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Brand Irrelevant Ads, Ad Blocking, & Impact of Google’s New Right Hand Ads Removal Scheme

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Amy Jo Martin, American Author & CEO of Digital Royalty

Amy Jo Martin, American Author & CEO of Digital Royalty

“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand”; says Amy Jo Martin, American Author & CEO of Digital Royalty while talking about branding phenomenon in today’s scenario. Branding has always been a tricky way of highlighting your brand to potential buyer in a way that constantly provides recognition to your brand. It has to be effective, constructive and relevant to make instant connection with potential customers, but what, if branding ads are irrelevant and forceful.

Such ads destructively disrupt consumer experience, and I can say this with full authority despite being on the selling side of advertising. Forceful ads of bad advertising clutter the page and irritate users like hell. Sudden pop up of adds that are irrelevant to search results are vexatious and that’s why, Google has come with its new right-hand ads removal scheme for Search Engine Results Pages. It has gone like a shock wave to SEO communities & Paid search marketers. As per this new scheme, right-hand side ads on desktop search results have been globally removed and now, maximum number of paid ads is decreased to 7 from 11.

Adum Chugg, head Of Biddable at the7stars

Adum Chugg, head Of Biddable at the7stars

About the aftereffects of Google’s new Scheme, Adam Chugg, Head of Biddable at the7stars writes, “for advertisers who were previously averaging positions five and below (right-hand-side), a drop in CTR may be seen. As advertisers adjust to competing for fewer ad positions, an increase in CPC will be felt across the board, regardless of your position. Natural Search CTRs may also be affected, perhaps with drops in CTR for all results as they are pushed down by the additional Paid Search ads showing directly above.”

Why Google came up with Ad Blocking?

Google already thought for removal of right-hand side ads in year 2012, and in recent time; it has suffered ebbing in its revenues from desktop ads. So cynically, all this maneuver is done for increasing Google’s revenue per query because removal of side ads will increase the competition for top search positions, which will let Google see a great lift in its revenue. While on the grounds of user experience, it will provide a consistent user experience by exhibiting search results that are streamlined, and ultimately it will dim the lines between natural results and ads.should advertisers be worried

             While highlighting consequences of Ad Removal schemes, Adam Chugg adds, SEO vs. PPC keyword strategy should be revised – with higher Paid Search CPCs, perhaps the more profitable opportunity lies with increased Natural Search visibility for some queries. Media spend in Google may need to be reallocated to other, more cost effective media channels to maintain a positive ROI. Conversion Rate Optimization may need to play a significantly larger role in digital strategy. Improving conversion rates may be the key to maintaining profitable traffic levels.”

           Ad blocking report of 2015 is setting off alarm bells for advertisers as ad blocking has increased by more than 45% in last year. Different ad formats come along with ad frauds and rise of ad blocking will bring another layer of complexity that the industry will need to navigate. Industry relies on efficiency through which adverts reaching human eyeballs, and any change that hampers it, is for sure like a threat. As per IAB report, 73 % of the British public finds ads highly interruptive.Google Right Hand AdBlock

Question:

What should advertisers do to overcome threat of Ad Blocking?

Answer:

Ad Blocking should be treated as an” Opportunity”. Trends are trotting out ad blocking as a threat, but if taken as an opportunity, then it can be lucrative and revenue generating”.

Dan Slivjanovski, Head of Marketing, RhythmOneDan Slivjanovski, Head of Marketing, RhythmOne says, “Innovation often springs from adversity. It is not the first time that advertisers have had to adapt and up their game by improving the user experience and it certainly won’t be the last. The changing landscape forces advertisers to focus on making content the best it’s ever been in order to stand out and be seen, not blocked.” Slivjanovski further adds, “The rise in ad blocking will encourage even more innovation within the ad format, with the goal that consumers have no reason to switch on ad blocking.”

If thought, planned and executed well, then ads’ are raged, loved and followed, for instance; branding campaigns designed by John Lewis & Coca Cola. Theirs adverts have become an integral part of cultures that are followed by advertisers. By taking a leaf out of their advertising books, companies are trying to include quality content for making a trustable brand profile with an innovating and creative approach. 

