Sites that don’t pass Google’s Better Ads Standards must improve their user experience

Google today implemented its ad-blocking filter, hiding content from websites that don’t conform to its Better Ads Standards.

The company announced the move on its Chromium blog, explaining how its ad filter works and the reasoning behind the move. When a user navigates to a page via the Chrome browser, it will check whether the page belongs to a site that fails the Better Ads Standards.

If it does, Chrome will cross-check the content on the page with data provided by the EasyList filter rules and its own AdSense and DoubleClick database to analyse whether anything correlates with ad-related URL patterns it holds. If a match is found, that content will be blocked.

“While the result of this action is that Chrome users will not see ads on sites that consistently violate the Better Ads Standards, our goal is not to filter any ads at all but to improve the experience for all web users,” Chris Bentzel, engineering manager at Google’s Chrome, said in the blog post. “As of February 12, 42% of sites which were failing the Better Ads Standards have resolved their issues and are now passing.”

The Better Ads Standards were developed following a survey of 40,000 internet users in North America and Europe. One of the things it looked into was which types of ads are deemed most annoying. It found the most troublesome were ‘prestitial’ ads, which prevent you from seeing any content on the page until you click the ‘x’ or flashing animated ads.

The Coalition for Better Ads assesses websites according to how many violations of Better Ads Standards are found on a sample of pages. Depending on how many instances occur, they achieve a status of Passing, Warning, or Failing. Site owners can appeal for them to be re-assessed if they remove the offending content.

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