Annoying Ads Online – The Biggest Revenue Stream
We’ve all experienced them; annoying ads that quickly make us feel fed-up of a website, audibly ‘humph’ and shake our heads as we impatiently hit the red ‘X”. We consume so much information in such a short space of time when surfing the internet that we just don’t have the patience for spammy sites. In spite of this, ads are where the money is found (did you know that over 90% of Google’s revenue comes from ads?) so they’re not going anywhere. Surely then, somebody needs to be governing this to avoid the use of ads getting out of control and jeopardising our web experiences.
Better Ads Standards
That’s where the Coalition for Better Ads comes in. They’re an industry group whose focus is to improve web advertising experiences across mobiles and desktops. They set the rules and standards for ads based on results from comprehensive research involving over 66,000 consumers across the world. The set standards, called the ‘Better Ads Standards’, outline which types of ads should be avoided due to users reporting them as being intrusive. Their research has revealed that although we are seeing an increasing number of ads, not all of them are disliked. Those that are deemed annoying are the ones which interrupt, distract or prevent a user from using a website, while ads which seem to ‘co-exist’ within the website content are actually preferred.
Google will be Filtering Disruptive Ads Worldwide in July 2019
The Coalition for Better Ads published its standards for North America and Europe in March 2017, and announced this month that its research supports the adoption of the same standards worldwide. Following this update to the standards, web giant Google has just announced that its ad-filtering system will go global across all sites on July 9th 2019. Google has already been filtering ads in its Chrome Browser across the US and Europe for some time based on ‘ad-experiences’. An ad experience report is generated for websites which looks at a number of factors on a site as a whole, including the layout, behaviour of the site, its content and the ads that users are exposed to, including their creative and how they are implemented. Research shows that bad ad experiences will discourage a user from returning to a site, which of course nobody wants.
Google announced that their ultimate goal is “not to filter ads, but to build a better web for everyone, everywhere”. Ads create too much value so they don’t want to block them, but they do need to ensure that they all conform to the rules to ensure that they remain a central part of the web experience. So far, Google has announced that only 1% of websites already reviewed had ads filtered and two thirds of the sites who had bad ads were able to adjust them and become compliant without the need for filtering.
So Which Types of Ads are Considered to be Disruptive?
Some of the main ones which are likely to annoy users are:
- Pop-up ads. As the name suggests, these are probably the most common annoying ad which ‘pop-up’ on a website after the page has loaded. Some take-up the whole screen and some just take up part of it. It has been advised that pop-up ads are only allowed if a user has stopped engaging with the webpage for at least 30 seconds. If the pop-up appears whilst the user is trying to navigate the site, then it will be a violation against the Better Ads Standards.
- 2. Auto-playing video ads with sound. Don’t be mistaken, autoplaying videos are great for your website, just make sure that the sound isn’t set to autoplay as well.
- Prestitial ads. Also known as ‘countdown ads’, these usually appear before the content on a page has loaded and forces a user to wait for a certain amount of time before the ‘X” appears and they can click out of the ad. Any ads that can still be dismissed whether there is a countdown or not, will be allowed.
- Sticky ads. As you’ve probably guessed, these large ‘sticky ads’ will ‘stick’ to the bottom of a webpage and not move, regardless of how much you scroll. It’s completely static and usually takes up more than 30% of the screen.
How do I Know if my Ads are Compliant?
Google’s Web Tools site provides all the information you need about your desktop AND mobile ads. Don’t forget about your mobile website – this should be at the forefront of your attention in 2019 (Read our 2019 SEO blog to find out more).
How do I Find my Ad Experience Report?
Watch the video below for a full introduction and make sure that your ads are working for you.