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Chrome Steps Up its Ad Blocking Game

Written by Tim Edmundson

Bad ads are a menace on the internet. Users despise them due to the poor experience they create, and brands hate them because they poison the well for online advertising. After all, it doesn’t take too many poor experiences for a user to be soured on advertising as a whole. This is why we’ve always put brand safety front and center when handling campaigns — we want brands to know their ads are making a positive impact while not taking part in negative experiences for users.

Still, the internet is a big place and larger efforts need to be made to create a better user experience in digital advertising. Google, it would seem, feels the same way. Last year they implemented efforts to combat poor user ad experiences in the Chrome web browser, targeting pop-ups and new window requests. Unfortunately since then, more than half of the poor experiences Google intended to block were able to get through. Google decided they needed to take additional steps to remedy the problem, and those steps are moving into uncharted territory.

Google Takes Unprecedented Steps to Combat Bad Ads

Google’s latest moves to combat bad ads are making waves. In an announcement last month, Google product manager Vivek Sekhar explained that sites that were identified as hosting bad ads would be put on notice, and ultimately have their ads blocked by the Chrome browser. “We are announcing expanded efforts to better protect users against these abusive experiences,” said Sekhar. “Starting in December 2018, Chrome 71 will remove all ads on the small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences”

Sites displaying ads which feature hidden click areas, fake “next” buttons, auto redirection to an ad, malware, ads designed to look like chat apps, and more will feel Google’s wrath — and rightfully so. Ads like these do no favors to digital advertising as a whole, and harken back to the dark days of online ads when pop ups reigned supreme.

Brands have made major strides since then, with creative pushing the limits of what can be done in a display ad. With creative tools like our Ad Builder, advertisers create ads with video, interactive elements, and more — a far cry from the bad ads of old. But these poor experiences can make users forget all about that, and that’s a problem

Major Steps Protect Advertisers & Consumers

Ensuring positive ad experiences benefits everyone on the internet. Bold steps like these ensure bad actors are removed from the ad space so brands with integrity and standards aren’t punished by negative association. It’s heartening to see Google take a major step like this — the ad industry as a whole has spent too long dealing with poor publishing sites detracting from the brands they represent.

Poor user experiences have given rise to ad blocking, which has become a serious issue for advertisers. Google may know that if they take care of the bad ads for users, they won’t need to block ads on their own. And that keeps ad revenue flowing, users engaging, and makes everyone happy. Ad blocking is good if it’s done right, and Google’s doing it right. Let’s hope more follow their lead.