Intrusive ads and ad blocking extensions have been the source of much discussion recently, as the increasing use of ad filtering has led to a significant decrease in online content creators' bottom lines, with many publications even starting to withhold their content until they've been whitelisted. Google wants to fix the problem and is working on a new version of Chrome that will automatically block many ads.
"Online ads should be better," say Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google's Senior VP of Ads and Commerce. As a result, he announced that Google will be joining the Coalition for Better Ads and is intent on supporting their Betters Ads Standards on a future version of Chrome, to be released in 2018.
What this means in practice is that Chrome will, by this time, come with a built-in ad-blocker that will automatically stop ads from displaying on sites that do not adhere to these new standards. This will also include ads owned or served by Google. Examples of ads that the Coalition for Better Ads classifies as intrusive include pages that require you to wait for X seconds before displaying the content, auto-playing videos videos sound, large sticky ads and pop-ups, among others.
As part of this new initiative for better ads, the company also announced Funding Choices, which is now in beta, that will allow publishers to display an automated message if the visitor is detected as using an ad blocker, asking them to whitelist the site or purchase a subscription to remove all ads through Google Contributor. Many publishers already do this but it's nice to see Google building the capability natively.
Google's larger vision for this new world of online ads is to not only provide a better browsing experience for the end user but to, hopefully, also prevent excessively intrusive or annoying ads from driving users to ad blockers in the first place, thus allowing content creators to still generate revenue as long as they abide by a few common sense rules. Hopefully, this will serve as an acceptable compromise for what is becoming a growing problem.
As an online publication, Neowin too relies on ads for operating costs and, if you use an ad blocker, we appreciate being whitelisted. In addition, we have an ad-free subscription for $28 a year, which is another way to show support!