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Why Google Chose to Shoot Itself in the Foot

Have you noticed a change in your online browsing experience in the last week or so? If you’re using Google Chrome, that could be your user experience improving by a mile.

Last week, Google released an ad blocker native to Chrome. Considering that ad revenue is almost 90% of Google’s revenue, this move may seem a bit self-defeating. But as a long-term strategy, this move definitely makes sense. By hindering display’s abilities, Google has taken steps to ensure this revenue stream’s long-term survival.

Google has two primary sources of ad revenue: AdWords and AdSense. Adsense – which makes up approximately 23% – relies on display (i.e. banner) units placed on partner sites using a revenue share model. This 15.5 billion dollar business is the primary target of Google’s new ad blocker.

However, looking at the types of ads Chrome’s blocker targets reveals a fuller picture: there seems to be 1 main bullseye: Bad user experience.

Chasing a view or a click these days can often mean creating a disruptive experience for the end user. Pop-ups that cover the page. A blast of sound coming out of your laptop as some video or another decides to play of its own volition. A sudden appearance at the bottom of your screen, causing you to tap the link even though you were just intending to scroll. The list goes on and on.

Chasing a view or a click these days can often mean creating a disruptive experience for the end user. #AdBlind #Adlergic Share on X

Google has raised the gauntlet and dared advertisers and publishers to do better. While they were at it, they struck a blow against other display ad networks that allow disruptive formats. Whichever way you turn it – the decision serves Google’s long-term business goals.

The ramifications for marketers continue to remain the same. Evolve, or get left behind.

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