You know what type of online ads people hate the most? That's right, pop-ups - in fact, according to a new Coalition for Better Ads report, pop-ups account for 97% of noted violations of their standards on desktop, while 50% of users say they would not revisit or recommend a page that had a pop-up ad.
This is one of the key findings noted in Google's latest report on the state of digital ads, and their efforts to crack down on violations as a means to reduce the spread of ad blockers.
As Google notes:
"69% of people who installed ad blockers said they were motivated by annoying or intrusive ads. When ads are blocked, publishers don't make money."
Among their other key findings, the Coalition also reports that while pop-ups are the most troublesome issue on desktop, on mobile, the issues are more varied.
"Pop-ups account for 54% of issues found [on mobile], while 21% of issues are due to high ad density: A mobile page flooded with ads takes longer to load, and this makes it harder for people to find what they're looking for."
To help address such issues, Google has launched tools like their Ad Experience report, which provides data on how the ads on your site fare in regards to the Coalition's recommendations.
"In just two months, 140,000 publishers worldwide have viewed the report."
Google also says that they're reviewing sites daily and recording videos of poor ad experiences so they can include further visual guides within the Ad Experience report to help advertisers update their sites in-line with user expectations.
Ad blockers are like the bogeyman of digital marketing. Yes, online platforms give you more access to a wider audience, with more targeting options and more ways to expand your messaging. But the rising use of ad blockers could de-rail this.
And Ad Blocking adoption is most definitely on the rise - as you can see in this chart from the most recent PageFair AdBlock report, desktop ad block usage is steadily increasing year-on-year, while mobile ad blocking has seen a sharp rise of late.
To combat this threat to their core revenue models, both Facebook and Google have taken varying measures to limit its impact. Last year, Facebook announced that it had changed its systems to render Ad Block ineffective on its platform, which AdBlock then countered, then Facebook countered again. That sort of cat and mouse process is likely not sustainable - and worth noting, Facebook has also been working to provide more tools to help users update their ad preferences to avoid poor ad experiences. But even then, that's not enough for those who know that can eliminate them completely.
Google, on the other hand, has taken matters into its own hands by announcing their own ad blocker which they'll introduce into Google Chrome early next year, a move that's particularly significant, considering Chrome is the dominant web browser, with around 41.6% market share. Of course, that's also opened up speculation about how Google will use this power, whether they'll block only non-Google ads, but Google says their process will be driven the standards outlined by the Coalition for Better Ads, which won't exempt Google ad content.
And this is where the results of the Coalition's latest report come in. The Coalition for Better Ads, of which both Google and Facebook are members, was founded last year in partnership with a group of leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media. The group's aim is, essentially, to combat the rise of ad blocking by pooling their knowledge and resources in an effort to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising to avoid annoying misuses of ad content.
Using the recommendations from the Coalition's data, Google will continue to develop new systems to help website owners understand which ads are problematic, and to remove them - which will enable them to avoid penalties, while also improving the wider web experience, removing the impetus behind ad blocker adoption.
This latest report from Google is a pre-cursor to that next stage, highlighting the key ad-types which are likely to come under scrutiny. If you have them on your site, best to start revising to avoid future penalties.
You can check your own site using Google's Ad Experience report.