Google Chrome Begins Blocking Ads on Feb. 15

In a move that goes beyond ordinary ad blockers, Google announced Chrome will begin blocking a large variety of advertisements. Because Chrome is the number one browser, this change will have a dramatic impact on how websites do business.

While there is no cause for worry, you should still be concerned. In the long run this may actually benefit the Internet.

Why Will Google Chrome Block Ads?

Google earns a significant amount of income from displaying ads on websites. However third party ad blockers currently block a significant amount of Google ads, even though Google’s advertising conforms to the standards created by Coalition for Better ads. This move will likely undercut third party ad blockers that currently block Google’s own ads.

Will Google’s Ad Blocker be Bad for Publishers?

The short answer is no. In the long run Google’s ad blocker may be good for web publishers who rely on advertising revenue.

Google’s ad blocker will likely allow the display of Google’s own visitor-friendly advertising. In the long run the use of third party ad blockers may decline, resulting in more of Google’s own advertising being shown.

This is a win-win for any publisher who relies on Google’s advertising for earnings and for site visitors who are tired of intrusive advertising.

When Will Chrome Ad Blocker Affect You?

Chrome’s ad blocker begins blocking ads on February 15th, 2018. Google has provided a tool that will allow you to trouble shoot your site to make sure it will conform to the Better Ads standards.

What Kind of Advertising Will be Blocked?

In general, anything that blocks a significant amount of content and prevents users from comfortably reading content is subject to being blocked. Fortunately there are standards that can be consulted to know exactly which ads will be blocked.

Here is a list of the kinds of advertising that will be blocked:

Desktop Ads that Chrome will be block:

  1. Pop-up ads
  2. Auto-playing video ads with sound
  3. Prestitial Ads with Countdown
  4. Large Sticky Ads

Mobile Ads that Chrome Will Block:

  1. Pop-ups
  2. Prestitial ads w/without countdown (blocks entire content)
  3. Ad density greater than 30% of content vertically. This can be 15% top and bottom blocked.
  4. 50% single-column ad density
  5. 35% single-column ad density
  6. 30% single-column ad density
  7. Flashing Animated Ads
  8. Auto-play video ads with sound
  9. Positial ads with countdown (that cannot be dismissed) – These are ads that spawn after a link is clicked, that prevents a user from reaching another web page.
  10. Full-screen Scrollover ads. These are ads that force a user to scroll past it to get to the content. They usually block about 30% of the browser viewport.
  11. Large sticky ads – These are ads that take up more than 30% of a screen and is persistent. It does not go away no matter what direction a user scrolls, obscuring the content and resulting in a poor user experience.

The complete official standards are available as a PDF download here.

Will Chrome’s Ad Blocker Affect Affiliate Advertisers?

It’s difficult to say with certainty. But it may be safe to say that if your affiliate ads and links are standards compliant, then there’s a good chance this will not affect your earnings. Google has created a tool to take the guesswork out of this question.

How to Know if Your Ads Will be Blocked?

It’s a simple matter to test if your ads will be blocked. Google is providing a tool that will scan your site and issue a report of any pages that are in violation. If any page is in violation you will be able to fix it then resubmit those pages for approval.

Visit this page for your Ad Experience Report:

Chrome is currently the most popular browser in the world. This move will change how users experience the web. There’s no incentive for publishers to stop using intrusive advertising. Chrome will simply block them. Consumers on other browsers may continue seeing those intrusive ads. This may be a win-win for the Chrome browser and those who use it. But this may also be a win-win-win if you include web publishers who rely on advertising income.

Images by Shutterstock
Modified by author.