With the explosion of the internet, there really were not any standards to work with in the beginning, leading to everyone just doing their own thing.
The online advertising industry is no different, as many ad firms have made it clear that they are willing to sacrifice the user experience to milk as much views and money as possible. As a result, ad blockers have gained popularity to the point where many publishers have to go back to the drawing boards when it comes to earning revenue.
Thankfully some brands have started setting standards, and now Google is joining in the fight against bad ads with the help of Chrome.
In short, starting February 15th, Google Chrome will strong arm bad advertising agency practices and start blocking ads which it deems to be too intrusive to the point where it makes the user viewing experience difficult. The browser will user standards defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, a group of thousands of people working together to define a more friendly and less intrusive ad experience.
In January 2018, the Coalition will begin rollout of the Better Ads Experience Program, a voluntary initiative for industry participants to improve the online ad experience for consumers and promote marketplace adoption of the Better Ad Standards. Based on a framework developed by the Coalition, the Better Ads Experience Program will certify web publishers that agree not to use the most disruptive ads identified in the Standards and will accredit browsers and advertising technology companies that will assess publishers’ compliance with the Standards and filter digital ads based on the Standards.
Google also made it clear that AdSense ads are not exempt from the ban, because publishers can still place AdSense code in a way that can break the viewing experience.
This means that if you’re a publisher, having pop ups, timed prestital ads, auto-play videos, and other annoying ads may land your in trouble. If a site is deemed to be in constant violation of the standards, Google Chrome will block that site until the administrator re-designs their ad layout to fall within acceptable guidelines.
Also, once a site is deemed to be in violation, all ads will be blocked on that domain regardless if others are technically within compliance. Only when all problems are resolved, would Google manually review your website for reinstatement.
Google has also included a new webmaster tool to help you solve any outstanding violations that may “pop up” as a result of the new standards.
This could be a huge win for publishers as there are many viewers who willingly want to support their favourite websites, but may not get or take the time to whitelist as necessary (assuming they run some kind of third-party ad blocker). Chrome can now handle that task, making it especially easier for smaller websites to have a greater chance of having their ads viewed, assuming they don’t abuse their ad space privilege.