POST WRITTEN BY:
Owner of ReviveAds, an ad block prevention company.
Originally printed on Forbes
In the middle of this year, Google made an announcement that it will be introducing an ad blocker to Chrome sometime in 2018. This has understandably shaken content publishers all over the world. For one, almost all publishers rely on ad revenue to fund their activities. Secondly, roughly 90% of Google parent company Alphabet Inc.’s revenue last year came from advertising. So, the question on everyone’s mind is: Why is Google shooting its own foot like this?
The answer is that Google is not trying to make the internet an ad-free space. Instead, it is trying to make it a less annoying place. Google’s plan is to block the ads on only those web pages that feature either a highly annoying number of ads or intrusive ones. My company, ReviveAds, an ad-block circumvention company, surveyed about 185,000 users who had an ad blocker installed. Once on a website, they were given the choice to manually choose whether to view or block an ad. If they chose to block the ad, a paywall would be presented. We found that, of this set, only 61 — less than 1% of users — actually chose to block ads when given the choice. So, why such a large investment of time and money from Google? Who decides which ads are acceptable? And how can publishers know whether their ads pass the criteria?
There is a group called the Coalition for Better Ads, with members including Google, News Corp, Facebook, and others. This coalition will determine which ads are acceptable or not. Publishers will receive an “Ad Experience Report” from Google before the change takes place, which will notify them of which ads on their sites are offensive and how they can improve them.