Google just announced that it will be releasing some changes to its Chrome Internet browser that could fundamentally affect user experience: blocking annoying advertisements.
According to a recent AdAge article, “annoying” digital advertisements are being defined by Google as popup ads, ads that flash quickly, change colors, or force people to wait 10 seconds before being able to click out of the ad. The most common digital ad formats, including banners and videos, will still be accepted. Individual sites currently have the choice to build the above ad formats into their site, or to leave them out.
What You Should Know About Upcoming Google Chrome Changes
The changes that Google has in mind for Chrome will be browser wide instead of site wide. Chrome will use built-in software to filter out the ad formats that it deems annoying. In 2018, sites will be able to see how they’re affected through Google’s “Ad Experience Report”. This tool will rate individual sites and inform them which of their ads qualify as “annoying experiences”. The last time changes similar to this were made occurred back in 2015, when Chrome stopped supporting Flash ads. Also in 2015, Apple made a change to the Safari browser, giving consumers the option to install ad-blocking software on their iPhones. This isn’t the first time a key player in the digital media/tech space has implemented such a change, and it probably won’t be the last.
The Good News About Ad-Blockers
Seeing a top company like Google so concerned about how digital ads affect the user experience is good news. While marketers may have to rethink some components of their strategies and/or digital ad creative, this move by Google should ultimately help the advertising industry. Consumers have become so inundated with ads that almost 18% of the population uses ad-blocking software on their desktop devices. This is a sizeable portion of your potential audience that you’re no longer able to get your message in front of. The upcoming changes to Chrome’s ad features will hopefully improve consumers’ relationships with the ads they’re being shown online, making them more receptive to quality ads.
Advertising Strategy for Chrome Users
What does this mean for you as an advertiser? Ads that Google defines as “annoying” can sometimes be the highest performing tactics of a campaign. Home-page takeovers, auto-play pre-roll, and HTML ads with flashing colors sometimes have the highest engagement rates. However, if your audience is made up of heavy Chrome users, you should keep the upcoming ad format changes in mind when designing creative. Also, it is likely that the remaining web browsers won’t be far behind Chrome in creating similar solutions. So, take this opportunity to redesign smart, authentic ads that efficiently deliver your message, and that won’t be flagged as annoying by either Chrome or your consumers.