Starting Thursday, said the company, all advertisements on websites that repeatedly bombard users with intrusive ads will be blocked by default. Before the blocking goes into effect, the intrusive ads will be ‘flagged’, presumably to the webmasters.
“It’s important to note that some sites affected by this change may also contain Google ads. To us, your experience on the web is a higher priority than the money that these annoying ads may generate—even for us,” Vice President Rahul Roy-Chowdhury said.
The move is a momentous one as Google generates nearly all of its revenue, running into scores of billions of dollars per year, from online advertisements.
Roy-Chowdhury said repeated feedback suggests that intrusive ads are amongst the biggest pain points for users on the web.
“Feedback has shown that 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.”
In a way, the move is an attempt by Google to prevent the destruction of the advertising model on the web.
While earlier, limited bandwidth and processing capacities at the user level restricted the kind and scope of advertising that could be embedded in pages, today, the rising power of terminal devices and bandwidth of internet connections have made auto-playing video ads a regular feature of many high-traffic websites.
“It’s important that we work to maintain a balance—and if left unchecked, disruptive ads have the potential to derail the entire system,” the VP said.
“We’ve already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren’t doing anything disruptive.
“By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today,” he added.