On 14th February 2018, Google Chrome went live with a built-in ad filter, which aims to keep ‘annoying’ ads out of sight in an attempt to improve user experience for Chrome users. Google says it starts by evaluating sample pages from a given website to see whether or not it has any adverts that violate the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads. The standards are set on the survey results of 25,000 users.
The survey found the two most intrusive ads (most likely obvious) were prestitial ads (the ones that vary in size from full screen to part of the screen and don’t let you actually get back to what you wanted to see easily) and of course, rapidly flashing (animated) ads, that are of obviously eye catching – but very annoying.
As online marketers, we need to ensure our website(s) are compliant to ensure we don’t provide a bad user experience for our website visitors if we’re monetising our website. To help, Google have introduced an Ad Experience Report, within Google Search Console.
Should your website have an ad deemed to be non-compliant, a notification will appear on your website letting users know that ads have been blocked as ‘this site tends to show intrusive ads’ – not something that builds much trust…
Ad blockers are on the rise, with tools such as Adblocker Plus getting more and more downloads daily. Putting ourselves in user’s shoes, it’s easy to see why, with ads popping up in apps, videos and more – so as much as we need to look at our own websites, we need to also evaluate our own marketing strategy. Are our ads too flashy? Are they annoying? Are they targeted?
Focus groups are a great way to ask people, but of course, this isn’t going to work for us smaller businesses. Well, we can start by asking our friends and family for their thoughts. Customers we have a a great rapport with is of course another option – but here, it would make sense to show options, e.g. do you prefer Option A or Option B. Furthermore, we should be split testing all our ads to see which work best too – even if an ad is potentially annoying… if it works, it works… as long as it doesn’t get blocked on publisher websites!