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Publishers beware: Google Chrome is now removing all ads from “abusive” sites

Last month, we reported that soon Google Chrome will shut down ads on any site with “abusive experiences”. This week, the Chrome team announced the rollout of Chrome 71, which comes with a number of new features, mostly focusing on protecting users from abusive ads, deceptive billing pages, and unwanted autoplay audio.

Chrome will block all ads on abusive sites

Chrome 71 will remove all ads on sites with persistent abusive experiences, the company posted on the Chromium Blog.

This includes advertisements on sites that display abusive or misleading advertisements. Abusive ads comprise those that promote malware, have hidden click areas, fake mouse pointers, non-interactive redirects, phishing, fake messages and alerts, or other misleading behavior.

Site owners can use the Abusive Experiences Report in their Google Search Console to see if their site contains any of these abusive experiences that need to be corrected or removed.

Site owners will have a 30-day window to fix experiences flagged by the report before Chrome removes ads.

What are abusive experiences?

According to Google, an abusive experience is designed to mislead website visitors. For example, auto-redirects that take visitors to a new page without any action on their part is an abusive experience. So are ads that are designed to mislead or trick users into interacting with them.

Here’s a list of abusive experiences identified by the Abusive Experiences Report.

Guidelines for publishers

These new Chrome features will be enabled by default. While they can be turned off, most users are unlikely to interfere with their browser settings. So the onus is on the site owners to ensure their properties are “abusive experience” free.

Publishers need to be doubly careful of the ads served on their sites, since Google’s guidelines are quite stringent in this regard.

“We review all content on your site, regardless of whether or not it’s served from your domain. For example, content loaded into an iframe or video player on your site is considered part of your site,” the company announced.

In addition to getting website owners to be more responsible in their advertising, these features will encourage publishers to work closely with their digital partners and third-party code-providers to eliminate malicious ads and protect their webpages from unauthorized code.

Publishers need to make sure they are compliant, or Google will simply shut down their ad revenue stream.

Chrome 71 is currently available on all Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops, while rollout to mobile devices is expected in the coming weeks.

Download WNIP’s new Media Moments 2018 report, which dives deeper into this year’s developments in publishing, and looks at what opportunities 2019 could usher in. The report is free and can be downloaded here.

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