Back in June this year, Google announced that its Chrome browser would be getting a native ad blocker at some point in 2018. And now we know the date for this new feature going live will be February 15 in the coming year.
This might sound like a strange move from a company that depends on ad revenue for survival but the new feature won’t block all ads that users see – not even close. Instead, it will block ads that aren’t compliant with Better Ads Standards while continuing to show those that do.
So let’s see what this means for advertisers in 2018.
Google Chrome gets an ad blocker
Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser on the market today, which means any drastic change to ad impressions is significant. However, the vast majority of advertisers won’t be affected by the new ad blocker making its way to Chrome and the impact on AdWords Display ads will be minimal.
Google isn’t about to handicap its main source of income.
So what ads are going to be affected by the native ad blocker in Chrome? Well, as we said before, the feature will block any ads that don’t comply with regulations set out by the Better Ads Standards defined by the Coalition for Better Ads. The Coalition for Better Ads was formed by Google, Facebook, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, the Washington Post and several advertising groups – so these standards aren’t designed to hurt the performance of your ads.
Instead, they aim to address the most pressing issues users experience with online ads in order to keep them away from using third-party ad blocking software. With an ad blocker already part of the Chrome experience, Google is hoping it can block the ads that annoy users most so they won’t feel the need to download apps that also block non-intrusive ads.
The impact on desktop browsing
For desktop users, the Chrome ad blocker will focus on pop-up ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, prestitial ads with a countdown and large sticky ads that hog large portions of the screen.
Prestitial ads that load before users access the page they’ve clicked on
Essentially, Google doesn’t want to see ads that block the view of content or make sites more difficult to access or navigate. This all sounds great, in theory, but it will be interesting to see how cut-throat the Chrome ad blocker is at blocking these kinds of ads from major publishers like Forbes who are among the worst offenders.
The impact on mobile browsing
For mobile browsing, the Chrome ad blocker promises to be more demanding on the kind of ads it will block. Once again, pop-ups, auto-playing videos, prestitial ads and large stickies are targeted. However, postitial ads with a countdown that appear after mobile pages have loaded will also be blocked by Chrome after February 15.
Ads that take up more than 30% of the screen will also be blocked, as well as full-screen scrollover ads and flashing animation ads. For more details on the kind of ads that will be affected by the Chrome ad blocker, you can head over to the Coalition for Better Ads to view its Better Ads Standards.