Updated Chrome Ad Blocker Will Soon Address Video Ads

In August this year, Google’s Chrome ad blocker will expand to include video, per the new set of standards just unveiled by the Coalition for Better Ads. The Coalition based the standards on global research from 45,000 customers. Websites with video, including Google’s, will need to review their ads for compliance with the new rules. Google joined the Coalition for Better Ads two years ago and started blocking ads not compliant with Coalition standards — including those on its own websites — since February 2018.

VentureBeat reports that the Chrome ad blocker, which debuted worldwide in July 2019, not only blocks ads that fail the Better Ads Standards, but also “abusive experiences” as a way to “punish bad sites.” It does not block all ads, however, which “would cripple not only one of the web’s few monetization tools, but Alphabet’s revenue stream as well.”

The company reported that, “since rolling out Chrome’s ad blocker, it has seen ad blocking rates in North America and Europe ‘drop significantly’ … [although] it didn’t, however, share any numbers.”

The Coalition for Better Ads is only banning three types of ads, all for videos less than eight minutes long. All mid-roll ads, which play in the middle of a video, “were deemed extremely annoying and interruptive by consumers.”

Any pre-roll event that includes one or more ads with a combined view length over 31 seconds and does not allow the viewer to skip past them within the first five seconds is “deemed intrusive to the experience by many consumers and lead directly to ad avoidance tactics.”

Last on the banned list are “large non-linear ad experiences … defined as static or animated ad messages and/or images that are superimposed over more than 20 percent of the video player OR that appear in the middle third of the video player.”

The Coalition has given a four-month window for websites to stop showing the ads, “but the rubber will really hit the road on August 5, 2020, when Chrome will enforce the rule” on all such ads in any country “that repeatedly show these disruptive ads.” In addition to reviewing ads for compliance on Google-owned YouTube, it will “update its product plans across all its ad platforms as a result of the latest standard update.”

Site owners or administrators need to use Google Search Console’s Ad Experience Report to see if their site contains “abusive experiences that need to be corrected or removed.” Such sites have 30 days to fix the problem.