Google Adblocker Is Here And It Can Make Your Marketing Useless

Piotr Zaniewicz in

Blog/Google Adblocker Is Here And It Can Make Your Marketing Useless

A huge shift is coming up in the advertising market. Google’s own tool for blocking ads will be permanently baked into the Chrome browser on February 15th. What does that mean to your business? Will you still be able to efficiently reach potential clients with banners? Or should you adjust your marketing budget and be even more sceptical of display ads?

It’s perfectly normal that you’re wondering why would a leader in online advertising introduce a blocker, especially in one of the world’s most popular browsers. Ads are Google’s bread and butter – nearly 90% of its revenue in 2012 came from the sales of products such as DoubleClick and AdWords.

It’s estimated that Chrome has an over 60% share in the global internet browser market.

So, where does the idea to block ads come from, when you’re making money off of them? First, Google wants to have a monopoly for ads. Second, there’s a demand for ad blocking. The global trend is to avoid ads, and even paying for an ad-free experience. For instance, in Poland, a whopping 7 mln users (26.5% of all Internet users in the country) block popup ads.

Adblocker for Chrome

Google got its browser a built-in module blocking ads that don’t meet certain criteria. And what are these criteria? Well, they’ve been specified by the Coalition for Better Ads, whose members are comprised of tens of industry companies and agencies.

The Coalition has been formed to counteract irritating online popups and aggressive ads. Interestingly, the founders of the pact are Google and Facebook.

Fighting for monopoly

According to Google, their goal is to improve the browser’s usability, since ads popping up all over the place annoy users and make them install third-party blockers anyway.

There’s another, less obvious goal, though. The company wants to get rid of the Chrome extensions that also block those ads Google is making money off of. Briefly speaking, they want to kill off the competition and control all ads.

From adblocker to controlling the market

The new Chrome component won’t be a blocker per se, but an ad filter. In practice, any banner violating the rules even ever so slightly will be subject to being turned off by Google. The set standards and good practices aimed at improving the ad quality online may, in reality, mean a full control of the market and elimination of any external ads.

This in turn, makes the tech giant not only the market leader, but more so a monopolist, who dictates the rules to anyone who wants to get involved.

Using display? Look for alternatives

Ad publishers and marketing experts may find it more difficult to reach out to potential clients under the new policy. If you’re wondering whether this is the right time to re-evaluate the marketing budget distribution for this year, let me say yes, indeed.

Once the native Chrome adblocker goes live, it may appear that display advertising is even less attractive of an option than so far. Especially since the stats showing the utilization of this kind of external solution prove that banners and popups annoy users.

It sure is worth it to at least consider alternative methods that haven’t been this dominated by major players.

B2b isn’t condemned to display only

Let’s be honest – there are a couple of marketing tactics better suited to catch today’s b2b users attention than display ads. SEO, influencer marketing, in-depth reports, white papers, webinars, case studies – to name a few.

Good ol’ email is still a great way to reach potential customers. This communication channel isn’t just the most direct method for business contact online, but it also allows you to reach out to a very specific person.

Content provided in an email is perceived to be more personal and intimate – it’s a form of conversation with another human. You won’t get this out of any, even the most personalized display advertising.

A properly designed email may soon become the best alternative for the fully-controlled market of display advertising. No one has come up with an email blocker yet, although there are spam filters, of course, intercepting low-quality sales messages.

All that being said, it’s hard to fathom some tech giant who could do to emails what Google is about to do to the display advertising market.

Rules of the game can change quickly

The time of full page popups and flashy banners seem to be over and that’s a good thing. But if you think “if I use only the good type of ads, Google will allow it” – think again. Being a founding member of Coalition for Better Ads, Google set the standards that Chrome complies with.

What if one day they would come up with some unique rule that only their Display Network will be able to follow? All other ads – along with Google’s competition – would be filtered in Chrome, a browser having over 50% market share. And that could happen overnight. Don’t let your company be cut off along with them.

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Piotr Zaniewicz

Founder and CEO at RightHello. Believes that the most important validation of business ideas is to find paying clients. That’s when you know you’re going in the right direction.

  • Phoebe_King

    The U.S. has strong antitrust laws against such monopolies (or at least we used to–I don’t know what effect deregulation has had). It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court. Thanks for the heads-up!

  • Let’s see what things are really going to be like when the filter comes out. Sounds like we’ll still need other ad blockers on Google’s Chrome!