Understanding Google's New Approach to Ad Blocking

Robert Wheat

Senior PPC Strategist

In February, Google Chrome rolled out a new feature that blocks ads on certain websites. These sites are mostly ones that engage in annoying behaviors like autoplaying sound or displaying ads for a certain length of time. Google is penalizing these sites and filtering through all ads that appear on them, not just those that are considered bothersome.

Collectively, the number of sites that Google has its eyes on isn’t substantial, but it’s still worth knowing what this update means for you. Luckily, we have the information you need to know.

Types of Ads that are Blocked

Last year, Google announced its built-in ad blocker that would go live this year. In January, the company was more specific about the types of ads that would be blocked. Google has also notified sites that are going to be penalized so they have a chance to make changes or remove the ads.

Here are the ads that Google is looking to block:

On desktop:

  • Pop-up ads

  • Large sticky ads

  • Autoplay video ads with sound

  • Ads with countdown blocking

On mobile:

  • Pop-up ads

  • Prestitial ads

  • Large sticky ads

  • Autoplay video with sound

  • Ads with countdown blocking

  • More than 30% ad density

  • Flashing animated ads

  • Fullscreen scroll over ads

Google Warns Sites First

Google will give site owners a chance to fix their websites before they are blocked. The process goes like this: identify the bad sites, inform them of their issues, and ask them to be fixed. Fortunately, most ad issues can be controlled by the owner. However, websites that have a high number of disruptive ads will be blocked in 30 days if the notifications are ignored.

In the meantime, site owners can view their evaluation using an Application Programming Interface (API) as Google rates sites with a pass, warning, or fail. When the ads have been addressed, site owners can have their sites re-evaluated by Google.

What this Means for Google and Marketers

It may seem strange that Google would want to block ads, considering that it makes most of its revenue from advertising. However, this move is intended to benefit Google too - would you think anything less? The hope is that users will install less aggressive ad blocking software, or perhaps, none at all. This could improve revenue universally.

As for marketers, this change is a good reminder to follow the proper guidelines for advertisements. Always consider your audience and if the ad is respectful of their time. If you’re forcing someone to watch your ad or interfering with their experience, the ad is probably in violation of the Better Ads standards.

If Google succeeds in improving the user experience, discouraging the use of ad blocking software and promoting higher web standards, the entire industry will benefit.

About the Author: Robert Wheat

Rob was born and raised in Freehold, NJ and is currently a PPC Strategist at SEMGeeks. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Ramapo College. Rob is experienced across all PPC platforms, including Adwords, Facebook, Amazon, and more. During his free time, Rob can be found on the golf course yelling at his golf ball to cooperate, but it never listens.

Talk With Our Team to learn more about this...


We Love to Educate

Get our stellar design & marketing
tips sent right to your inbox.