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Google’s new rules against intrusive ads are a win-win for consumers and the search giant alike

The news: Google is implementing a new policy requiring sites to adhere to the "better ads standards” laid out by the Coalition For Better Ads.

  • If an ad directs users to a site that doesn't meet the standards, Google will nix the ad.
  • Google is telling brands over email of the policy change, giving them about a month to make modifications to fall into compliance.
  • Google will inform brands if their landing pages adhere to the requirements via its Ad Experience Report.
  • Videos with sound that automatically plays, ads with density over 30%, and flashing animated ads are among those that don’t conform to the new guidelines.

Who watches the watchmen? While these changes are welcome, they also highlight Google’s power to be a gatekeeper.

  • Just one week ago, Google barred Truth Social from its Play Store due to the app's violent content—a move popular with many but criticized by proponents of the right-skewing app. Following an 18-month absence, Parler was just reinstated after it undertook content moderation measures.
  • The company has banned upward of 2,000 instant loan apps in the first half of this year.
  • Google also enforces its own bans on categories such as stalkerware unevenly, per MIT Technology Review.

Why it matters: Implementing the coalition’s standards is good business practice for Google, especially considering how much Google grosses per search user.

The updates should also be welcome for users: On the whole, website ads are more annoying to US internet users than ads on social media or TV/streaming.

  • The problem is more pronounced on mobile: 42% of worldwide mobile users say there's too much advertising and it can be obtrusive, including 36% of US users.

The big takeaway: Just as a grocery wouldn’t reward a supplier who keeps supplying expired products, so too Google is taking steps to disincentivize website owners that supply the search giant with bad inventory, which could likely discourage a consumer from clicking through on Google Ads as often.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Marketing & Advertising Briefing—a daily recap of top stories impacting the industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.