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Google’s New Ad Experience Report and the future of online advertising

by | Jun 5, 2017 | Actionable SEO Tips

The Ad Experience Report in Google Search Console$60,000,000,000… pretty large number.

That’s how much revenue Google brought in from online advertising in 2016.

No stranger to world domination, Google also developed and maintains the world’s most popular web browser, Chrome.  According to W3Counter, Chrome has 58.1% of the market.  W3Schools puts that figure at 75.7%!

Web Browser Market Share

Regardless of where you get the data, Google has the lion’s share of the internet and it’s not going away any time soon.

Which brings me to my next point.  On April 19, Google announced it would be adding ad-blocking features to Chrome.  Those in my closest circles know that I see ad-blocking as a huge threat to the info marketing industry… and I talk about it at length. I started tracking ad blocking stats years ago to set baseline metrics… I gave a presentation on ad-blocking at AIM’s Digital Innovation Summit in Florida last February.  Whenever I discuss ad-blocking, I always preface it by saying, the numbers are small but they are growing… so it’s time to prepare.  Well, guess what folks? Prep time is over and now is the time to take action.

Let’s just take a moment to consider what’s at stake…
1. Ads blocked on your website
2. Ads blocked on websites where you have paid to place an ad
3. Web analytics scripts blocked
4. Re-marketing scripts blocked
5. Tracking scripts blocked
In short, a known or anonymous visitor is now permanently invisible to your marketing dollar.  I’m not suggesting that Google will roll out with functionality that is this extreme… but when mobile ad-blockers first hit the iPhone app store, this functionality was certainly present.

Google has publicly stated that their standards will follow the guidelines set in place by the Coalition for Better Ads.  In a latestly published study, the Coalition identified four types of desktop ads and eight types of mobile ads that fell below their quality guidelines.  You can see them all in this PDF.  Be sure to put your coffee down before you look at the PDF… I don’t want to be held responsible for any spills.  If Google is following the Coalition guidelines in their implementation of ad-blocking in Chrome, you will not be able to serve pop-ups or serve video sales letters which auto-play with sound.  Gulp!

I will state right now that I don’t have an answer as to how to fix this.  But, here’s the most important takeaway.  Last week, Google announced a new tool for publishers called the Ad Experience Report.  This report is located inside the Google Search Console under web tools.  If you don’t have the login for this area, your marketing or tech team should have it.

Inside the report interface you will see a selection for desktop and mobile.  After clicking one of these, you will be asked to select a domain previously verified within the search console.  In the screen shot below, I selected AIM’s own website, https://readyfireaim.eu.  Google has not yet reviewed our site… but I will keep checking back. I would encourage anyone reading this email to check your own Ad Experience Report.  If you see Google has crawled your site and is giving feedback, please email me at byork@readyfireaim.eu or share on the AIM Facebook page.

The Ad Experience Report in Google Search Console - RFA Site

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP at Google, said the following about the Ad Experience Report, “it helps publishers understand how the Better Ads Standards apply to their own websites. It provides screenshots and videos of annoying ad experiences we’ve identified to make it easy to find and fix the issues. For a full list of ads to use instead, publishers can visit our new best practices guide.”

The ad-blocking version of Chrome is launching early 2018.  We have 6 months to prepare.  If VSLs and Pop Ups are at stake we have a lot to lose.  Login to your Ad Experience Report today to stay informed!

All the best,
Brian York
Brian York,
Managing Director, AIM​
byork@readyfireaim.eu

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