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Global Better Ads Standards: Google Chrome will enforce it globally – What to do next?

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Global Better Ads Standards: Google Chrome will enforce it globally – What to do next?

You might have already seen this message in your AdSense account:

Global Better Ads Standards. Google Chrome will support the Better Ads Standards globally from July 9th. Ads may be filtered on Chrome browsers if you don’t comply with the standard.

This message is referring to the fact that starting by 9th of June 2019, Google Chrome will role out an update, in which it will include an automatic AdBlocker. It will block any ad that does not meet the ‘Global Better Ads Standards’ requirements. So, any ad that is considered intrusive, will be never seen again.

The Better Ads Standards (BAS) are based on research from the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA). Founded in 2016 in response to the popularity of ad blockers, the CBA is made up of publishers, advertisers, ad agencies and trade associations. The goal of the CBA is to develop standards for online advertising while combating the increasing frustration readers encounter when browsing a site. Based on their research, the CBA compiled both desktop and mobile web ad standards for sites.

Some examples of non-compliant ads:

So, theoretically, while this new feature will be active, you can say farewell (even if you don’t have non-Chrome AdBlock active) to any annoying ads that are usually placed on ‘sketchy’ sites, like nulled sites or torrent sites.

This is a good thing (generally), because AdSense is not showing similar ads, and no ads created by AdSense will be filtered.

How will you know if your site failed?

Google will require sites to adhere to the new standards in order to maintain advertising revenue from users browsing on Chrome. Occasionally, Google will review pages on your site and report any violations they encounter.

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One of five results will be reported in your Google Search Console:

  1. Not reviewed: Your site hasn’t yet been looked at
  2. Passing: No violations
  3. Warning: Some violations detected
  4. Failing: Many violations detected; if not fixed after 30 days, all ads will be filtered
  5. Review pending: If requested, a new review is in queue

In general, if you don’t want your ad revenue to plummet, it is strongly recommend to take action if you site is currently doing any of the following:

  • Pop-up ads are interstitial ads that appear after a page loads and block the main content of the page. Newsletter pop-up blocks are not considered a violation. However, if your newsletter block contains a sponsor it would be considered non-compliant. (Desktop and Mobile)
    Ads appearing in interactive content (videos or games) and exit pop-ups, due to lack of engagement, do not currently fall into the purview of the BAS but it is anticipated these two experiences will also be in violation in the future.
  • Auto-play videos with sound are any automatically loaded video that play sound without user interaction. (Desktop and Mobile)
  • Prestitial ads with countdown are ads that appear before the page has loaded and require a user wait a number of seconds before the ad can be dismissed. (Desktop and Mobile)
    Forbes is known for their prestitial countdown but is not in violation because their readers have the option to skip to the content.
  • Large “sticky” ads are static ads that absorb more than 30 percent of the screen’s real estate and follow the reader as they scroll down a page. (Desktop and Mobile)
  • Prestitial ads appear before the page loads preventing a user access to the desired content. Sizes vary from full-screen to partial-screen. (Mobile)
  • Flashing animated ads are ads that give off a strobe effect where the backgrounds and colors are rapidly changing. (Mobile)
  • Full-screen scrollover ads appear on top of content and force a user to scroll to the top of the page to dismiss. These “flying carpet” ads obscure the content and are found to confuse readers. (Mobile)
  • Ad density higher than 30 percent is a mobile only standard that requires a bit more explanation. For single-column viewports (mobile), ads cannot consist of more than 30 percent of the total vertical height for the “main content.”
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