Google is in a rather ironic but favorable position when it comes to Internet ads. It derives a huge chunk of its revenue from them but also makes a web browser that promises to protect its users from malicious agents, most of which operate through ads. Its solution was to help form a coalition that will develop industry standards that sift the good ads from the bad ones. That coalition’s latest focus is on misbehaving video ads and its new rules that Google has chosen to implement in Chrome will, again ironically, force it to change how YouTube ads behave as well.
Some will undoubtedly call out Google’s intentions with the Coalition for Better Ads as self-serving. After all, it will be able to influence, even if indirectly, which ads and ad platforms are considered as good and which ones aren’t and then present its own advertising platform as the best standards-compliant option out there. And being the developer of one of the most-used web browsers in the market, it can enforce those rules to make sure advertisers play the same game.
That said, users will probably be thankful there even exists such a standard that makes ads less intrusive, less dangerous, or even less annoying. According to Google, a large number of users have already stopped using ad blockers because of that, which, of course, means more ad revenue.
But while the first Better Ads Standards focused mostly on ads that display on web pages, the Coalition has now turned its focus on bad ads that play before, in the middle of, and after online videos. These range from long, unskippable ads on very short videos to ads that play in the middle of a video.
If those sound familiar to you, that’s because YouTube ads are actually one of the biggest offenders. So while Google is giving website owners until August 4, 2020 to stop showing such disruptive ads, it will also be reviewing YouTube’s ad system for compliance. And for any YouTube user, it’s hard to argue how that will be a good thing.