Ad blocking extensions like Adblock Plus and UBlock have long been popular for users of browsers like Google Chrome. Now Google itself has developed its own version of an ad blocker, which launched on February 15 as part of an update to the Chrome web browser.
The new, built-in ad blocker targets ads that are considered “intrusive” or that otherwise provide a negative effect to the browsing experience. This is a different motive than most other ad blockers, which typically aim to blacklist all ads without discretion.
Here’s some information you should know about the ad blocker now included in Google Chrome.
Which ads will be blocked?
The first question you’re likely to have if you’re a Chrome user or someone who purchases ad space on websites is which ads are likely to be blocked.
The standards Google uses for its ad blocker are based on the standards set forth by the Coalition for Better Ads. Google was one of a number of companies to participate on the regulatory board for these guidelines. The point is not to completely eradicate ads, as many businesses rely on digital advertisements to drive sales and increase traffic, but to enhance the overall advertising experience and eliminate intrusive, harmful ads.
On desktop computers, the web ads that Chrome will now block include popup advertisements, auto-playing video advertisements with sound (ones that allow you to opt-in on the sound will still be fine), large sticky ads and prestitial ads (ones shown before the webpage displays) with countdowns.
On mobile devices, Chrome will block prestitial ads, popup ads, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, flashing animated ads, auto playing video advertisements with sound, postitial ads with countdowns, full-screen scrollover ads and large sticky ads.
What kind of enforcement efforts will Google make?
Google estimates only about one percent of all ad publishers will be affected by the new ad blocker in the short term, which means there won’t likely be much enforcement happening at all. However, the company has developed some enforcement standards that it has already begun to deploy.
For example, Google developed an advertisement quality scale, and will alert sites that are on the “failing” or “warning” level to offer them a chance to clean up and improve their ads. Approximately 37 percent of sites that were in violation of the standards initially have since made changes to improve their ads, according to Google.
Sites will have 30 days to remove offending ads from their sites, or Google will block their ads altogether.
So how will this affect businesses attempting to advertise on websites? It really shouldn’t have that big of an impact. With the proliferation of other, stronger ad blockers over the last several years, marketers have already been developing work-arounds and ways to make advertising experiences more “native” and less intrusive.
Still, the onus will remain on advertisers to keep their ads user friendly and as minimally influential on the user experience as possible.