Thanks to Google, Ad Blocking Has Just Leveled Up

2 min read

Wait, What’s Going On?

On February 15, Google launched a new version of Chrome that includes a built-in ad blocker to eliminate these 12 types of ads from your browsing experience on desktop and mobile.

Why Is This Happening?

According to the Coalition for Better Ads, Chrome users are frustrated with the ads they’re seeing, especially the 12 ad types shown above, because they are annoying, irrelevant, and intrusive, among other reasons. They did research involving more than 25,000 consumers to reach these conclusions, btw.

How Does It Work?

Google will evaluate a sample of pages from a specific domain, and assign a status of passing, warning, or failing. Sites that don’t earn a passing score will receive an ad experience report from Google and be given 30 days to clean up their act. If after 30 days the ads haven’t been removed or changed to comply with Better Ads Standards, they will be blocked from Chrome.

Why Does This Matter?

A lot of the ad types that are now disapproved will improve browsing experiences for mobile users. As mobile continues to gain ground on, and even surpass, desktop traffic, Google understands how important it is for websites to offer a great experience for mobile users.

This built-in ad blocker will also discourage Chrome users from installing third-party ad blocker plugins, which could block ads in the Google Display Network.

What Does It Mean For Advertisers and Publishers?

Google wants to make sure that advertisers and publishers are supporting a consumer-first browsing experience. When the update launched, Google estimated that only about 1% of publishers were immediately affected by the new ad blocker. Furthermore, Google reports that 42% of sites with failing scores had already resolved their ads issues and are now passing.

For advertisers and publishers who were already adhering to Better Ads Standards, there’s not much to worry about. Google will always prefer high-quality, relevant ads over those that disrupt the browsing experience to force the consumer to interact with the ad, and this update just makes that preference mandatory.

What Does It Mean For Consumers and Web Users?

For web users and consumers, this means your browsing experience should improve. If you visit a site that has an ad blocked by Chrome, you’ll receive a pop-up to let you know the ad is blocked. Yes, you’ll get a pop-up to let you know that your pop-up ad has been blocked. (This seems like an area for improvement–just saying).

This is also a very clever move by Google, as it can convince more people to use its browser, thereby expanding its ad policing jurisdiction. Currently Chrome is used by about 62% of mobile devices, and 59% of desktop–but there’s a good chance those percentages will increase as the Chrome browsing experience continues to improve.