Blog / Articles12 March 2018

Ad blocking in Chrome: how to avoid losing revenue from ads

A significant event in online advertising occurred on February 15, 2018: Google started a built-in ad blocker in the stable version of their browser. This update was announced last year in June. What are the consequences of it for the site owners who get the main income from the ads and how this blocking can be avoided?

Prerequisites for blocking

The reason of starting a built-in ad blocker in Chrome was that Google had joined Coalition for Better Ads (CBA). Members of this group are such large companies as Facebook, Microsoft and others. The main goal of CBA is combating the growing popularity of ad blockers (e.g. AdBlock Plus) with the users around the world. Google is concerned about this trend: a significant proportion of company’s income is from the ads.

To solve this problem, it was proposed to create an alternative: an own, built-in browser algorithm, which will block ads only on sites that offer low quality, annoying advertising content. Google suppose that if it was possible to influence the site owners in such a way, making them to abandon low quality ads, users wouldn’t like to block all the advertising on the Internet and the popularity of ad blockers will decrease.

Coalition standards

Basing on the results of research (a poll of American and European users) made by the members of CBA some types of the most annoying ads were identified: 4 for PCs and 8 for mobile devices. This was exactly what formed the basic standards of the association. Unacceptable ad types for desktops became:

  • pop-up ads;
  • auto-playing videos that play the sound automatically;
  • prestitial ads with a timer;
  • sticky banners that occupy more than 30% of the screen space.


The list for mobile devices:

  • prestitial ads (with or without countdown);
  • pop-up ads;
  • auto-play videos with sound;
  • flashing animated ads;
  • full-screen scrollover ads;
  • postitial ads with a timer;
  • sticky banners that occupy more than 30% of the screen space;
  • any ads with more than 30% density on the page.


It should be noted that most of third-party blockers fought by the coalition use another, stricter standards – AAC (Acceptable Ads Committee). These standards consider about 92,7% of Internet advertisements as unacceptable (at the same time CBA considers only 16,4%). Detailed comparison of AAC and CBA rules is shown in this table.

Ad blocking features in Chrome

Contesting undesirable ads Google use a 4-step approach:

  1. Google algorithms analyze sites for presence of low quality ads, and after that every site is ranked: passing, warning or failing;
  2. the company informs site owner about the problems via the e-mail and via the new Ad Experience Report in Search Console;
  3. if site receives failing status, its owner has 30 days to remove unacceptable ads;
  4. if the status hasn’t changed in a month, the filter starts working and all the ads on this site become blocked (including allowed ones and even advertisement from Google).

If the site is already under penalty, its owner can apply for re-examination, having solved the problems previously. If the new check doesn’t get any faults, ads won’t be blocked any more.

Influence of advertising content on search ranking

During a Google Webmaster hangout, a Google employee John Mueller was asked if Chrome ad blocker’s signals affect site search ranking. Mueller answered that nowadays this function has no influence on ranking, but he cannot say anything if it would in future. You can listen to the answer in this video:

You can read about other factors that are considered important for search engine ranking, but actually are not, in this article.

Besides Mueller reminded that even if CBA standards don’t affect the position in search now, Google has some tools, which lower sites in search because of ad abuse, namely Page Layout algorithm and sanctions for interstitials.

Page Layout algorithm was started in January 2012. It lowers positions of sites that contain too many static ads on the top of the page above the fold – in the area displayed right after the loading; the main content may not be visible because of these ads (you have to scroll down the page). Algorithm has been updated a couple of times since its start. In 2017, a Google employee Gary Illyes stated in Twitter that Page Layout is still important for the search engine.

Algorithm that punishes sites for obtrusive interstitial advertising is younger – it appeared in January 2017. It considers pop-up ads and full-screen banners that cover the content by themselves. Only ads on the pages that can be followed directly from Google are considered. Nowadays this algorithm lowers positions only in mobile search and only for particular pages but not the sites in general.

How to avoid blocking?

  1. The first and the most evident piece of advice: avoid posting ads inappropriate for CBA standards on your website. If there are some of them, replace them with relevant advertisements or just remove them. Although Google state that unacceptable ads appearing less often than a certain frequency doesn’t cause blocking (7,5% in the first two months after detection, 5% in four next ones and 2,5% in a month more), it would be better to be reinsured and refuse such advertising at all.
  2. Pay attention to e-mails from Google, which inform about problems with ads on your site. If you’ve received one, it is worth to react promptly to the found breaches and remove them on time. You can check current status of the site in Search Console report, link to which is upper.
  3. Even if your site has been blocked, don’t panic. Attentively read through the report (attached screenshots of breaches can help you), remove unacceptable advertisements and send an application for the re-examination of the site.
  4. Even if all the ads on your site are relevant to the standards, you shouldn’t abuse with them. Try to place ads in such a way that they don’t interfere to search see the content. Provide visitors with a good user experience: it’s one of the creeds of Google and search algorithms will be supportive to you.
Nikolay Ashpin
SEO, blog editor
I have been engaged in copywriting since 2014, in SEO - since 2017. I am interested in Internet marketing modern trends and search engine optimization, as well as in the capabilities of the Google My Business tool, and I share the experience of using it at seminars and conferences. If you have a question about this article, please write to

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