Chrome's Native Ad Blocker Due Out Tomorrow

Feb 14, 2018


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Last year Google announced it would be releasing a native ad blocker for Chrome--which surpassed 1 billion users in 2015--but it wasn't clear until more recently when we would actually see that ad blocker. In a December, Google said it would release its ad blocker on February 15. The day is upon us, and many advertisers are wondering what it means for them. Let's get a few things clear. Google won't be blocking all ads on Chrome, just the ones it deems overly annoying or intrusive. Standards established by the Coalition for Better Ads will help Google determine which ads meet the annoying and intrusive threshold. Those standards, however, are based largely on Google data.   

"Ultimately, any irrelevant messaging will be more quickly filtered out by an audience of increasingly discerning users, who are already using ad blockers 30% more than last year," says Chaitanya Chandrasekar, CEO and Co-founder, QuanticMind. He reminds us that ad blockers have been causing publishers grief for years. "Of course, savvy advertisers have already been preparing, as 11% of all global internet users used an ad blocker in 2017. We’ll have to wait and see whether there end up being any high-profile casualties with this roll-out of Ad-Blocker on Chrome."

Truly smart advertisers and publishers should have started reforming their ad experiences long ago. Those Coalition for Better Ads guidelines aren't new, and anyone could voluntarily conform to its standards. And as Chandrasekar points out, Google could open new doors of opportunity for some partners. "And the new Chrome 'ad filter,' in combination with Google Contributor, could actually offer a second life to beleaguered web businesses that rely on ad revenue. With this alternative model, businesses such as ComicBook.com and GrubStreet enter a revenue share deal with Google to serve an ad-free experience to their viewers. The updated version of Chrome could actually work hand-in-hand with this program to further enhance the experience."

So what are publishers and advertisers who haven't been preparing for this moment to do? Chandrasekar says, "The most important goal for any advertiser now is relevance. When you send the right message to the right person at the right time, they’ll listen. But when you don’t, you run the risk of being filtered out, especially by Chrome’s new Ad-Filter. Advertisers will need to ensure they’re 100% compliant with these updated specifications or face very costly consequences." We've been hearing that advice for years, and while it continues to be true, it might not be enough. The word "intrusive" is important in this conversation, and some advertisers are going to have to completely rethink their ad experiences. This new ad blocker is going to deal a heavy blow to "aggressive display ads such as pop-ups and lengthy timed prestitial units..." says Chandrasekar, and it's time to figure out how to become a better partner for your potential customers.


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