Two Sides of the Coin
Plainly put, there’s always two sides to a story. Often seen as the “good side” and the “bad side.” You are aware that Internet Ads is one of those coins. There is a flip side. A heads and a tails. “What are they?” you ask. “I’d be happy to tell you,” I reply.
Let’s take heads first. I grew up enduring TV ads, wishing someone could do something about them. Too many, too long and always interrupting the story. Did you know that they actually sped up sitcoms like Seinfeld so they could squeeze in another commercial? Check it out. Even when TV as a major source of entertainment began to fade, the big networks continued to exploit their captive audience with more and more ads.
But now, TV advertising is actually being eclipsed by internet advertising. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report predicts that in 2017, spending on internet advertising will surpass spending on TV advertising for the first time, and will exceed $200 billion. That’s a lot of commercials.
Of course, the study fails to compare the number of people exposed to those ads and the number of ads per person, per internet segment. I’m sure they’ve measured these things. But the big news is that the Internet is now the bigger of the two, with lots of ads costing billions of dollars. The only difference is that if you click off the site that has the annoying ad, unlike TV, the ad may follow you to another site. Your cookies will keep you as the target.
The Flip Side
Of course, you are wondering, “What is the flip side?” The good news is that there are ways of controlling advertising on the Internet and there are organizations that care about such things. Perhaps because of the way the Internet began as a free source, there are many organizations devoted to maintaining the freedom of the Internet. One of those is Google.
Google Strikes Another Blow to Intrusive Ads, was the article title. Google announced that it would further crack down on websites that feature intrusive ads that interrupt the user experience of the content the website. Google is all about user experience. They work hard at providing excellent content that matches the query of the user. So when an ad interrupts the user from enjoying the content, the user is not pleased. Neither is Google!
What kind of ads are we talking about? Here are three examples of “ads that annoy people the most”:
- Ads that Interrupt. Have you experienced one of those taunting countdowns? That counts as an ad that interrupts: one that “forces you to wait 10 seconds before you can” access the content you want. That’s especially true on mobile, where 74% of users would describe these ads as “extremely or very annoying.”
- Ads that Distract. These are ads with ornate animation or that play loudly, automatically, as or after content loads. They may brand content NSFW, but there are ads that need the same disclaimer.
- Ads that Clutter. Many ads also cause a page’s load time to slow down. They’re what Google calls “high-density displays,” and they can make it even longer for users to get to the content they came to a site to see.
Google talks about their ad standards in an article that expresses their mission: Building a better web for everyone.
Two sides. Those concerned only about the money. Those concerned mostly about the user. Squeezing more commercials into a limited space of time. Controlling the kind of ads used in order to maintain excellence in the user experience.
We applaud Google’s efforts to prohibit the kind of advertising that demands your attention even if you’re not interested. It is one of many reasons why people favor Google over other search engines. Not just excellence of content delivered through search, but protection of the delivery of the content to maximize the enjoyment of the user.