Earlier in the year Google announced it was going to be imposing greater restrictions on online advertising, making browsing far easier and far less annoying for some of us. Google makes huge amounts of revenue from its very own online advertising, however, so how is this going to work?
Currently, Google pays fees to third-party blockers such as Adblock Plus, to whitelist (i.e. allow) its ads and it is most likely aiming to stop this from happening (whilst saving money) by becoming an ad blocker itself. And if Google offers its own ad blocker in Chrome that targets specific types of bothersome ads, fed-up users won’t actively seek out a way to block profitable advertising. This will make the ads that are seen more palatable for the viewer and Google will continue to generate advertising revenue. Ads that most of us find particularly annoying include auto-playing video ads with sound, pop-up ads that obscure the screen, and prestitial ads that wait for a countdown. These could all be automatically blocked by Google on Chrome which 60% of us use. Is this Google controlling more of what we do and see or is it a benefit for all of us?
“We’ve said publicly for a while now that Google alone cannot solve the bad experiences users have online — we need a data-driven industry approach to improving ads experiences. As a member of the [Coalition], we’ve been talking to a number of industry associations, publishers, advertisers and other technology companies about the development of the Better Ads Standard. One option we’re exploring is how Chrome could help support this Standard.”
Google says it is acting in all our interests:
Google have also said that if this ad-blocking feature goes ahead, users may get greater choices and options about their online experience, and it would also adhere to guidelines set by the advertising industry.
If you advertise online this isn’t necessarily bad news. Google is working on scoring websites for their ads and would blacklist sites that fail, meaning if your ads aren’t great or just plain irritating they won’t get shown. This in itself is a benefit for everybody, raising the standards of ads online and making browsing a far better experience for everyone.
According to one anonymous publishing executive:
“If they blacklist you because of bad creative, Chrome will block all the ads on the site. Google becomes the judge, jury and executioner. Next thing you know, you’re making zero money.”
The two key takeaway points at the moment are – if you advertise online it might be worth cleaning up your ads, and if you are a consumer/browser the countdown may be well and truly on for the end of annoying ads.
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