If you use Google Ad Manager, then you may have come across this notification reminding you to comply with the Better Ads Standards:
“Will the Global Betters Ads Standards impact you? Starting July 9, Chrome support for the Better Ads Standards expand globally. This may cause your ads to be filtered on Chrome browsers if your ad experiences do not comply with the standards.”
The sudden appearance of this high-profile message in account is understandably causing concern for publishers, but is there anything to worry about?
What are the Better Ads Standards and why does Chrome need them?
Ad Blocking has been on the rise for years driven by users’ dissatisfaction with disruptive and intrusive ads. Given that Advertising is what keeps the internet free, Ad Blockers are bad news for everyone and many parties have been looking for solutions to ensure that a free, ad-funded internet is sustainable.
The Better Ads Standards were developed by the Coalition for Better Ads based on comprehensive user studies. The Better Ads Standards identified twelve ad experiences that were considered by users as the least desirable. Some examples include large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound and pop-up ads.
Chrome has been blocking all ads on websites using any of these twelve problematic formats since February 2018. Until now these filters have only been applied to users in USA and Europe, but from July 2019 those blocks are going to be in place worldwide.
What do the Better Ads Standards mean for publishers?
The good news is that if you live in North America or Europe, Chrome already started to filter out ads that repeatedly violated industry standards last year. This means that it is unlikely that publishers with the bulk of traffic from North America and Europe will experience much disruption from this latest change. OKO publishers can be reassured that no ads managed by OKO will be affected by these changes.
For all other regions outside of North America and Europe, the Better Ads Standards will begin to roll out of the 9th July 2019. Between now and then, it is important that publishers review the ad experience report in the Google Search Console to ensure that they do not violate any of these policies. Compliant publishers will experience no impact. However, publishers that repeatedly violate standards by displaying low-ranking ad types may lose not only lose revenue from the problematic ads, but have all ads on their website blocked to Chrome users.