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Jen McKinnon
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What Does Google Chrome’s New Ad Blocker Mean for Digital Advertising?

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Today is D-day as Google rolls out the ad-blocking function on their Chrome web browser. Chrome is the browser of preference for 56.31% of Australian internet searches. This may seem like a terrifying nightmare to businesses who depend on online marketing – but don’t despair, it’s not all over for your brand! Get across the new update so you can be sure your business makes the right digital decisions moving forward.

First, let’s look at how this new apparatus will work.

The ad blocker is designed to discourage the use of annoying, spammy ads and will be built into the Chrome browser to filter sites and protect the user. This is in a bid to revolutionise the online advertising space and purify the content available to visitors. As such, all ads will be held to the guidelines set out by the Better Ads Coalition and graded by the Chrome ad crawler as either a pass, warning or fail.

Google is not planning to eradicate all ads from the Chrome browser.

It’s very easy to get swept up in the negative hype but the truth is this new development only affects some types of online ads. These are the ads that continually violate Better Ads standards by restricting or embellishing pages. This is all part of the grand plan to incentivise site owners to stop using this strain of digital promotion. When asked about the new update, Chrome Engineering Manager, Chris Bentzel said that “the majority of problematic ad experiences are controlled by the site owner.” If the team at Chrome can influence them to cease and desist, they believe it will clean up the online space and provide a better experience for the user.

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Which ads will be blocked?

Google is targeting different types of ads on different devices. On desktop, there will be lighter restrictions, while mobile devices will see very harsh limitations.

The Chrome desktop browser will block pop-up ads, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound, and countdown ads that obstruct access to a site before timer completion.

Chrome’s mobile browser will target the same as the desktop, and some! The aggressive attack on mobile ads includes pop-ups, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound, any ad displayed prior to content loading (with or without a restrictive countdown), animated blinker ads, full screen scroll over ads and even ads that are intense or in your face.

Google is giving site owners plenty of warning.

If your heart has been racing since you started reading this article, you can relax now. Site owners who currently employ the use of any of these newly forbidden ad types will be given plenty of waring before a block is issued by the Chrome browser.

There is a three-step process that will be carried out before any blocks are enforced. First your site will be evaluated, and you will be informed of any issues. There will then be a reasonable notice period of 30 days for site owners to rectify any issues raised. You can view your site’s evaluation using an API (Application Programming Interface) and can resubmit for review after issues have been addressed.

If a site does not meet the Better Ads parameters and their ads are blocked by the Chrome ad blocker, the ads will be filtered at the network level to stop them from loading remotely.

Users will be given the option to allow blocked ads.

Even if your site doesn’t pass the Chrome test, viewers will still be given the option to view your ads. Similar to a pop-up blocker, Google’s ad blocker will appear in the Chrome address bar on desktop and, on mobile, users will see a small icon at the base of the screen.

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This will not affect paid Google Ads.

Many of our clients engage pay-per-click advertising, such as AdWords and Display Network ads, to bolster their digital presence. Those businesses need not worry. This development targets only intrusive advertising that Google deems ‘promotional litter’ in the hope that it discourages advertisers from using these methods to ultimately improve the user’s web experience.

Do I need professional advice?

This new Chrome feature may cause headaches for businesses and advertisers from the outset but, if it achieves its goal of improving the Chrome user experience, it can only be a good thing. There is likely a quick fix to many of the problems caused by the development and it may be beneficial to enlist a professional to navigate the parameters of the regulations. If you are a current client or a business concerned about the Chrome ad blocker, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with out Web Development team.

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By Jen McKinnon


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