Google is prepping another change to Chrome’s built-in ad blockers that will allow it to block videos too.
Yes, believe or not, Google Chrome does have an ad blocker that’s built into the browser. Google added it in July 2019, but it works differently than you might think. Instead of blocking all ads, it only blocks ads on sites with non-compliant advertisements. The definition that determines compliance comes from the Coalition for Better Ads, a group that provides specific standards to improve advertising for consumers.
Google joined the coalition two years ago and its ‘Better Ads Standards’ is the filter that blocks — or doesn’t block — ads in Chrome. Essentially, Google’s browser checks websites users visit against the Better Ads Standards. If the page fails those standards, Chrome checks all of the site’s network requests against lists of known advertising URLs and blocks any matches. It effectively blocks all ads from displaying on that page. Plus, Google says Chrome blocks its non-compliant pages too.
In other words, Chrome’s ad blocker isn’t really an ad blocker in the traditional sense. Instead, it tackles ‘abusive’ ads and other poor experiences in hopes of punishing the websites that employ them. In doing so, it should lead to better ads for everyone, especially since Chrome is the most popular browser and ad revenue is the monetization of choice for many websites.
Where does video come in?
However, all the above only applies to website ads at the moment, and not video ads. That’s set to change on August 5th, 2020 — the date Google will enable its video ad-blocking feature, which is based on new standards from the Coalition for Better Ads related to video content.
Based on research collected from 45,000 consumers around the world, the coalition set out a few rules for ads on videos that are less than eight minutes long. To start, the standard forbids mid-roll ads, which play in the middle of a video and interrupt content.
Finally, it bans static or animated ads that cover 20 percent of the video or appear in the middle third of the video player.
The Coalition for Better Ads gave website owners four months to stop showing ads that fall into those classifications to users. In other words, site makers have until August 5th to set things right before Chrome begins blocking all ads on sites in any country that show disruptive and abusive ads like that. Further, the action includes YouTube, which Google says it will review to make sure it’s compliant with the standard.
Those interested in learning more — or those who need to gather information to properly prepare their websites — should check out Google’s Chromium team blog post about the upcoming change.