Even Google admits that some internet ads can be intrusive. In February 2018, the company announced that its Chrome browser would have ad blocking built in. Here, iQuanti vice president of search strategy Wayne Cichanski shares his thoughts on Google’s ad blocking initiative.
It seems counterintuitive for a company that derives most of its revenue from advertising to “block” ads. But Chrome ad blocking actually aligns with Google’s continued efforts to enhance the user experience by delivering qualified, relevant content.
While not as sophisticated as the Google Adwords Quality Score in paid search advertising, this Chrome move could serve the same purpose. Not only will users see more relevant, less intrusive ads, Google may begin to discourage the kind of abrasive ads deployed by click-bait, low-quality, or fraudulent sites.
By deploying an ad blocker in the Chrome browser (which has 60%+ market share), Google is able to exert control over the user experience, enforce better ad behavior from publishers and marketers, and preserve its revenue base. Better to be selective about quality than to allow the widespread adoption of a technology that blocks all ads.
For marketers, this is a welcome move. There’s been pressure exerted upon the digital ad in recent years around fraud, a crisis in ad viewability, and the value of much of the programmatic inventory. While initially this could result in fewer ad options and formats, long-term it will contribute to the pruning of the online ad ecosystem.
Brands should continue to refine their programmatic strategies and look for intelligent ways to target consumers utilizing data, relevance, message, proximity and availability vs. sheer tonnage, reach and cheap inventory. While there will be consolidation in the programmatic space, it will remain a viable marketing channel for the future.
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