We’ve all been the victim of an annoying full-page or auto-playing video ad that just won’t go away, but thanks to Google’s latest initiative, these intrusive ads could quickly become a thing of the past. The company, which seems to have its fingers in many pies after teaming up with WordPress amongst other things recently, has launched its ad-blocker to ensure adverts don’t interrupt the browsing experience.
Used in the Chrome web browser, the ad-blocker will prevent ‘disruptive’ ads from becoming a nuisance to users. The choice of ads displayed will be determined by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA). This coalition isn’t just a Google thing, Facebook and other companies are also in on the act, but how will the move improve the user experience? And what will it mean for businesses who use these ad types?
Just how annoying are these ads?
Well, from personal experience, very annoying! But it’s not just the odd person who has a not-so-flattering opinion of full pagers and auto-players. A survey of North American and European browsers found that the annoyance caused by intrusive ads is much more widespread.
The research, which saw more than 40,000 web users share their opinion, found the most intrusive ads were full-page advertisements that prevent you from seeing the content displayed on a page. Flashing, animated ads also ranked highly on the aggravation scale. Many reported a problematic experience as a result of full-page and flashing ad presence.
The study analysed both desktop web and mobile web experiences, finding the same issues and consumer preferences remained regardless of the device being used to browse.
How will this affect the digital environment?
The digital environment will no doubt change for the better for consumers looking to browse content with limited interruption from ads and enjoy a better customer journey as a result. However, the businesses who promote their products or services using these ad types will see the work of the coalition a little less favourably. As part of the initiative, sites that host ads that are found to be intrusive or disruptive have 30 days to remove them before automatic blocking occurs. Users can however still see the blocked ads, if they’d like to, by disabling the ad blocking setting, which will be displayed as a notification by Chrome.
It is important to state that ads are not being blocked across the board. Advertising content that does not meet the Better Ads Standards will only be blocked.
CBA isn’t the first ad-blocker
This automated ad-blocking move isn’t the first of its kind. Whilst the Coalition for Better Ads has made news because of the huge tech names behind it, rival firm Adblock Plus has been doing the same thing for a number of years. Of course, Adblock Plus’ response to the news of the CBA-endorsed skimmer is “we do it better”, and after the publication of a CBA white paper it appears they may have a point.
The white paper found that while the Chrome ad skimmer blocked 16.4% of selected ad types, Adblock Plus blocked 92.7%, meaning those looking to browse with as little ads as possible may be better off with the lesser known alternative.
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