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Google Might Kill Your Ads. Will Tech Giant Dominate Another Market?

Marta Balukiewicz in

Blog/Google Might Kill Your Ads. Will Tech Giant Dominate Another Market?

A huge shift is coming up in the advertising market. Google has officially confirmed the changes it’s been talking about for some time now – its own tool for blocking ads will be permanently baked into the Chrome browser. Despite the fact the solution is supposed to go live only next year, large corporations are already adjusting their marketing budgets.

Apple with its Safari is also shooting for exclusive access to users. Once the changes have been implemented, how will you be able to efficiently reach users, that is, potential clients? What’s going to change in terms of marketing communication and why has the online advertising market become so important for tech giants? How will sales companies operating online be able to reach users bypassing 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.

Global trend – block ads

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.

We don’t need no advertising

Even the finest ad will fall flat if it won’t grab the audience’s attention, which is the number one goal these days.

When ads come on on TV, you switch channels, grab your smartphone, hit the fridge, or go to the store. You’re doing everything to not watch them. Alternatively, you pay for not being bothered by ads. For example, you choose Netflix instead of cable, Spotify instead of the radio, at home, you put on YouTube Red.

Demand drives the supply. There’s a growing number of people willing to spend $10, $15, or $20 a month to not see ads. That’s why marketing is facing a major challenge – efficiently reaching potential customers while taking the upcoming changes into account.

block advertising

How will adblocker for Safari work?

Apple’s Safari is supposed to utilize a self-learning algorithm for blocking scripts used by most websites. In other words, the browser will automatically delete cookies from sites the user hasn’t visited for some time.

As a result, websites won’t be able to use the information provided by cookies to, for example, personalize the displayed banner ads based on the user’s online activity. Companies using marketing automation platforms may also have a problem, as the platforms are based on tracking visitors via cookie files.

Adblocker for Chrome

Google, on the other hand, wants its browser to have 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.

chrome adblockFighting 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.

adblock lost revenue

MediaPost: Ad blockers resulted in nearly $22 billion of lost ad revenue for publishers worldwide in 2015, with about half that total in the U.S.

Search 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 the next year, let me say yes, indeed.

Peter Boyd from PaperStreet Web Design said in an interview with Forbes:

Advertisers can simply pour more budget into Google’s display network and the traditional search network of ads. It may force some ad publishers to switch their advertising network over to Google in an effort to keep ads displaying. For advertisers, it may mean a reallocation of budgets.

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

Email is still a good 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.

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Marta Balukiewicz

Former journalist. Loves to ride a motorcycle, writes about B2B marketing with a passion. Thanks to work in RightHello she knows the secrets of lead generation and cold email campaigns. Privately a big fan of Iron Man.

  • 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!