Google Chrome's Ad blocker: what you need to know

Thursday, 1st January 1970

Google has released an Ad Blocker for its Chrome browser| which impacts on users and marketers alike

Google has developed an intuitive integrated advert blocker for its Chrome browser, designed to improve user experience by blocking intrusive and/or irrelevant or poor quality banner adverts.

As a web user this is perhaps a welcome update, but for digital marketers the implications are a challenge – if you’re paying to develop creative elements and campaigns, and buying media space on targeted websites only to find that Google are blocking your ads, then that’s a problem!

So what exactly do you need to know?

The first thing to consider is: what is the market trend? 

From a user perspective it’s all about managing what we see in terms of advertising – research shows that we don’t mind too much seeing ads that we feel are relevant to us (which is managed by intelligent algorithmic programs designed to track our behaviour and serve ads most relevant to our recent searches).

Where we feel we’re seeing too many irrelevant ads, or where ads are invading our user experience physically, we’re likely to switch on the ad blocker.

From a marketer’s perspective, the trend is a move away from traditional media buy (leaderboard and other banners and buttons) towards in-video advertising (pre-, mid- and post-roll). 

The impact of mobile

A second major consideration is the changes in consumption behaviour, the move away from laptop/desktop browsing to mobile browsing grows exponentially – and with it, the above impacts are even more telling.

Mobile ad blockers are on the rise, and to curb the impact of these on Google’s owned advertising platform (Google Display Network), the Search Engine giant is taking control by establishing its own blocker, such as the one this article is about. 

What does this all mean?

There has been a tightening of standards within which the Chrome ad blocker operates.

Google is on the board that sets and administers these standards (along with the likes of Facebook, Association of National Advertisers and others), and the goal of the standards is to define what is and what is not acceptable in terms of ad relevance and quality.

The standards have identified and defined the type of ads which most negatively impact user experience – these can be viewed here

For you the business and/or marketer, the above is a very clear set of guidelines to apply when you’re planning your creative campaigns, setting targeting etc.

Intrusive, low quality adverts will be flagged by Google, warnings will be issued with a window to ‘clean up’ the ad creative, or Google’s ad blocker will simply prevent the ads from displaying. Take that into account when you're planning all aspects of your campaign.

As Wes McLaggan of Marin Software points out, “High quality, relevant ads are always going to perform better than those shouting to get a user’s attention. Marketers should leverage all targeting options to put the right ad in front of the right person. Ads should also reflect the user’s frame of mind when they are on that platform. There isn’t a one-size fits all approach for in-stream video on Facebook, Instagram Stories and display ads on a website. In short, digital advertisers should let user engagement, relevance, and ad quality be their guide.”

For guidance on how to prepare your digital marketing strategy that meets Google’s rigorous standards, contact Realnet today on +44 1223 55 08 00.


Contact us today