The worst thing about the Internet is annoying ads… and YouTube commentators. But seriously, ads that disrupt your online experience are the worst, with pop-up ads being voted the worst part of the web experienceWe’ve all been exposed to pop-up ads when reading content. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve clicked a button on a website thinking it will take me to another page, but a pop-up loads instead asking if I want to learn how this one mum made $27,2181 in one week working from home. More and more people are using ad blockers. It’s estimated that around 30% of people today use an ad blocker when browsing the web. As a content creator that is a loss of revenue, and as a business that uses AdWords as a marketing tool, you’re reaching fewer people. As a result, Google Chrome will stop showing ads on websites that offer a poor user experience.

In this article I’ll explain what that means for publishers and advertisers, and what changes you should be making in 2018.

The impact on publishers

A publisher is anyone who has content and runs ads. Google has stated that its Chrome web browser will start to block ads on websites that offer a bad user experience or low-quality ads. Required standards have been drawn up by the Coalition for Better Ads, which is an organisation that includes representatives from Google and Facebook. What type of ads give users a bad experience or are considered bad quality? To make it easier, Google has released The Ad Experience Report which lets publishers know of any ads that are violating their standards. By using ‘location’ within the Google Webmaster Tools, if you have any ads that are giving users a bad experience, then Google will let you know which ads they are and how you can fix the issues.

Pop-up ads, auto play videos, and images that have flashing images that draw the user away from the website to the ad unit are all violations. In 2018, sites that use ads which Google deems to be bad quality will not be served to anyone using the Chrome Browser (the most popular web browser in the world). Publishers will have no other choice than to change the way they serve ads, or face losing revenue. Google will also begin testing Funding Choices, which will allow publishers to show a message to website visitors asking if they would like to pay the publisher a fee and in return not be shown any ads. Many publishers already do this on their website without the use of Google.

What does this mean for advertisers?

This is great news for advertisers. At first glance, you might be thinking, “OMG, nobody is going to see my ads anymore,” which is partly true, as publishers that offer a poor advert experience will no longer be allowed to show ads to Chrome users. But this is actually a good thing. I mean, when was the last time you clicked on an advert that annoyed you because it auto played as you were reading a blog article or popped up out of nowhere? Low-quality ad units not only provide the user with a bad experience on the website, but it also gives your brand a bad reputation for serving marketing content on these placements. Publishers will need to clean up their act and not annoy users. Now when a user views your ad, they won’t feel annoyed or angry, increasing the chances of them clicking your advert and later taking action. A big part of being successful on the Google Ad network is being able to buy the right ad placements. With Google blocking publishers that offer a bad ad experience, it will become much easier to pick the right placements.

The evolution of marketing

Whether you’re a publisher or advertiser, the online marketing world is a dynamic ecosystem that is always reinventing itself. The sign of a great business is one that reacts to these changes positively and re-organises their marketing strategy to account for these changes. Are you a publisher or advertiser who will be impacted by these changes next week and are unsure of what your next move is? If so, then leave a comment below or contact us today for advice.