Welcome back Rankers! Matt, this shirt is for you mate. Told you I’d wear it. Google made an announcement last week that was pretty interesting. They have come out and said, “You know what? We’re going to do something about all the ads on the web.” Which is interesting, seeing as they’re responsible for most of them! Ads are how they make their money.
In light of them trying to build a better web for everyone, and they’re said that more than once, they’re trying to make the experience great for users. Google Chrome early next year, will come with an ad blocker. Hurrah! Bloody ads, hate them! They get in your way! Pop-ups! Pre-rolls on videos! Auto-play video ads without my consent! We hate them, right? They get in the way. Those stupid prestitial ads. All of these things are annoying to the user because, for the most part, ads on websites interrupt the experience of the user.
What happened last year, basically in response to the growth of ad-blocking software out there, Google and a bunch of other companies, got together and formed the Coalition for Better Ads. This was around September last year I think. It was because they were losing money hand over fist and publishers weren’t happy that their ads weren’t being clicked on and they weren’t receiving the revenue from the ads.
This coalition is made up of all the big news publishers, Google, Facebook. A bunch of advertisers and publishers basically. What Google’s ad blocker in Chrome will do next year, is it will start to block ads that don’t meet the standards of the Coalition for Better Ads. Look, they are really, as far as ads go, telling you how to use them and when to use them. Things like, “Hey, we’ve found that auto-playing video ads with sound are
pretty crap.” You think? I could have told you that! They’ve also said that prestitial large sticky ads that cover most of the content on the page are not great for your users. Anyway, all of the normal stuff you would consider annoying, the Coalition for Better Ads has said that they are actually annoying. What they haven’t said, or tested there, is pre-rolled video ads before an article on a news site.
In Australia, we have Fairfax and News Limited that does these. I don’t think the ABC does them. Fairfax and News Limited will, and I very rarely read an article on those publications because I get my news from everywhere else. But if someone sends me a link, and I don’t ever go there intentionally, I will click on the link and I will start to read the story. Then the video will start playing with an ad that is the pre-cursor to the video article presumably. I don’t know exactly as I’m never there long enough!
So this is coming out next year. What does it all mean? Well it means that the ads that Google won’t be blocking are its own. Plus any networks that meet the Coalition for Better Ads standard. Now this is a little bit disturbing because it gives Google huge control over the web and publishing. It basically tells publishers what ads they can and can’t use. Chrome is the most popular browser out there, and I think what we’re going to see will be a series of anti-trust cases. I don’t know. It’s a big step for Google to come out and do this.
The ads that you will see in Chrome next year will be Google ads. There have already been moves afoot, and Brett Tabke at Pubcon has come out and put on Facebook, “Hey, who wants to make an ad blocker for Google AdWords for Chrome?” Which is going to happen. The anti-ad war has just escalated.
The other announcement as part of this whole building a better web for everyone was that they’re also putting in place a system where you can easily fund sites that you like so they don’t have to use ads. So you’ll get a choice between one site showing you ads or you’re actually contributing to this site financially. Google’s basically
saying that if you don’t pay, you get the ads. Google is using this thing called Google Contribute, which allows people to give a few cents or dollars to their favourite publisher.
Anyway, I’d love to know what you think. Hope you love the shirt Matt, Sarah, Tom. We’ll see you next week.
Thanks very much. Bye.