Improving The Online Ad User Experience

During the development of The Internet the way we know and love it today, we have all experienced frustration time-and-again when encountering online ads. Whether it’s a pop-up ad that interrupts your experience on a web page, or the sneaky kind that opens up a new browser window and unexpectedly blares loud music, annoying and intrusive ads on the web are a far too common occurrence.

According to consumer surveys conducted in 2016, 83% of online users surveyed agreed that “Not all ads are bad, but I want to filter out the really obnoxious ones.” The truth is, internet users don’t mind seeing ads on the web pages they visit, as long as the ads are relevant to their interests, are professionally designed, and they don’t see the same ads too frequently.

Google Joins The Coalition For Better Ads

During June 2017, Google announced that they had joined the Coalition for Better Ads – An industry group dedicated to improving the consumer online ad experience. The Coalition for Better Ads

As the Coalition for Better Ads explains: “Advertising helps support valuable free content, robust journalism and social connections across the internet. Consumers, however, are increasingly frustrated with ads that disrupt their experience, interrupt content and slow browsing.

Leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media formed the Coalition for Better Ads to improve consumers’ experience with online advertising. The Coalition for Better Ads will leverage consumer insights and cross-industry expertise to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising that address consumer expectations.”

The Coalition conducts research in order to develop data-driven standards for online advertising. The Goal: Measure consumers’ preferences regarding the types of ads they prefer the least, in order to assist the global marketplace in taking steps to deliver better ad experiences.

The Coalition conducted a comprehensive research study involving more than 25 000 consumers, and identified the ad experiences that “fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability”. Four types of desktop web ads and eight types of mobile web ads fell beneath this threshold.

Worst Desktop Web Ad Experiences:

Pop-Up Ads

Pop-Up Ads

These ads literally pop up and block the main content of the page, and appear after content on the page begins to load. These ads are the most commonly cited annoyances for visitors to a website.


Auto-Playing Ads With SoundAuto-Playing Video Ads With Sound

These experiences are reported to be especially disruptive, as they catch the readers off guard, and requires their immediate attention in order to quickly close the window or tab to stop the sound.

However, ads that require a click to activate sound are, according to the users surveyed, still within the acceptable threshold.

Presitial CountdownPrestitial Ads with Countdown

These ads appear before the content of the page has loaded and forces the user to wait a number of seconds before they can dismiss the ad and proceed to their intended destination.

These ads has the potential to disrupt users to such an extent that it dissuades them from waiting for the countdown to conclude and continuing onto their intended content.


Large Sticky Ads

Large Sticky Ads

These are ads that stick to the edge of a page regardless of efforts to scroll. The the page is browsed this static, immobile sticky ad takes up more than 30% of the screen’s real estate.


Chrome Support for the Better Ads Standards

According to the Google Ads Blog, “Chrome has always focused on giving you the best possible experience browsing the web. For example, it prevents pop-ups in new tabs based on the fact that they are annoying. In dialogue with the Coalition and other industry groups, we plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards starting in early 2018.”

Net Age also believes in an improved user experience when it comes to online advertising. Through rigorous targeting strategies and optimization, we continually work to ensure that the ads we run on behalf of our Google Ads and Social Media clients are relevant to users who see them, ultimately improving the overall experience that online users have with our client’s brands.