Over the past few years, we have received several requests for popup ads, auto-playing video ads and large takeover banners that fill the page.  We’ve always urged our station affiliates against displaying these types of banner ads simply because we don’t like seeing them any more than your visitors do. The Coalition for Better Ads and Google agree with this mindset.

On February 15th, Google Chrome will flag websites that do not meet the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads. Sites containing these types of ads will have 30 days to address any issues flagged in Google’s compliance report before Chrome begins removing ads. Read Google’s article about that here. Only the most annoying types of ads are being targeted in this initiative.

Google started this initiative in response to a report suggesting that poor ad experiences are responsible for a 30% increase in the use of ad blocking extensions across the web, which “reduces the ability for publishers to continue creating free content and threatens the sustainability of the web ecosystem.”

The Coalition for Better Ads is made up of leading international trade associations and online media companies committed to supporting “valuable free content, robust journalism and social connections across the internet” through the use of online ads. Knowing that consumers are increasingly frustrated with web ads, the Coalition for Better Ads surveyed over 25,000 internet users to create a set of consumer-friendly standards. Google will apply these standards to review site pages.

If Google finds several instances of a site not meeting the standards, it will flag the site as “failing” in the Ad Experience Report. Mobile and desktop experiences are reviewed independently. When Google identifies a problem, an entry is added to the report with a “failing” status with details and a video explaining the specific issue. If the failing status is not addressed within 30 days, Chrome will filter out all ads on the site. Once the issues are addressed, site owners must submit the issue for Google’s review; once the review status changes to “passing,” it can take up to 8 hours for ads to return. Because failures may result in a major loss of revenue for sites that depend on ads to sustain their business, it is vital that stations familiarize themselves with the report.

Skyrocket Radio is committed to the best experience for your website visitors and to ensure that your station has a platform to generate revenue.  Excessive and disruptive ad experiences are self-defeating, in that they push visitors to install ad blockers or toward closed, proprietary platforms compared to the open web.

So, what’s next?  Limiting the number of ads per page?  Please review your station website.  Is it possible to limit the number of ads and convert some of those into a page sponsorship of some kind?

Most, if not all, Skyrocket Radio affiliate stations are not in violation of these ad types. However, it is important to learn about how the open web is evolving in order to stay ahead of the game.
If you have not verified your station website with Google to gain access to the Ad Experience Report or if you have questions involving ad types, please reach out to us.