On February 15, 2018, Google’s Chrome browser released a new update designed to support the “Better Ads Experience Program.” Intended to create a better user experience on the web, this update has left some advertisers wondering how it will affect their campaigns. Here is what you need to know:
What Is The New Criteria?
This new ad-blocking update isn’t going to block all ads from showing. Instead, the goal is to create a better user experience by blocking ads that don’t meet certain quality standards. These standards were created by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group with members that include Google and Facebook.
The Coalition created a list of 12 types of ads that advertisers should avoid using as part of their Better Ads Standards.
On Desktop Devices:
- Pop-up Ads. These ads typically appear after the page begins to load, and they typically block the main content of the page.
- Auto-Playing Video Ads With Sound. These ads are disruptive to users, and may cause them to exit the site more quickly to stop the sound from continuing to play.
- Prestitial Ads With Countdown. Prestitial ads appear before the page content loads, and they force the user to wait a few seconds before they are able to close the ad (or it closes on its own).
- Large Sticky Ads. As the name implies, this type of ad “sticks” to the bottom of a page and remains there even when the user scrolls down.
On Moblie Devices:
- Pop-up Ads. Pop-up ads can also appear on mobile devices, creating the same annoyances for website visitors.
- Prestitial Ads. Ranging from full-screen to partial screen, these ads appear before any website content loads.
- Ad Density Higher Than 30%. Ads that take up more than 30% of the vertical height of the page make it difficult for users on mobile devices to access the content they are looking for.
- Flashing Animated Ads. Rapid, “flashing” animation is distracting to users and creates a poor experience.
- Auto-Playing Video Ads With Sound. Auto-playing ads with sound can be incredibly disruptive, especially for users on their mobile devices in a public setting.
- Postitial Ads With Countdown. These ads appear after users follow a link, and force them to wait a few seconds before the ad can be dismissed.
- Full-Screen Scrollover Ads. This style of ad forces users to scroll through an ad that appears on top of the website content, obstructing the content from the user’s view.
- Large Sticky Ads. As on desktop, sticky ads on mobile devices obstruct a large portion of the content and lead to a negative user experience.
How Does The System Work?
Beyond simply identifying the types of ads that create a negative user experience, Google has implemented a new system to determine whether a site will be filtered by Chrome:
- A sampling of pages from a specific domain will be analyzed by Google to determine whether these pages include ads that do not meet the new criteria.
- Once the analysis is complete, the domain will be given a score of “Passing,” “Warning,” or “Failing.”
- Sites that do not pass will be notified, and provided with a report that details what changes need to be made.
- If the issues are not addressed by the 30-day mark, ads on that site will be blocked by default.
- Users who visit sites that are being filtered by Chrome will see a message that gives them the option to allow ads.
How Do I Avoid Having My Ads Removed?
Fortunately for advertisers, it’s easy to create ads that comply with the Better Ads Standards. Simply avoid using the types of ads outlined above and focus on creating ads that provide a better user experience by being:
- Relevant. Think about who your customers are and what motivates them to create relevant ads that will appeal to them. The more relevant your ads are, the more likely it is that your audience will engage with them.
- User Friendly. Ultimately, users want to browse content online, not be interrupted with ads. Make sure your ad creative allows users to choose whether they want to engage with it, rather than forcing the interaction through pop-ups or countdowns.
- Engaging. Rather than trying to disrupt a user’s content experience, use engaging ad creative to draw them in more naturally. Try using responsive ads to create beautiful ads that easily adapt to fit nearly any ad space.
If you want to learn more about how to create effective digital marketing campaigns, contact us today! We can provide you with a free Digital Marketing Blueprint to help you create a more effective digital presence for your business.