You won’t find many people who will try to argue that digital advertising is in a healthy place right now. In the United States alone, 26% of Internet users block ads. That may not seem like a large number until you consider the fact that the type of person who blocks digital ads is likely precisely the kind of person whose attention those advertisers want to capture – a tech-savvy, wealthy millennial.
If you’re an advertiser or a webmaster, you can’t blame users for blocking ads. After all, as examples like the Forbes ad-light experience have thoroughly demonstrated, ad networks are the primary delivery mechanism for malware, especially when they aren’t adequately policed.
Ad blockers aren’t just tools for convenience – they’re tools for security.
Of course, there’s also the fact that even the people who don’t block ads probably aren’t paying much attention to them. 90% of users skip pre-roll video ads when given a chance. And as of 2014, 82% of Americans ignore online ads.
Advertising is in a difficult spot right now, and Google is among those trying to fix it.
In September 2016, the search giant helped form a coalition group that consists of advertisers, publishers, agency groups, and advertising trade associates. Their goal? To help rid the web of bad advertisements – the kind of ads that vindicate ad-blocking users.
In so doing, they hope to put together a long-overdue set of global standards for online advertising, which they will deploy using technology created by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab. With this technology, ads will be scored on criteria such as page load time, tracking pixels, and what medium they use.
Similar to how they rank web pages, Google will start ranking ads. Any advertisements that fail to meet standards won’t appear on the page. Advertisers who wish to reach their users will be forced to up their game, providing better, higher-quality and more secure ads.
The Coalition is focused on consumer research in order to develop additional ad criteria. It also looked into the types of ads people love and hate – both of which will influence the ranking system.
In January 2018, The Coalition For Better Ads came out with standards to help companies learn how to optimize ads effectively. This report was a result of surveying 25,000 consumers who viewed 104 ads on desktop and mobile devices.
The report details what consumers like least about ads that appear on both desktop and mobile sites. For example, auto-playing video ads with sound on a desktop create significant disruption for a person browsing a website. The new standards suggest that video ads play either pre-roll or mid-roll and relate to the content of the video.
The size of the ads was also studied. The standards determined that ads that take up more than 30% of the vertical height of a page start to bother people on mobile devices.
Advertisers need to make sure that viewers can see their ads, but they will now be more mindful of making sure that the ads do not take up more than 30% of the vertical height of the page.
Advertising is much different now than when consumers only experienced ads in the newspaper, on billboards, over the radio, and through television spots. Ultimately, The Coalition For Better Ads hopes to build a more user-friendly experience for consumers and increase ROI for advertisers.
This was a guest post from Max Emelianov, who started HostForWeb in 2001. In his role as HostForWeb’s CEO, he focuses on teamwork and providing the best support for his customers while delivering cutting-edge web hosting services.