New Google Chrome ad blocker: should you be worried?

Ksenia Borisova

The short answer is "no". Your GetSiteControl popups will not be affected by the new Chrome ad blocking update. We have received several questions from our customers who are worried about this new feature affecting GetSiteControl widgets on their websites, so we decided to investigate this question further and write this post to answer any concerns you might have.

What is this ad-blocking update?

Last year Google announced an update to their Chrome browser that was designed to "improve advertising on the web" and on February 15 the update was released as promised. Now Chrome blocks ads considered "frustrating or intrusive". Some examples of such ads are full-page ad interstitials, ads that unexpectedly play sound, and flashing ads. To come up with the types of ads that are considered the most annoying by users, Google conducted a big research aimed to identify the most intrusive ad experiences. Based on the results of this survey, Better Ads Standards were devised. If you want to learn more about the types of ads that are now blocked by Chrome, check the Coalition for Better Ads website.

Do we need to worry?

Only if there are intrusive ads on your website. If you want to know for sure, you can see detailed results, such as the specific violations of the Better Ads Standards if they were found, via the Ad Experience Report in Google’s Search Console.

However, your GetSiteControl widgets will not be affected by this update and will not be blocked by Chrome. This new update is only about ads, and GetSiteControl widgets are not ads. To quote Google, "an “ad” is promotional content displayed on the web as the result of a commercial transaction with a third party." This means advertising only, things like ads served by AdSense and DoubleClick, not email lead forms, discount popups, surveys, etc.


Google is an ad company too. Why do they want to block ads?

This new Chrome ad-blocker is not exactly a blocker, it's more of a filter. It doesn't block all ads on a website, it only blocks the intrusive ones leaving the rest of the ads intact. This is not how classic ad-blocking tools work. Ad-blocking tools that are becoming more and more popular block absolutely all ads on a page which, according to Chrome's VP, "reduces the ability for publishers to continue creating free content and threatens the sustainability of the web ecosystem". So it seems with this new update, Google hopes to make fewer people want to use ad-blocking plugins because there will be no overwhelmingly frustrating or intrusive ads, hence no need to install ad-blockers. In short, they want to block "bad" ads to be able to show more "good" ads.

How to make better popups: 6 easy techniques

While this update does not affect GetSiteControl from the technical point of view, we can still learn something from the results of the research conducted by Google. One important conclusion is that people often find "in your face" popups that appear at once annoying which is not unexpected.

Fortunately, GetSiteControl is jam-packed with features allowing you to make your website widgets less intrusive and create a better user experience for your website visitors. Here are some tips on how to create better website popups.

1. Delayed popups

Let your visitors spend some time on your website before showing your offer or asking them to subscribe. Give them time to understand what it is your website is about and then show your promotion.

Create delayed (timed) popup promotions

How to create a timed (delayed) popup

2. Scroll-triggered popups

Popup widgets triggered by a certain percentage of page scrolled is another great way to ensure people get enough time to get to know your website before seeing a promotion.

How to create a scroll triggered popup

3. Exit-intent popups

This is a very popular type of website promotions because it doesn't interfere with the user's browsing experience at all. An exit-intent popup is triggered when the visitor is just about to leave the website. This is your chance to persuade them to stay by offering them a discount or another special offer. This is also a good time to ask for their email address to make sure you can follow up later and keep them in the loop.

Exit-intent website pop-ups

How to create an exit Promo popup
How to create an exit-intent opt-in form
How to create an exit survey

4. Targeted promotions

There are certain types of promotions you don't need to bombard all of your website visitors with because only a certain group of people will be interested. Using our advanced targeting settings you can make sure each widget is shown only to the group you specify and not to every single person opening your website. You can choose to show a widget to visitors from a specific country or to those speaking a certain language. You can also choose to include or exclude returning visitors or those using a certain device, browser or OS. Another great way to create personalized promotions is to target widgets to visitors coming from a particular source.

Create targeted promotions for your website

5. Choose specific pages for your promotions

More often than not there is no need to show a promotion site-wide, you only need it on certain pages. Use the 'URL targeting' options to choose specific pages your promotions will be shown on. This way you can display promotions relevant to what the visitor is looking at this very moment.

Choose which pages of your website promotions are shown on

How to set up URL targeting (page targeting)

6. Scheduled promotions

If you are doing a short-term promotion, set start and end dates to make sure the popup is displayed only when is necessary and doesn't bother your visitors when it's no longer relevant. You can even select to show your GetSiteControl popups on certain days of the week!

Set up scheduled promotions on your website

How to set up start and end dates for a widget

Slowly but steadily the Internet seems to be moving towards more mindful and polite user engagement tactics. Of course, it's up to you to decide how aggressive or how polite you want your marketing interactions with customers to be. Either way, we want you to have all the information you need to make that decision and make sure you are equipped with all the tools you need to create just the right promotions for your website. If you have questions on any of these techniques, don't hesitate to contact us at support@getsitecontrol.com.