Adblocking software has become increasingly more necessary as advertising interferes more and more with the online experience. Ads can interrupt the user’s goal with a blast of noise in an automatic video pitch or sprawl across a web page with a pop-up countdown clock. As a result, Google felt the need to intervene. Whether this is a step in the right direction is up for debate.
On February 15th, Google Chrome was updated to ban obnoxiously impeding ads by default on both mobile devices and desktops.
Chrome’s vice president, Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, says, “A big source of frustration is annoying ads: video ads that play at full blast or giant pop-ups where you can’t seem to find the exit icon. These ads are designed to be disruptive and often stand in the way of people using their browsers for their intended purpose — connecting them to content and information. It’s clear that annoying ads degrade what we all love about the web.”
Google Chrome is the choice of 56 percent of internet users. The new built-in adblocker will likely alleviate frustration by these users — but how will this affect the advertisers? This is up to the Coalition for Better Ads.
The Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) is a group of advertising and media companies that include Google, Microsoft, Facebook and various publishers such as the Washington Post. CBA has decided that the built-in adblocker will completely shut down all ads on websites that repeatedly offend their guidelines.
The New York Times predicts that revenue to websites that do not follow the guidelines will plummet because they will be denied the right to advertise. Chrome’s position of popularity gives Google an upper hand to deny or accept what type of advertising they want users to see, keeping most of its own advertisements in the process.
Google’s income is heavily derived from advertising, yet the company wants to push for a better user experience. As advertising becomes more prominent, people are losing interest in pop-ups. From 2016 to 2017, adblock software use increased by 30 percent.
How does this affect your law firm marketing?
Display ads: Its unlikely your law firm is using any sort of display ad that would be blocked by Chrome. However, if you are, you can expect traffic from those channels to decline.
Chat boxes: If your firm’s website uses a pop-up chat box, that may get blocked. Popular chat provider Martindale-Ngage Live Chat recently changed their popup to make it compliant Chrome’s new standards.
Videos: If your website videos are still autoplaying with audio, now is the time to change that. Users are often frustrated with unsolicited audio.
Overall, the change to Chrome is an upgrade for the internet and should improve everybody’s online experience without harming your law firm SEO efforts.
Hannah Felfe is a writer at Custom Legal Marketing.