When Google makes decisions regarding use of its web services, the whole world seems to shudder wonder what the impact will be on businesses and individuals. After all, as of 2017 Google enjoyed a net share of 74.54% of search engine activity around the globe. Google's chokehold on the web is even more prevalent in mobile devices, where it holds 90% of the market share. So, when Google recently announced that its Chrome web browser was going to feature new ad block extensions, a lot of people got very worried.
On February 15th 2018, Google Ad Block Extension went live on the Chrome web browser. As a publisher, you might be worried about the new action taken by Google. Let's learn a little more about Google Ad Block Extension and how it can effect publishers.
What is Ad Block Extension?
Google isn't calling this new feature an ad blocker, but rather an "ad filter." The difference in terminology comes from Google's aim with the service. Typical ad blockers eliminate all ads from sites, which is not Google's goal here. The purpose of Google Ad Block Extension is to seek out and block certain types of ads. Those ads are ones which the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) believe violate the so-called "Better Ads Standards." In short, Google is trying to eliminate the annoying online ads with cheesy or inaccurate pitches.
Get Ready for Evaluation
The Google Ad Block Extension process starts with automated evaluations of a sampling of a site's various pages, from blogs to product lineups to Pay Per Call landing pages. A tally of pages in violation of CBA standards is counted up and the site is handed a grade of passing, warning, or failing.
If a site receives a warning it means there are ads that violate the Better Ads Standards, and the brand has a chance to resubmit for review after cleaning up any issues. Failing marks don't mean immediate blocking of ads, but do start the clock ticking on a 30-day window to make changes.
Beware Failed Evaluations
Google has noted that any sites that fail the evaluation process won't just have the offending ads blocked, but rather all ads will be eliminated. A press release from Google in December 2017 noted that "Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a failing status in the Ad Experience Report" for a period up to or greater than 30 days.
Read More: 3 Tips for Building Better Ads
Clean Up the User Experience
Publishers need to be aware of Google's overall goal with Google Ad Block Extension. As a company built on ad revenue, Google isn't anti-ads. It is, however, against annoying and intrusive ads that ruin the customer experience on Chrome and other Google services. If publishers want to avoid being locked out and losing ad revenue, ad content needs to be created for Pay Per Call and all other marketing campaigns that is less intrusive and/or frustrating to the user. Here's a few tips Forbes throws out to help create non-intrusive ad content:
- Create ads aimed at behaviors, such as exiting a page rather than bombarding users when a page loads
- Native advertising. Focus on ads that blend into the site so the content is less visually intrusive
- Offer value in ads. Don't just beat readers over the head with products or services, but deliver a message that offers value such as coupons to save on service or handy how-to videos for products
At the end of the day, even Google admits that its new Ad Block Extension is hardly earth-shattering in its reach. A test of sites on Chrome using the new ad filters prior to the release of Google Ad Block Extension found that just 1.5% of 100,000 sites tested failed to meet CBA standards. That's roughly 14 sites of out 100,000. Still, it's best for publishers to take the time to reevaluate ad content, and look to create Pay Per Call and other marketing content that is non-intrusive.