How are you preparing for Google Chrome’s big ad change?

Last June, Google officially announced that it would start filtering ads in Chrome to give users a better web browsing experience. The “ad filter” is expected to go live Feb. 15. Google has given companies and advertisers ample time to adjust their websites to align with the new rules from the Coalition for Better Ads, which will determine which ads are unacceptable based on extensive research made by the coalition that ranks lowest to highest across a range of user experience.

While this has become a hot topic around the Red Fan office, we decided to see what our trusted digital marketing partner, Jed Jones, co-founder and chief data scientist of Austin-based MindEcology, thought about Google’s dramatic changes and what brands should be doing before Feb. 15.

Red Fan: What type of ads will be blocked?

MindEcology: In general, non-compliant ads would be typically defined as annoying or disruptive to the average user. In other words: Ads that interfere with the desired content users are looking for. Examples of non-compliant desktop ads include:

  • Pop-up ads that temporarily dominate the screen;

  • Videos with audio;

  • Ads that make it difficult for the user to view content until they have run their course (i.e. a countdown/time period has passed)”

Red Fan: These are all great examples of ads that drive us crazy on a desktop, but what does that mean for the mobile experience?

MindEcology: “For mobile ads,disruptive ads will likely include:

  • Large ads that cover more than 30 percent of the screen;

  • Any ad that completely takes over the user's screen, making it hard for the user to access content.”

Red Fan: What else should brands with a hand in or looking to start digital advertising be aware of?

MindEcology: Take note that Google reserves the right to update their definition of “annoying” or “disruptive” ads anytime they like. However, following the guidelines mentioned above should give digital advertisers a head start in building new ads, in case you suspect your ads might violate the new policy.

Red Fan: Wow, that is good information to know. Is there anything else you think brands who advertise on Google should be thinking about?

MindEcology: Should brands who advertise via the Google network be worried? Short answer: Yes, but only if you don't plan on complying with the new policy. Fortunately, Google will warn advertisers about offending ads in advance of the new rules going into effect, giving them a chance to make updates before the new policy is implemented.”

Although these new guidelines may seem harsh, Google isn’t looking to punish brands. Instead they’re working toward a more user-friendly browser. “The goal of this entire exercise is to make surfing the internet a better experience,” Jones said, “In the end, it could even benefit advertisers, - especially those who care about how their brand is perceived by prospects.” This change will definitely alter ad revenue. However, brands should embrace the idea of a more enjoyable user experience which will lead to heightened brand loyalty.

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