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Videos with fewer intrusive ads

February 5th, 2020

Chrome has always focused on creating the best possible experience for people browsing the web. We have 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. For the last few years, we’ve worked to address a common complaint among Chrome users: annoying, intrusive ads. In 2018, we started removing the ads from websites that continually show intrusive ads that violate industry standards. Google also updated our own advertising offerings to ensure that we’re not selling or serving the kinds of ads that Internet users find the most annoying.

Since then, we’ve seen ad-blocking rates in North America and Europe drop significantly in Chrome.

In order to determine which ads are the most intrusive to the web experience, we rely on the Better Ads Standards which give companies like Google guidance based on feedback from people around the world.

Today, the group responsible for developing the Better Ads Standards, the Coalition for Better Ads, announced a new set of standards for ads that show during video content, based on research from 45,000 consumers worldwide.

There are many different types of ads that can run before, during, or after a video but according to the Coalition’s research, there are three ad experiences that people find to be particularly disruptive on video content that is less than 8 minutes long:

Videos with fewer intrusive ads
Long, non-skippable pre-roll ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video and that cannot be skipped within the first 5 seconds.
Videos with fewer intrusive ads
Mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video, interrupting the user’s experience.
Videos with fewer intrusive ads
Image or text ads that appear on top of a playing video and are in the middle 1/3 of the video player window or cover more than 20 percent of the video content.

Does this affect my video content?

The Coalition has announced that website owners should stop showing these ads to their site visitors in the next four months. Following the Coalition’s lead, beginning August 5, 2020, Chrome will expand its user protections and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads. It’s important to note that YouTube.com, like other websites with video content, will be reviewed for compliance with the Standards. Similar to the previous Better Ads Standards, we’ll update our product plans across our ad platforms, including YouTube, as a result of this standard, and leverage the research as a tool to help guide product development in the future.

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 this week, we’ll update the Ad Experience Report with information to help publishers resolve any issues with these new video standards currently on their site. For more information about this process, you can reference the Help Center and Community Forum.

Posted by Jason James, Product Manager