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Post by Rich Moy on Feb 13, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Last year, Google surprised advertisers with the announcement that a built-in ad-blocking feature was on its way for the desktop and mobile versions of Chrome. Although there was some uncertainty around its launch date, it’s widely expected to go live for all users on February 15th, 2018.

As an advertiser, there are two questions that you need to answer. First, what types of ads will this new feature block? But more importantly, how will this impact the developer marketing campaigns that you’re running? Let’s take a closer look at a few things that you should know about Google Chrome’s new ad blocker before it launches.

Only Ads Deemed “Aggressive” Will be Blocked by Google

As part of the announcement, Google specified that it would block every ad that isn’t compliant with the Better Ads Standards. Among many others, those standards state that formats like pop-up ads, auto-playing video ads with sound, and prestitial ads with countdowns are the least preferred advertising experiences.

What does that mean for you? This built-in ad-blocking technology incentivizes you even further to create ads for developers that convey value and aren’t distracting. The good news is that if you’re not doing any intrusive advertising or running campaigns on sites that use it, the new ad blocker shouldn’t impact you dramatically.

Additionally, your developer marketing campaigns could benefit from this new feature. Bret Copeland, Team Lead of the Ad Server function here at Stack Overflow, tells us that fewer people will feel the need to block all ads. Jerrid Grimm, Co-founder of Pressboard, also argues that this move by Google could change the online experience forever. “Ad blocking could very well become unnecessary altogether,” he continues. “In the long run, it could have better implications than advertisers or publishers ever anticipated.”

Only a Small Percentage of Ads Will be Affected

Ads that don’t currently comply with this new Google ad blocker present a unique challenge. Initial analysis by AdBlock found that an estimated nine ads out of 55 would be blocked by Chrome, but more recent findings suggest that the impact won’t be quite as far-reaching. 

Sara Fischer, a media reporter for Axios, recently highlighted the difficulty of converting old inventory over to more compliant formats. She adds, “Google gave publishers roughly six months to sort this out, but some could argue that's just not enough time to peel back millions of dollars of business and reallocate it appropriately.”

But in a separate article, Fischer reported that Google claims that roughly 1% of publishers aren’t compliant with third-party ad-blocking standards. Advertisers that currently aren’t compliant will have a 7.5% non-compliance threshold before their ads are blocked. Eventually, the limit will drop to 2.5%, but non-compliant publishers should have time to make their ads compliant with the new standards.

Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management for Sustainable Advertising at Google, also told Fisher that the company worked hard not to catch publishers by surprise with these new changes. “We’ve been working closely with publishers for months,” Spencer said. “Our goal is to not filter anybody. Our goal is to get rid of annoying ad experiences to make the internet better.” For advertisers that are already following the keys to creating ads for developers, this should come as good news.