Google has a vast amount of power in the advertising world. Through it’s various channels – android phones, search and a variety of others. It could literally influence the sale of anything – or the reverse of it destroy a product or a business.
The Wall Street Journal has recently published an article which details how Google Chrome – the most popular browser in the western world. Will block ads which cause a ‘bad experience’. Now this is all from sources within Google and I’ve not found anything official to corroborate this.
However, can you imagine Google being the ones to decide what is and isn’t a good ad? What is a ‘bad experience’?
Could this be Google’s attempt to do what it’s done with the search optimisation world and ‘own it’? Whenever I have a conversation with an SEO specialist it is all about what the Google Bot wants to see – Bing doesn’t get much of a look in and what we’ve found is what is good for Google tends to be good for Bing also.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Unacceptable ad types would be those recently defined by the Coalition for Better Ads … such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and ‘prestitial’ ads with countdown timers are deemed to be ‘beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.’
OK – sounds good. Perhaps bad ads are something that we’ve gotten used to over the years. Anyone remember the milliondollarpage? Back in 2005 a young student called Alex Tew, decided to sell pixels on a webpage in order to pay for his education. According to Wikipedia this initiative made over $1m. So would this sort of initiative in marketing be classed as a ‘bad experience’ and thus Alex would have failed not through initiative but, due to policy restrictions.
According to Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe:
“This comprehensive research and these Initial Better Ads Standards provide great guidance on the role ad formats have on the user experience… “
So fair enough – ads will be better. However, will they stifle creativity or promote it? Who will be the first agency to adapt it and then create more engaging ads without ‘bending the rules’ too much. Another way of thinking about it from a client angle. Would you go to an agency with the “Better Ad” accredited badge or to an agency without?
We, as consumers, are smarter than ever before. We go into shops and then buy online. We price check. We are rate whores (financial services). So businesses need to be damn good at getting our business. However, is mandating change across the globe from the world’s most popular browser the way to go?
What is there is a sudden take up of one of the other browsers in the market – after all there are plenty to choose from. If Chrome’s market share drops from the lofty heights to sub 20% – would that mean that these ‘bad experience ads’ will return?
Either way this is something for marketeers to watch out for.