Google Chrome Ad Filtering & Better Ads Compliance

The Coalition for Better Ads has developed initial Better Ads Standards for desktop web and mobile web for North America and Europe, based on comprehensive research involving more than 25,000 consumers.

The Coalition’s research identifies the ad experiences that rank lowest across a range of user experience factors, and that are most highly correlated with an increased propensity for consumers to adopt ad blockers. These results define initial Better Ads Standards that identify the ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.

Four types of desktop web ads (six tested ad experiences) and eight types of mobile web ads (twelve tested ad experiences) fell beneath this threshold.

The main purpose of this coalition is to improve the Consumer Online Ad Experience.

As of January 2018 these are:

 

Desktop Ad Experiences

The following types of ad experiences were least preferred by consumers for desktop web:

  • Pop-up ads
  • Auto-playing videos with sound
  • Prestitial ads with a countdown
  • Large sticky ads

Mobile Ad Experiences

The following types of ad experiences were least preferred by consumers for mobile web:

    • Pop-up ads
    • Prestitial ads
    • Mobile pages with more than 30% ad density
    • Flashing animations
    • Poststitial ads that require a countdown to dismiss
    • Fullscreen scroll-over ads
    • Large sticky ads
    • Auto-playing videos with sound

 

What is the Coalition for Better Ads

As part of the move towards a Better Ad Experience, Google Chrome will soon include a built-in ad blocking solution designed to block ads deemed to be intrusive. Unacceptable ads are being determined by a group called the Coalition for Better Ads, which includes Google, Facebook, Trinity Mirror, News Corp, and The Washington Post as members.

 

 

 

Google Webmaster Tools – Ad Experience Report

Prior to the introduction of this ad blocking solution Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) has created an Ad Experience Report designed to identify adverse ad experiences that don’t comply with the Better Ads Standards.

This report will highlight any violations on a publisher’s domain, this includes all variations of a web property including but not limited to websites starting with http, https and www, Sites will be reviewed on both desktop and mobile with a subsequent report generated for each platform.

 

Each platform will then be given one of the following statuses, not reviewed, passing, warning , fail or review pending (a description of each is listed below), this status is universally applied to all web properties featuring this domain name on the platform reviewed and will contain examples of non compliant ads.

 

The Review Process and Ad Filtering

Prior to Ad Filtering

If your site is “Warning” or “Failing” it’s recommended you take immediate action to ensure your ads don’t get filtered, you will be given 30 days notice prior to filtering to ensure site compliance.

You can request a review of your site as often as you’d like. However keep in mind starting with the third request, there will be a 30-day delay in the start of the review.

 

After Ad Filtering

If your site is in “Failed” status, and ad filtering has begun, filtering is paused during your first two review requests. It is not paused if the issues have not been resolved and you submit the site for a third or subsequent review.

More details can be found here.

 

Summary of review timing and ad filtering status

Review request no.Delay in review startAd filtering on while review is pending?*
1stNo delay introducedno
2ndNo delay introducedno
3rd or more30-day delay introducedyes

* Applies only if your site is in “Failed” status.

 

Review Statuses

  • Not reviewed: Google haven’t yet reviewed the ad experiences on your site. As a best practice, we recommend pre-emptively fixing any ad experiences before we review your site.
  • Passing: Google have reviewed your site and haven’t detected a significant number of annoying ad experiences on your pages.
  • Warning: Google reviewed your site and detected a number of ad experiences that violate the Better Ads Standards. You should fix the issues as soon as possible and submit your site for another review.
  • Failing: Google reviewed your site and detected numerous ad experiences that violate the Better Ads Standards. You should fix the issues as soon as possible and submit your site for another review. If your site remains in this status, Chrome will filter ads.
  • Review pending: Your site has been submitted for a review. You’ll be unable to submit it for another review until we’ve completed this one. If your site was in “Failing” status, ad filtering may be paused during this time period.

A publisher will only receive a notification about a violation when the status is set as warning or failing. You will NOT receive any notification when a site review status is pending, not reviewed or results passed with not issue.

  • Click here to review your current Desktop Ad Experience Report
  • Click here to review your current Mobile Ad Experience Report

Note: If your site is in “Failing” status, the registered site owners and users of GWT will then receive an email, at least 30 calendar days prior to the start of ad filtering, and you’ll have the opportunity to submit your site for an ad experience review.

If your site has not been reviewed, it’s not recommended you submit your site for review until you have examined your ad offering and ensured compliance with Better Ad Standards.

 

Better Ads Compliance

If you are being proactive and preparing your site for Better Ads or your site has failed, its recommend you update your ad specs site prior to reviewing any adverts live in your ad server. This ensures that no new non-compliant adverts are introduced in the review period.

To assist in identifying and stopping ads that don’t comply with the Better Ads standard prior to a campaign launch, your ad ops team can utilise free tools such as HTML5 Ad Validator or paid solutions such as Ad Validation. These tools should help ensure that no new non-compliant adverts are ingested by the ad server.

 

Example of issues and recommended solutions:

  • Pop-up ads: This can be resolved by removing pop-up adverts from your website or removing the out-of-page slot for users on their first visit.
  • Large sticky ads: Remove or redesign the layout to ensure these adverts aren’t intrusive in nature and don’t overlap content.
  • Ad Density Higher Than 30%: You can resolve this issue by reducing the number of ads on a page.
  • Flashing animations: This can be resolved by removing flashing animations adverts from your website.

 

Recommendations:

At this time the coalition of Better Ads has not yet finalised the overall framework that governs Better Ad Standards, However it is recommended that you review your interstitial, poststitial and sticky banner offerings, with a view to reduce these formats. At this time some of the advice around supported ad formats is open to interpretation, nevertheless keep in mind Google’s Chrome team will be actively enforcing these standards and their interpretation may vary from that of a publisher.

We recommend you proceed with caution and review www.betterads.org for more details.