According to a blog post by Google and highlighted by a post from WIRED, it seems Google is once again taking action to corral abusive, frustrating, and annoying ads in the Chrome browser. While research shows that users aren’t really opposed to reasonable advertising, the internet is always prone to overstep and video ads are responsible for the most irksome invasions of web browsing currently on the web.
According to the blog post, Google has found via research that the three most aggravating video advertisements are:
- long, non-skippable pre-roll ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video and that cannot be skipped within the first 5 seconds
- Mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video, interrupting the user’s experience
- Image or text ads that appear on top of a playing video and are in the middle 1/3 of the video player window or cover more than 20 percent of the video content
I’d imagine that, like me, you see all these annoying ad types and internally nod along in agreement: they are the worst. That isn’t to say there aren’t other ad types that are overly-intrusive as well, but the three listed above were found to be the least agreeable in research conducted by the Coalition for Better Ads in a project that spanned feedback from over 45,000 consumers. It’s safe to say these three ad types are unanimously the worst sort.
Google will cease displaying these ad types starting in August 2020, and here’s what the blog post goes on to officially say:
The Coalition has announced that website owners should stop showing these ads to their site visitors in the next four months. Following the Coalition’s lead, beginning August 5, 2020, Chrome will expand its user protections and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads.
It’s important to note that YouTube.com, like other websites with video content, will be reviewed for compliance with the Standards. Similar to the previous Better Ads Standards, we’ll update our product plans across our ad platforms, including YouTube, as a result of this standard, and leverage the research as a tool to help guide product development in the future.
So, you can expect to likely see less of these types of ads over the next 6 months with a complete deprecation of them (at least in Google Chrome) by the beginning of August. Moves like these seem a tad bit counter intuitive for a company like Google who makes most of their money from advertisements, but when you think about it, taking a proactive stance actually makes a ton of sense. With the rise of ad blockers across the board, Google needs to get a grip on the way its browser handles abusive advertising and promote a setup where ads can still be a revenue model for free content without users running away. Its a delicate balance, but steps in this direction are always welcome.