Google has long been the largest competitor in the industry. Whatever niche you’re in, you’re bound to tread carefully with all the regulations they have set in. They’re the biggest search engine in the world, no doubt about it, that’s why many marketers sought out for SEO. Ranking organically in the search engine results page seems impossible especially if you’re in a tightly competitive niche, but being found online isn’t just a tiny step.
You must tap into different resources to be able to stand out.
In order to make the most out of your website traffic, you’re bound to monetize your site to generate revenue. Let’s take an affiliate site for example.
As an affiliate marketer, you gain revenue when someone converts via a link on your site. You’re doing product reviews, you’re doing banner and side ads, and you even plan to revive the annoying pop-up to be able to serve your ads to your viewers.
It’s quite appalling how some advertisers see this as a “good” technique to serve ads. Google, as the number one search engine, strives to provide the best experience for users worldwide. Pop-up ads were the thing back in the days, and you can get tons of annoying pop-up ads by just clicking a website. Those disrupted Google’s aim to provide quality results, so they have continuously implemented rules that website owners need to conform with to gain Google’s favor to show them in the search results. This in return, helps websites to provide a better UX. Now that mobile phones are continuously gaining more preference than desktops and other devices, Google also improved their algorithms to provide the best UX for mobile users.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Who would be affected by this update? Websites with annoying ads.
Google spend their time, money, and resources to automatically check websites one by one and rule out those who will be affected, and those that are not. Google is aware of the users’ problem when it comes to these types of websites; website pop-ups can be so annoying, and even some users solve this problem by adding an ad blocker to their favorite browser, therefore affecting the publishing community as a whole.
To further make people understand their stand, Google has joined the Coalition for Better Ads, a group dedicated to conduct extensive researches on the public’s preference for online ads. In their website, Coalition for Better Ads, they have displayed what kinds of ads are often thought of as “intrusive” by the users:
Google notes that if a pop-up serves as a call-to-action on your website, it will not be affected. However, you should note that annoying pop-ups and even full-screen reminders can get annoying, too. Unless you’re not worried about your bounce rate, better optimize your call-to-action on your desktop version too.
To sum it up in a nutshell:
- Interrupting ads: Ads with countdowns that block the content view or ads that pop-up while reading.
- Distracting ads: Visual and auditory distractions such as flashing ads and ads that play music.
- Cluttered ads: Pages with too many ads takes time to load, and oftentimes confuse the visitor from reading the ad.
Another Giant Step: Chrome Will Have Built-in Ad Blocking Feature
Yes, you read that right. Aside from Google’s own search engine, they also have their browser that will support their advocacy. Google Chrome itself will have its own ad blocking capabilities early next year.
There’s no way you can hide from their rules. There is no exception to the rule; even if the ad were bought through Google, they won’t display it unless it is deemed a good ad.
In this light, compliance is the key if you want to continue earning from ads. In early 2018, if your ads do not comply with the Better Ads Standards, Chrome will not display these ads to the user. It’s different from how ad blocker plugins work; ad blocker plugins block all ads in a page, affecting good and bad publishers alike. With Chrome’s impending capability to block annoying ads out of the picture, it makes it possible for good advertisers to gain more.
Along with Google Chrome’s capability to block ads, good publishers may be able to conquer other users who use third-party extensions to block ads: Funding Choices.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP of Ads & Commerce for Google, explained how Funding Choices work:
As part of our efforts to maintain a sustainable web for everyone, we want to help publishers with good ad experiences get paid for their work. With Funding Choices, now in beta, publishers can show a customized message to visitors using an ad blocker, inviting them to either enable ads on their site, or pay for a pass that removes all ads on that site through the new Google Contributor.
This provides an equal opportunity for content creators and consumers to enjoy using the Internet. However, with Google’s 54% market share globally, the question remains; what will it do next? Consumers might not have any problems with these changes but content creators and publishers will have a hard time complying with Google’s policies. The challenge now is: how can content creators make the most out of what they have without resulting to ads?
Best Practices on Implementing Ads
While we cannot ascertain that our tips will surely help you convert visitors, here are tips on how to help you avoid being penalized by this update.
The simpler, the better: Internet users are becoming more impatient; don’t expect them to wait for your content and ads to load. While using skeleton screens can help your users anticipate, it’s also a good deal to speed up your website by providing lightweight ads that won’t slow down content.
Provide a better experience: Yes, content and ads can go together and live in harmony. If your ad sits well with the form and function of your site, you’re good to go.
Relevancy: Ads showing roofing materials won’t do any good for a make-up tutorial site. Being a good advertiser starts when you show that you care. Stick with one niche, put up ads that are relevant to your chosen niche, target ads that are relevant to your content — that’s it! Advertisers should deliver ads based on their customers’ interests.
Henry is the leading strategist and partner for Texas Digital, a Dallas SEO Digital Inbound Marketing Agency. He aims to make holistic digital marketing easy for businesses to adopt and transition for maximized business growth and opportunity.