Google Chrome’s New Ad Blocker - What kinds of ads are being blocked?

Google Chrome’s New Ad Blocker - What kinds of ads are being blocked?
The focus of Google has always been to provide the best user experience. From the inception, with ‘Google Search’ to Chrome, to the new ad blocker - it is clear that Google is always on the hunt for ways to provide an internet experience that is second to none.

By Q4 2019, Google Chrome had 69% of the web browser market share. This inevitably makes the new ad blocker addition to the browser a matter of concern for every online advertiser.

Advertisers and brands reach their target audience through ads. Through the use of pop-ups, banner displays, interstitial ads, and many others, brands reach their audience for brand awareness, traffic generation, and sales.

However, statistics reveal that a considerable percentage of internet users are tired of several kinds of ads. According to Marketing Week, in the Q4 2019, 764 million people used ad blockers on desktops and mobile devices. That’s about 18.5% of the 4.1 billion internet users.

Expectedly, Google reacted in 2018 to these statistics. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and some other internet companies formed the Coalition for Better Ads. This Coalition proposed the Better Ads Standards and Google Chrome now filter ads that don’t comply with the standards.

Here’s how the Chrome new ad blocker works

Google adopted the Better Ads Standards on the 15th of February, 2018. Chrome users didn’t have to upgrade to a new browser for this update. Chrome did update the same it does updates - quietly and hardly noticeable. Many Chrome users didn’t know they had the update already.

  • The Chrome user enters a URL to access a webpage
  • The ad blocker checks the page against a list of websites that are non-compliant with the Better Ads Standards
  • If the website is non-compliant, all requests for ad-related JavaScript and images are blocked and no ads are displayed on the page
  • Chrome uses EasyList patterns to determine which requests are ad-related. Most ad blocker tools use this
A non-compliant page will look like this:
Google Non-Compliant Page
Source: Chromium Blog

Do Your Ads Fit Within The Standards?

To check if your website is compliant with Better Ads Standards, use Google Search Console and access the ad experience report. From here, you can have non-compliance issues resolved and your website(s) re-evaluated.

What Kinds of Ads are Being Blocked?

According to the Better Ads Standards, the goal is not to completely phase out ads, but to stop ads that disrupt the browsing experience or delay access to content. Google, being a leader in the web browser market, leads the campaign by taking action.

The kinds of ads being blocked are grouped into desktop and mobile.

For desktop:
Non-Compliant Page
For Mobile:
Non-Compliant Page
The Better Ads Standards also include an aspect for video ads:
Non-Compliant Page

What Kinds of Ads are then Permissible?

The Coalition for Better Ads gave a list of non-intrusive ads that are permissible. These are:

The links for the examples are from Adblock Plug’s blog

To sum up… 😃

Google is working daily on improving the user experience. Ads are not being blocked or phased out with the new standards - they are being regulated. As long as advertisers and publishers comply with the standards, they can still reach their target audience. Though this time, less intrusively.