Why Google is building a better web for everyone
Anyone that browsed a mobile site only to be greeted with an intrusive pop-up advertisement that fills their entire screen will admit to the anger and frustration it can cause. A modern tale of cat and mouse quickly ensues.
The harder you try to close the ad by clicking the X with your finger on a tiny screen, you merely end up opening the link instead and end up at a destination that was not of your choosing. Elsewhere, there is a marketing manager delighted by the automated and AI driven report that suggest their campaign has been a fantastic success.
The inconvenient truth is those high impressions or click through ratios are very often meaningless. A negative experience with any brand could prevent a customer from every doing business with them again. This was perfectly highlighted by entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk who used his frustration to reveal why he would never buy another Samsung product. Now that web mobile web browsing has overtaken desktop, it’s time to admit that many aspects of the internet are in a desperate need of a 21st-century upgrade. The current method of delivering ads in a mobile-first world is broken, and digital natives have learned to tune out of marketing messages.
Deep down, we all understand that high-quality journalism comes at a price. Most publications are heavily reliant on advertising revenue to pay their content creators. But when we consume content, most of us will readily admit to the sheer frustration caused by intrusive advertisements. Many are currently leading double lives and can be heard announcing the evils of pop-up blockers in the corporate world, but sneakily using them to block ads during their personal browsing sessions.
Maybe, these are just a few of the reasons why Google recently advised they were building a better web for everyone. There appears to be a universal realisation that annoying, irrelevant and intrusive advertising practices have no place in the digital world.
In an age dominated by the personalisation of almost everything, only useful and relevant ads will tempt users to lower the settings of their pop-up blockers. News that Google will soon block ads that don’t play by the rules was a much-needed wake-up call that the advertising industry needs to be rebuilt to hold any relevance to tech-savvy audiences.
Google is attempting to protect their future business model for obvious reasons such as the fact that the majority of its revenue derives from advertising. The Coalition for Better Ads has already developed an initial Better Ads Standards, but it won’t be until Google enforces these rules that marketers will be forced to play by the rules.
“IT’S FAR TOO COMMON THAT PEOPLE ENCOUNTER ANNOYING, INTRUSIVE ADS ON THE WEB – LIKE THE KIND THAT BLARE MUSIC UNEXPECTEDLY, OR FORCE YOU TO WAIT 10 SECONDS BEFORE YOU CAN SEE THE CONTENT ON THE PAGE. THESE FRUSTRATING EXPERIENCES CAN LEAD SOME PEOPLE TO BLOCK ALL ADS – TAKING A BIG TOLL ON THE CONTENT CREATORS, JOURNALISTS, WEB DEVELOPERS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS WHO DEPEND ON ADS TO FUND THEIR CONTENT CREATION.”
GOOGLE SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF ADS
Marketers can no longer bury their heads in the sand relying on false metrics to keep a broken system alive. It’s no longer about impressions, the customer journey, and experience will offer more value than numbers driven reporting from our analogue past.
As consumers of content, maybe the problem is not with the ads but the manner in which they are delivered to us over a plethora of devices.
Essentially any pop-up ad is an intrusion that attempts to divert our attention from what we’re looking at. Online advertising from a consumer’s perspective is solely designed to dampen our experience. Whether it be a longer page load time or increase our data usage on our smartphone, it’s clear something has to change if unobtrusive personalised ads can be a realistic possibility.
Google’s changes will ensure that content creators of all sizes will continue to have a channel for online advertising. The enforcement of the better ads standards set out by a coalition is also greatly needed for continuous improvement to be implemented.
The impending changes offer advertisers, agencies, and publishers a not so gentle nudge in the right direction of progress. Make no mistake, we are no longer talking about the death of online ads but removing the “bad” ads that are possibly the most infuriating element of our online experience.
Google is attempting to get publishers to work with rather than against them; to play by the rules to keep their advertising revenue alive. However, in a world where we are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of content to choose from, will users ever be tempted to?
But, if Google and co can convince publishers to play by the rules, will it be enough to convince users to disable their ad blocking software?