Google continues its drive towards better quality ads

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Jon Greenhalgh

Valentine’s Day 2018 and there’s no love lost in the ongoing battle for delivering better quality ads across the web. Tomorrow, Google will switch on its built-in ad-blocker in Chrome, which will automatically block ads that don’t follow the guidelines set by the Coalition for Better Ads.

The Coalition has various members, including Facebook, Google, and P&G. It has developed standards for desktop web and mobile web for North America and Europe based on research involving more than 25,000 consumers.

It states: “The Coalition’s research identifies 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. These results define initial Better Ads Standards that identify the ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”

Four types of desktop ads fall below a threshold of consumer acceptability:

  1. Pop up ads
  2. Auto playing video ads with sound
  3. Prestitial ads with countdown
  4. Large sticky ads

Eight types of mobile ads fall below the threshold:

  1. Pop up ads
  2. Prestitial ads (come up before the page loads)
  3. Greater than 30% ad density on page
  4. Flashing animated ads
  5. Auto playing video ads with sound
  6. Positional ads with countdown
  7. Full-screen roll over ads
  8. Large sticky ads

A site is in violation if more than 7.5% of page views have poor experiences that include the above. If in violation, publishers will get a warning and have a 30-day grace period to fix the issues.

We think the move is pushing things in the right direction, to ensure that annoying ad experiences become a thing of the past. It’s about improving user experience on the web and improving the experiences consumers have with the brands that are put in front of them.

Currently, according to Google, only 1% of publishers across 100,000 websites audited fail to meet the guidelines. But watch this space to find out how the ad standards and expectations of the Coalition change over time.


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