While the change has been slow, we are relieved to know that the arc of the digital ad industry is bending toward the end user. Just think about the last 10 times you browsed the web on your mobile phone—on how many of those sessions did you encounter an ad that truly sent you running for the hills? Unless you keep getting caught in the clickbait trap, the answer is probably close to “1.” Clearly, things have improved from where the industry first started, but the fact remains that many publishers and advertisers still rely on disruptive ad experiences to demand attention from their customers.
To clean-up the remaining bad actors, the industry has made many significant changes. In September 2016, the IAB announced it was sunsetting all formats in its Rising Stars portfolio. And last year, the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) released research that detailed the most annoying ad units according to the consumers themselves. Today, this research is behind our industry’s next significant change.
On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the Google Chrome browser will release a built-in ad blocker that works across both desktop and mobile devices and that will automatically block any ad that violates the standards released by the CBA (details at the end of this post). Before we go into further detail, rest assured that 100% of Yieldmo’s ad formats are fully compliant with these standards. Always have been. Always will be.
What impact will this change have? The answer is that the change is largely symbolic. While the majority of desktop browsing in the U.S. happens on Chrome (59%) and a near majority of mobile browsing (41%), Google announced that only 1% of publishers are currently in violation of the CBA’s standards (StatCounter Global Stats). Publishers, breathe a sigh of relief.
Additionally, a single offense will not warrant an immediate or complete removal—Google is putting thresholds in place for publishers. For the first two months, 7.5% of a publisher’s ads will have to be non-compliant to have them blocked. That threshold will be lowered to 5% for the next four months, and finally it will settle to 2.5% in the months thereafter. Publishers can check their Ad Experience Report to understand which ads are in violation.
At Yieldmo, designing for the end user is not a new concept—it’s the reason for our founding and it’s the principle at the heart of our entire ad format portfolio. We’ve proven a mobile ecosystem can be sustained when you build ad experiences that engage and do not enrage. Advertisers see higher attention from their customers. Publishers see higher monetization. Customers appreciate the respect. A current client, an Associate Director of Planning & Optimization, recently explained the exact problem we are tackling, “We tried working with [other mobile partners], but the intrusive nature of their units resulted in extremely high click volume, but very little on-site actions.”
Yieldmo continues to build on our legacy of building customer-preferred formats. We’re once again leading the industry by measuring each interaction a customer has with our engaging formats—every swipe, scroll, play, tilt, second spent, and more. Clients no longer have to settle for just views, clicks, and conversions. Instead, we deliver the truth behind their customers’ levels of intent.
We’re not just measuring and reporting these engagement metrics, our Data Science team is turning insights into action. Each of the more than 200 billion data points we collect monthly passes through our machine learning algorithm to understand the impact engagement has on conversions. This allows our clients to boost performance by targeting those who are close to converting and increase campaign efficiency by suppressing those who are unlikely to convert.
As Google pushes this change live later this week, we celebrate that the industry continues to place the end user more and more at the center of its decisions. While some publishers and advertisers will have to scramble to adapt, we know that eradicating bad actors today will mean good news for publishers, advertisers, and most importantly, consumers tomorrow.
Ad units in violation of the CBA’s standards: