Google turns on native ad-blocking and what it means for advertisers like us

Takeshi Eto On February 15, 2018 Google released version 64 of their Chrome browser which includes a built-in ad-blocker. John blogged about this over on our DiscountASP.NET blog – you can get some more details over on that post including what will be considered “offensive” ads in Google’s ad-blocker.

The notable thing with this new Chrome release is that the Google ad-blocker is ON BY DEFAULT. So by default, Google will be determining what ads you see or not see. And with the Chrome browser marketshare being over 50%, that means eventually half of the browsers out there will have an active ad-blocker.

Everleap is an advertiser and we do advertise our services online as we are an Internet-based business. Along with all other Internet advertisers, we are very concerned with how this new development will impact our marketing efforts. I hope I’m wrong, but we anticipate we will be negatively impacted, resulting in wasted advertising spend and increased cost-per-sale.

From our understanding, Google will determine which ads are “offensive” but not only will they block the “offensive” ad, Google will block ALL ads on a page where an “offensive” ad is displayed. So even if you “play by the rules”, your ad can still not display because of other’s “offensive” ads. So this has implications on how you may look at future ad buys.

There are many advertising revenue models for publishers. With this new ad-blocking reality, it’s going to get harder to justify paying a set monthly fee for an ad position, especially where there are many other ads displayed on the same page – since you may be paying for ads that won’t be seen.

If you pay by impressions (CPM)  then you will probably want to know if the publisher will be counting impressions for ads that are not displayed. Again, even if you “play by the rules”, if other ads on the same page are “offensive”, then your ad won’t be displayed and the question is –  will that page view be counted in your CPM? We have spoken with publishers that claim that they only count impressions that are fully loaded – that’s great but now will these publishers be able to detect if an ad is blocked?

It may be better to gravitate toward paying per click (CPC), as users will probably not click on an ad that they didn’t see (unless it’s a bot). And guess which publisher has a system where advertisers pay per click? Google, of course.

People have pointed out the conflict of Google blocking ads on all sites and, yet profiting from advertising – after all it would be possible for Google to block all ads except for those that advertise through Google or their networks. I understand that Google’s intent is to improve the user experience – and that is a good thing – but in this situation we have one of the largest companies in the world that makes pretty much all of its money from CPC advertising who will be policing ads on all sites. In response, Google has stated that their own ads and ad network will be subject to their ad-blocker.

From our understanding, Google is going to send publishers a 30-day warning before starting to actively blocking ads, so at this point we have to wait-and-see how this Chrome update will really impact us and other advertisers. Tomorrow  will be a month since the Chrome release so we’ll soon start seeing the Google ad-blocker in action. We’d like to hear how your advertising is being affected or not.

If you are a publisher, be sure to access the Google Search Console where you can see how Google rates the “Ad Experience” on your site. If you are an online advertiser, you may want to keep tabs on the Chromium Blog to see if there are any updates on the Google ad-blocker. We’ll certainly be keeping a close watch.

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