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Chrome to start blocking the internet's most annoying video ads

(Image credit: Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock)

Google is expanding its purge of intrusive online ads by including certain types of video ads. 

The company began clamping down on annoying ads in 2018 when it launched a built-in ad blocker for Chrome. Any ad in violation of industry standards is now removed from websites so users could have a better online experience. 

Google is making the internet a more livable place by blocking disruptive ads. However, you might have noticed that certain ads, particularly annoying video ads, have been spared of such a fate. Fortunately, that will no longer be the case. 

Google announced in a blog post that it would expand its blocking efforts to several types of videos. The decision comes after new guidelines were set by the Coalition for Better Ads, a standards body responsible for creating the Better Ads Standards, a set of rules meant to improve consumers' online browsing experience.

“The Coalition for Better Ads is pleased to add this new Standard to our tools to help the online ad industry improve the experience for consumers,” said Neal Thurman, director of the Coalition for Better Ads. “Broadening the environments covered by our Better Ads Standards will benefit consumers and provide additional guidance for businesses to respond to consumer preferences.”

The Coalition for Better Ads outlined on Wednesday three new video ad types that don't adhere to the Better Ads Standards. These are the video types Google will now block:

(Image credit: Google)
  • 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.

(Image credit: Google)

  • Mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video, interrupting the user’s experience.

(Image credit: Google)
  • Empty 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.

What does this mean for you?

The coalition says website owners who continue to use these ads after June 2020 will risk losing advertising. Google says it will enforce the new rules on Aug 5 when it will “stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads.”

This is good news for everyday consumers as it should result in a less frustrating browsing experience. You will no longer have to wade through a sequence of ads or sit through one lengthy mid-video clip to finally watch the video you selected. Additionally, videos will no longer be covered in ads thanks to the new rule that restricts any ad larger than 20% of the video content. 

For site owners, the new guidelines mean visiting the Ad Experience Report website to ensure your videos don't violate the rules.  If they do, you could see a significant dropoff in ad revenue when the rules are enforced in four months from now. 

Google admits its own videos -- including those on YouTube -- will need to be vetted to ensure they adhere to the new rules. 

"It’s important to note that YouTube.com, like other websites with video content, will be reviewed for compliance with the Standards," Google wrote. "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."