Internet users love ad-blockers. Advertisers…don’t. So, if your website or your business relies on display advertising, a recent piece of news might have you worried: Google is building an ad-blocker for Chrome.
Worse yet, the newest version of Chrome will have the ad-blocker built into the browser. That means users won’t need to install or turn on the feature — it will block ads automatically.
Time to panic? Not necessarily. Google says that Chrome’s ad-blocking feature won’t block all ads, just some. They’re also letting businesses know which types of ads they’re blocking, so advertisers won’t be left in the dark.
The new version of Chrome will be released in February 2018. This gives you just a few months to prepare for the update. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
How Will Google’s Ad-Blocker Work?
Based on descriptions made by Google, Chrome’s ad-blocker will function a little differently from other ad-blocking applications and software. Instead of blocking all ads, Google says that Chrome’s ad-blocker will only block “annoying ads.” That’s why you’ll see Google referring to this feature as a “filter” rather than calling it an ad-blocker.
Google is using a specific set of standards to determine which ads count as “annoying” and which don’t. Those standards come from the Coalition for Better Ads, an organization that Google launched in 2016 in partnership with 16 other companies.
To create their standards, the Coalition performed research that assessed the behaviors and preferences of more than 25,000 consumers. Through this research, they determined “the ad experiences that rank lowest across a range of user experience factors, and that are most highly correlated with an increased propensity for consumers to adopt ad blockers.”
Four types of ad experiences are prohibited on desktop computers and eight are prohibited on mobile devices. On both types of devices, interstitial ads, prestitial countdown ads, large “sticky” ads, and auto-playing videos with sound are all prohibited. Mobile restrictions also include all other formats of prestitial ads, poststitial countdown ads, full-screen “scrollover” ads, flashing animated ads, and ads on any page where vertical ad space is more than 30% of the content.
Preparing for Google Ad-Blocking
Advertisers are already taking steps in response to Google’s announcement. Some are adjusting their digital ad spend for 2018, while others are reviewing their current ad content to ensure it will meet Google’s standards.
More broadly, marketers are rethinking their approach to advertising and marketing. We’ve already seen a significant shift away from display advertising. Simply stated, modern users have built up an immunity to most forms of display advertising. Other digital marketing streams — like native ads, PPC, social media marketing, and content marketing — are far outpacing the returns of display ads. Now that Google is about to block most of the few remaining lucrative ad formats, some digital marketers are saying it’s time to evolve.