Goodbye ad-blocking! Hello Google ad filtering.

Tali Brousard-Shimer

On Thursday, Google launched its new Chrome ad-blocking feature. The new filtering policies are meant to eradicate disruptive ads and ultimately reduce the use of third party ad blockers. With the new Google Policy, users are expected to experience only ads that are not overly disruptive in nature.

This initiative promises longevity to the digital advertising ecosystem. As ads become less intrusive, the need for third-party ad-blockers will ultimately decrease, creating a balanced digital world where content and ads coexist and publishers are able to sustain their business models.

Google’s new filtering standards are based on research commissioned by the Coalition for Better Ads, led by Google, Facebook, Taboola, Teads, Appnexus and other industry players. The research identified mobile and desktop ad behaviour patterns that are most highly correlated with third party ad-blocker installs.

Here is a list of video formats and behaviours that are actively blocked by Google Chrome:

  • Interstitials– or any other form of pop-up ads that block the main content of the page.
  • Auto-play video ads with sound– these types of video ads that automatically plays sound will be blocked.
  • Large sticky ads– ads that stick to the bottom of the viewable page as the user scrolls. These types of ads will be blocks if they take up 30% of the screen’s real estate or more.
  • Prestitial ads– these appear on the page before the content loads preventing the user from viewing the desired content.
  • Mobile High density ads – that take up more than 30% of the total page’s height. This includes full-screen scrollover ads that force users to scroll through an ad that appears above the content.
  • Mobile Flashing animated ads – that animate and “flash” with rapidly changing background, text or colors. This be considered when developing ad creative.

While this change will undoubtedly affect the industry and publishers’ revenue from ads in the short term, requiring some adjustments on their end, there are quite a few engaging video ad formats that are compliant with Google’s new standards:

  • Auto-play video without sound– in this setting, sound can be activated by the user, demonstrating true intent to view the ad.
  • In-content / in-feed ads – video ads that appear within the content without blocking it. These formats will take up the width of the page container as pre-defined by the publisher.
  • Sidebar – a non-intrusive format that appears along the sidebar of a webpage on desktop.
  • Corner – a small persistent unit that remains in view as the user scrolls down the page.

How it works:

Google will sample a site’s webpages to indicate whether the site is compliant with the new policy. Based on the sampling, sites are granted a “passing”, “failing”, or “warning” status. Publishers can review their status in Google’s Ad Experiences Report. Publishers exceeding a specified number of violations will fail. They are given 30 days to fix the problems and request an additional review, or Chrome will block all ads on the site.

How it will be enforced:

When a user visits a site using Chrome, the ad filter checks to see if the page matches the log of failing sites. If it does, it will prevent any ads, including such that conform with the Coalition’s recommendation, from displaying on the page. In addition, Chrome will notify the user of the ad-blocking activity and will allow the user to disable this feature by selecting “allow ads on this site”.

For publishers relying on revenue from video ads, you are advised to carefully review your site and the video formats to assure that they comply with the new filtering standards. Make sure your video ad serving technology is compliant with the Initial Better Ads Standards. You are also welcome to consult with one of our Customer Success representatives for more information on how to protect your revenue.