You've likely heard buzz about an update coming to Chrome in 2018 that will block bad and intrusive ads in desktop and mobile versions of the browser. While accurate, the rumour is maybe a little bit misleading. According to the search engine giant, the new feature will simply filter out certain types of ads on websites.
Yeah, but what's the criteria?
Don't worry, it's not just Google arbitrarily picking which ads to show on their whims. The idea behind this new feature is to improve general user experience on the web. The idea is to thwart online ads that are non-compliant with the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads.
You can read more about what constitutes an intrusive ad on the Coalition's site, but the greatest offenders ” based on surveys and research done by the group ” are autoplay videos with sound or interstitials that take up the entire screen.
Still, the industry is showing a little concern and hesitation: Google is one of the members of the Coalition for Better Ads, along with Facebook, News Corp, and the Washington Post among others.
Google wants to help clean up the internet
Google has provided the Ad Experience Report, a tool to help publishers determine if their sites are compliant with the Better Ads Standards.
Some are suggesting this will strengthen Google's grip on the market, considering Chrome is the most popular browser on the internet, capturing more than 50% of users. It may look a little suspect having such a large, powerful company dictating how websites should look and act.
And yet, it does have a lot of positive attributes: this could really clean up the web, giving users a much better experience. Ideally, it will make browsing the web easier with the potential to eliminate the kinds of ads that lead people to install ad blockers in the first place.
Some publishers have expressed concern about the new Chrome feature because while it can clean up poor experiences, it also has the potential to eliminate bad ads that, paradoxically, also bring in good revenue.
It's worth noting that following the Better Ads Standards and complying with Google to ensure ads aren't filtered out leaves publishers with fewer options to monetize. But that doesn't necessarily mean publishers will lose out on revenue.
Everyone wants a better web experience, so what Google is spearheading has the potential to be very beneficial. Google appears to have internet users in mind, but it's difficult to predict how it will affect publishers and ad revenue until the updated Chrome arrives in 2018.