Don’t Complain, Start Brainstorming & be Creative

Content & Data (King & Queen of Digital Branding)

For having your advertisements loved by customers, they must be directed towards trust building. Consumers prefer relevant content and inclusion of quality and creative content is must. Advertisers only need is their ads should be seen and for this, content that is well supported by data is going to be pivotal. Brands should work vigorously for creating quality content, which is creative, engaging and thought- provoking. Native advertising will get more importance and publishers will make their headway towards transparency by asking users to whitelist their sites and campaigns.

Content is getting lots of emphasis everywhere; however, if content is King in Digital Branding then Data is a queen of the same. By aptly merging both, branding will turn into a Royal Legacy- loved, and accepted by all. Programmatic advertising’s growth relies on Data; it is quite effective in overcoming ad blocking and reaching to audience. It lets ads reach to right audience in right time in the most profitable manner. Data turns assumptions into relevance, the primary factor that seek attention of users. It will be essential for advertising industry to make a balance between apt use of data and overuse of data by advertisers. Brands that will maintain impactful, creative, sustainable and productive approach in indulging of Data and its merging with Content will beat impediments of ad blocking and will come out on top. 

Propagation of ad blocking will stimulate advertisers towards a brand-safe environment, based on quality and creativity. Safe eco system will lead towards constructive innovation in data targeting techniques that will offer optimal experience to end user, and as an aftereffect, advertisers will get their fair share.

Mark Howard, chief revenue officer at Forbes Media

Mark Howard, Chief Revenue Officer at Forbes Media

In one of its campaigns, Forbes reminded its readers that content is free to read, but not to produce, which led 44 % of their readers to turn off their ad blockers when requested by publisher. Once ad blocker is turned off, readers are assured with ad light experience for 30 days.  Mark Howard, chief revenue officer at Forbes Media, say, “It’s about doing something based on what our users are looking for versus not doing anything.”

Forbes Adblock ApproachThe Forbes approach is innovative, creative and interesting in offering a different, but amiable experience to users of ad blockers. However, it also has a little bit of moral hazard of rewarding people who install ad blockers, but still it is a constructive effort, and I will again go with Mark Howard, who says, “They’ve already chosen to install the ad blockers. They have already chosen that Web experience. For us, is there an experience we can offer that they will white-list us? It’s not all or nothing.”

Gloom-2-Bloom

On the concluding note, I would like to say that advertisers should focus their efforts on more innovative, creative and appealing content strategy. Rise of ad blocking is not something to panic about because it gives industry a chance to work together by aptly paying attention to disruptions in the industry and handling everything in a constructive manner. In terms of CTR (Click through Rate), ad blocking changes are beneficial for advertisers, and simultaneously it will provide an increase to average CPCs too. Therefore, advertisers need to be optimistic, as ultimately Google relies on advertisers and if few people will invest in AdWords then such changes will turn counterintuitive for Google. Working a little harder and using bidding tools & audience lists to assist advertising will lucratively increase ROI.

Experts Excerpts:

John Wood, Beechwood

Philip Beeching and John Wood, Beechwood

Philip Beeching and John Wood, Beechwood: “This is the model for the 21st-century advertising agency. Sitting upstream of the silos, agile, flexible, one touchpoint for the client, with the ability to understand and connect with the consumer, and ideas that rise above media schedules and engage with people in a way that has true mutual benefit and value.”

Arthur Ceria, founder and chief creative officer, CreativeFeed

Arthur Ceria, founder and chief creative officer, CreativeFeed

Arthur Ceria, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, CreativeFeed: “Risk – calculated risk – is key to success online. There is no need for complicated metrics to prove this point. Logic tells us that with so much content clamouring for attention, offering something new, authentic and genuinely interesting is the only way to get people to pay attention.”

Sergey Brin, Co-Founder, GoogleSergey Brin, Co-Founder, Google: “Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine.”

Engineer by Education, Marketing Influencer by Profession, and Creative Writer by Passion- Shivendra is involved in Branding, Advertising & Consulting in the domain of Digital Marketing over the years. His prior Digital Media experiences gave him an understanding of how E-businesses function- what works and what doesn't. He relies upon those learnings and uses the creative DNA for composing blogs that have the applied zeal to engage, entertain and inspire the readers- to Connect- Convince- Convert their target audiences via different digital media channels.
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