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Building a Better World Wide Web

January 9th, 2019

User experience sits at the core of everything we do at Google. It drives our product decisions, development, and direction. Chrome has a long history of protecting our users from annoying and harmful experiences — like blocking pop-up windows and warning users if a page has malware.

We’ve also taken action to protect Chrome users from certain types of advertising that diminish their experiences online, a common complaint among Chrome users. For example, last year, Chrome began filtering ads on sites in North America and Europe that repeatedly violate industry standards and continue to show intrusive, annoying ads to people that visit their websites. Further, our own advertising platforms have stopped selling the kinds of ads that violate these standards and generate complaints from Chrome users.

We follow the Better Ads Standards when determining which websites to filter ads on in Chrome. These standards were developed by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving the web advertising experience, based on feedback from over 66,000 consumers around the world. The Standards identify 12 experiences that users find intrusive and that advertisers, publishers, and technology vendors should avoid showing.

Building a Better World Wide Web Today, the Better Ads Standards consists of 12 ad experiences that research found to be particularly annoying to users. Image Source: Coalition for Better Ads

Today, the Coalition for Better Ads announced that it is expanding their initial Better Ads Standards beyond North America and Europe to cover all countries, worldwide. Following the Coalition’s lead, beginning July 9, 2019, Chrome will expand its user protections and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly display these disruptive ads.

What does this mean for website owners?

If you operate a website that shows ads, you should consider reviewing your site status in the Ad Experience Report, a tool that helps publishers to understand if Chrome has identified any violating ad experiences on your site. Starting today, publishers in regions outside of North America and Europe can use this tool to understand if they have intrusive ad experiences on their site, their current status (passing / no issues found or failing), and resolve outstanding issues or contest a review. While we’ve already reviewed millions of sites around the world, we will continue to expand these reviews in the coming months.

A quick overview of the Ad Experience Report.

Early results from the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Our ultimate goal is not to filter ads, but to build a better web for everyone, everywhere. Chrome’s enforcement of the Coalition’s standards has inspired many website owners to improve the advertising experience on their sites in a way that benefits users. In the U.S., Canada, and Europe, website owners have successfully been able to make changes to the ads on their sites. As of January 1, 2019, two-thirds of all publishers who were at one time non-compliant to the Better Ads Standards are now in good standing. Further, out of millions of sites we’ve reviewed to date, less than 1% have had their ads filtered.

We look forward to continued collaboration with the industry to create a better, more vibrant web ecosystem with only the best user experiences. The web is a critical part of our everyday life and we’ll continue to deliver the best user experiences.

You can learn more details from the Coalition here.

Posted by Ben Galbraith, Senior Director of Product, Chrome