Here’s What You Need to Know About the New Ad Blocker in Google Chrome

Brian Blondy, February 15, 2018

 

Google has officially enabled its new built-in ad blocker in Chrome today (February 15, 2018) which will automatically remove unacceptable ads and popups from websites across the web. The ad blocking tool empowers the browser to exclude specific types of ads, which as a result will motivate website owners to stop using them.

Using standards defined by the Coalition for Better Ads group (Google is a sitting member), Google will be targeting the following ads types on a site-by-site basis with the new tool:

 Desktop

  • Pop-up Ads
  • Presititial ads with countdown
  • Auto-play video ads with sound (Outstream)
  • Large sticky ads

Mobile

  • Pop-up Ads
  • Presititial ads with countdown
  • Auto-play video ads with sound (Outstream)
  • Poststitial Ads with countdown
  • Density >30%
  • Flashing animated ads
  • Large sticky ads
  • Full-screen scroll over ads

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google calls the pre-installed and enabled plugin as an “ad filter,” rather than an ad blocker, for preventing non-compliant advertisements from loading during a user website experience.

 

Google has adopted a three-step process for evaluating websites. First, informing the sites of the non-compliancy, and then giving an opportunity to the websites to correct the instances prior to eventually enforcing an ad block.

Google’s evaluation is based on the Better Ads standards and then scoring the website based on a pass, warning or fail rating system.  Google has given website owners the ability to access the evaluations via an API, in addition to allowing for sites to be re-reviewed after rectifying flagged ads after a review.  If a website has been rated as having violations and the owner does not respond or act upon Google’s recommendations for addressing the violations, then Chrome will begin blocking ads from the website after 30 days.

 

To assist publishers for preparing for the introduction of the plugin, Google has released a self-service tool called “Ad Experience Reports,” which notifies publishers of the current instances of non-compliant advertisements on their website alongside solutions for removing the known issues.

In a post published on Google’s official blog, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP for Ads & Commerce at Google, said that the reason for introducing measures to combat ad blocking was meant to assist and ensure publishers continue earning revenue in Chrome despite the prevalence of widespread adoption of 3rd party blocking software.

“We believe these changes will ensure all content creators, big and small, can continue to have a sustainable way to fund their work with online advertising.”

The ad blocker is placed in Chrome’s address bar on desktop and on through a notification on mobile near the bottom of the page that informs the user that ads have been blocked. Users of both desktop and mobile versions of Chrome will have the option to allow ads to be shown on site’s where ads have been blocked.

 

Based on the growing popularity of ad blocking plugins and the staggering impact they have caused to publisher revenue over the past few years, it’s logical that Chrome, the internet’s most used browser, would have to eventually take bold steps to address the growing ad blocking issue in Chrome.

Google is offering assurances that the Chrome tool will not be limited to only blocking ads from non-Google demand sources, meaning that the extension will also block non-compliant ads originating from Google’s programmatic sources.

Despite Google’s assertion of neutrality, it still remains to be seen whether the actions of the Chrome tool will adversely affect publishers’ revenue, their ability to monetize as they deem fit, as well as the reality that the tool may have the absolute power to weaken Google’s programmatic competition by blocking ads in a widespread manner inside all versions of Chrome.

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian(at)totalmediasolutions(dot)com or on LinkedIn