What Google Chrome Ad Blocker Means for Your Marketing Strategy

What impact will the February 15 release of web browser Google Chrome ad blocker have on your marketing strategy, and what can you do about it? Here are the most important implications of Google Chrome ad blocker for your business, and tips for overcoming ads blocked by Chrome so that you can still reach your intended audience.

What does Google implementing Ad Blocker on Chrome mean for marketers?

Google Chrome accounts for nearly 50% of browser usage in the United States and 60% worldwide. To cut down on spam and improve user satisfaction, Google intends to enable ad blocker on Chrome on February 15, 2018 without requiring an extension. This means that Google Chrome ad blocker could have far-reaching implications for agencies who want to reach their intended audience. More than ever, it will be important for marketers to follow guidelines set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) as well as Google to avoid spammy or intrusive ads.

This change will not only impact ads on websites, but if Google implements the same features in their mobile browser, the SEO of these sites will be impacted as well. If the Ad-Blocking measures prove to be successful, it is likely that Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge will follow suit and implement their own versions.

What can you do about the ad blocker feature on Google Chrome?

Don’t despair. There are several tools at your disposal for ensuring your message continues to reach your desired audience. In addition to making sure you are not merely serving up bad ads, the most important tool available is Google’s “Ad Experience Report” tool which will allow site administrators and publishers to identify ad experiences that violate the Better Ads Standards or are otherwise highly annoying to users. This will help marketers understand how to avoid ad types they identified by Google as having the worst violations.

Steps to writing ad copy that will not be blocked by Google Chrome

The following are steps you can take to avoid the worst offender ad-types that are likely be blocked.

Step 1: Utilize information from the Coalition for Better Ads or go directly to their list of blocked ad-types. The following are top offenses:

  • Ads that take up more than 30% of the screen
  • Ads that have a countdown timer
  • Auto-playing media (videos, music, etc)
  • Ads that interrupt the flow and block users’ access to content (in-page pop-ups).

Step 2: Utilize and consistently check the ad experiences on your sites using the “Ad Experience Report” tool to maintain non-negative experiences. Checking once per month is enough to maintain consistent oversight.

Step 3: Utilize the user feedback in the HubSpot chart below to focus on ads more acceptable to users, and to avoid those that users find aggravating or annoying.

What should a marketer tell their customers and clients about Google Chrome Ad Blocker?

Thankfully, because these changes will not go live for several weeks, Google has provided marketers with a little bit of time to correct any ads that may be considered bad or intrusive. By adhering to the standards set by both the IAB and Coalition for Better Ads, as well as being proactive and using the Ad Experience Report tool, marketers will be able to avoid any lost revenue due to the upcoming Chrome adblock changes.

In addition, by utilizing the email and sponsored ad sentiment chart provided by HubSpot, we can easily distinguish those types of ads consumers don’t mind from those ads they detest. By implementing these best practices as well as adhering to the ad quality standards outlined here, marketers can minimize potential customer of direct monetary losses.

Most common intrusive ad types that will be blocked

Research from the Coalition for Better Ads, whose membership includes Google, has identified twelve ad experiences that users dislike most. The top most common themes among these are ads that:

  • interrupt the flow of and block the user’s access to the content
  • use too much of the screen space which renders user navigation difficult
  • create confusion through automatic sound or video play.

Most-tolerable and least-tolerable ads according to HubSpot Research

According to HubSpot, the top three ad types that users tolerate as least negative include email newsletters, sponsored LinkedIn posts and Sponsored Facebook ads. The top three most negative ad experiences include telemarketing calls, pop up online advertisements, and auto-playing online video advertisements. For example, see the the HubSpot “Average experience ranking for different ads” chart below:

Armed with consumer input, best practices and concrete direction from Google, you can identify the least preferred ad types in advance of Google Chrome ad blocker implementation, to help ensure customer retention and a good user experience. By taking a strategic approach to overcoming bad ads blocked by Chrome, you will set yourself up for success with a consumer-tested approach to reaching your intended customers.

Additional resources for creating good ads

Contact us if you would like to create an ad strategy to get real results and give your new and returning customers an optimal and positive experience.