait through the said advert. So the issue here is not adblocking itself, but more about the quality of ads presented to users. This is the exact problem Google Chrome’s adblocker aims to tackle. Google in collaboration with Coalition for Better Ads have developed this adblocker feature. Chrome’s inbuilt adblocker will work on both desktop and mobile devices. However, unlike the other adblocker plugins like Adblock Plus, this inbuilt feature does not apply a blanket block on all ads. This feature will only look for annoying and obnoxious ads that ruin overall user experience. It will also block ads which do not conform to the Better Ads Standards guidelines. Here are some examples of ads which will be blocked by Google Chrome.
Image by Coalation for Better Ads*
If A Single Ad Violates the Rules All Ads on the Page get Blocked
Te key thing to note is that, if even one of the ads that run on the page violate the Better Ads Standards guidelines, all ads (yes, you read right – All ads, even Google’s own ads) on that website will be blocked. Although this may seem like a counterintuitive move by Google, this is an attempt by Google to clean up the advertising industry. Google has recommended publishers to be concise and direct in their advertising whilst most importantly respecting the user’s internet experience. However, annoying ads such as ‘autoplay video ads’ have become a popular and easy way for publishers to get user attention without the need to craft engaging and thoughtful content, which creates an overall dissatisfactory user experience. Secondly, according to WSJ, until now Google were having to pay Adblock to have its ads pass their filter plugin. According to Net Market Share, Google Chrome accounts for 58.64% of the internet traffic. With the launch of their new inbuilt ad blocker feature, Google appear to be trying to force the hands of publishers to publish quality ads (or have all ads blocked on that page). Also as a result of this feature, Google is trying to completely bypass the need for internet users to use third party ad blocker plugins which therefore provides them with more control over ad blocking in general. As of the 12th February, Google reports that 42% of the sites which had failed the Better Ads Standards have now fixed these violations. Early results show that this has created a shift away from an intrusive ad experience. Regardless of Google’s motive behind launching this feature, we can say for certain that for everyday users, this is very positive news indeed.