Google promises to make video ads on Chrome way less annoying

(Image credit: Jeramey Lende / Shutterstock)

Google announced that its Chrome browser will stop showing “disruptive” ads to align with a new set of standards set forth by the Coalition for Better Ads. 

In a blog post, Google said it worked with the Coalition for Better Ads and was advised based on the initiatives set forth by Better Ads Standards to create a less annoying online browsing experience. Findings were based on research from 45,000 people worldwide.

Google claims that its efforts on disruptive ads in the past have led to a significant reduction in the number of people who use ad-blockers. So the idea by making advertising standards in online video less annoying could mean that more people will turn off their ad-blocker, or forget to install it entirely. And of course, since Google is also an advertising company, creating a less annoying internet experience with less ad-blocking will only help its business model. 

So, what changes should Chrome users expect? Well, the Coalition for Better Ads found that for videos that were less than eight minutes long, lengthy non-skippable pre-roll ads were the most annoying. So, if you’re on a website to watch a quick three-minute clip and there’s a non-skippable 30-second ad, that made users most upset.

Mid-roll ads were also found to be annoying. That’s when you’re watching a video, and an ad comes up right in the middle of it, interrupting your viewing experience. And lastly, text ads that cover the middle of the screen were also seen as problematic. This is different from YouTube’s text-based ads, which only pop-up in a small window at the bottom. We’re talking about far more annoying ads that cover a third of the video and require you to move your mouse to close it.

Now Google has issued an ultimatum to these websites. Either websites must stop with these aggressive forms of in-video advertising and find new ways to reach consumers, or on August 5th, Chrome will “expand its user protection and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads.”

And YouTube, which is owned by Google, isn’t immune either. YouTube will be reviewed for compliance with these new set of standards. Website owners unsure if ads on their videos don’t comply with Better Ad Standards can review their site status via the Ad Experience Report.

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.