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AdSense warns publishers must comply with Better Ads Standards to prevent Chrome ad filtering

AdSense is notifying publishers that sites need to comply with the Better Ads Standards to prevent Chrome from filtering ads starting July 9th.

Google joined the Coalition for Better Ads in 2017, and began filtering ads on sites in North America and Europe in February 2018. Earlier this year, they announced that Chrome would no longer show "disruptive ads" globally starting July 9th. The notice says:
Global Better Ads Standards. Google Chrome will support the Better Ads Standards globally from July 9th. Ads may be filtered on Chrome browsers if you don't comply with the standard.
The idea is that annoying ads can cause a poor user experience and drive people to install ad blockers. Block the annoying ads automatically, and maybe people won't install ad blockers that block "good" ads too.

To see the AdSense notice, sign in to your AdSense account and click the bell icon at top right. The notice doesn't include details on how you can do that, but the AdSense Help Center has more information:
Although the Better Ads Standards are not currently part of the AdSense program policies, Google is a member of the global, industry-wide Coalition for Better Ads and fully supports the Better Ads Standards. We strongly encourage AdSense publishers to take a look at their Ad Experience Report and address any issues that have been identified.  

What kinds of ads are considered intrusive?

Examples of intrusive ads on the Coalition for Better Ads site

What does Google mean by intrusive or annoying ads? Examples include pop-ups, high ad density, autoplaying video ads with sound, large sticky ads, prestitial or poststitial ads with a countdown, flashing animated ads and the like. Definitely all annoying. 

The good news is that AdSense ads typically will not cause a poor ad experience. However, you need to be sure that other ads on your site don't fail the standards if a lot of your visitors use Chrome. 

Chrome users can turn off the built-in ad blocker or set it to allow ads on specific sites. When ads are blocked, they will see an "intrusive ads blocked" message on the site. But, realistically, I think it very unlikely many people would disable the ad blocker to allow "intrusive ads" to display.

Check the Ad Experience Report to see if ads on your site will be filtered


  1.  Make sure your website or blog is verified in Google Search Console
  2. Open the Ad Experience Report page in Google Search Console (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ad-experience-unverified)
  3. Select Desktop or Mobile on the left menu
  4. If you have more than one verified site, select the site you want to review
  5. A Status will show at the top of the page. 
    • Not reviewed > You can stop here (but make sure your site complies)
    • Passing >  Review the detailed information in the report
    • Failing > Review the detailed information in the report,  fix any issues, submit your site for review
    • Review pending > The review of your site is in progress
  6. Click the Site design issues tab or Creative issues tab
  7. Review the examples

What do you need to do if your site has not been reviewed?

If your site has not been reviewed, Filtering should be offGoogle recommends that you check your site yourself, and fix any issues before it's reviewed. You can get more information about potential Creative issues and Site Design issues in the Web Tools help center.

What can you do if your site has a "Failing" status?

If your site is "Failing" then you need to fix the issues and submit your site for review. Google notes that you must fix all ad experience issues on your site, not just the examples in the report.

Getting a "Failing" grade doesn't mean ads will immediately be filtered.
  • The 1st time your site's status is "Failing" within a one year period, you have 30 days to fix any issues and request a review before filtering begins
  • The 2nd time your site's status changes to "Failing" in a one year period, you have 7 days to fix any issues and request a review
  • The 3rd time your site's status changes to "Failing" in a one year period, ad filtering begins immediately and you must wait 24 hours to request a review
Take the time to fix your site completely the first time, so that it doesn't fail a second time.

Learn more

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Comments

  1. A little bit odd of a suggestion since Google's own Adsense auto-code includes large pop-over ads that cover the full screen, or smaller ads that stay locked to the bottom of the screen. I've disabled those on my own site because of how personally annoying I find them. Some of these non-compliance ad types Google is listing seem pretty similar to those.

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    Replies
    1. I have been assuming that the way AdSense implements those ad types is in compliance with the "Better Ads" guidelines, but maybe that's bad assumption? I do use anchor ads (which usually only show on mobile), and while they are sticky I don't believe those cover any content.

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