Google testing the most annoying ads in the world: report

For Google and other internet companies, there’s a fine line between making money by putting ads on screens, and driving web users away with ads that drive us insane.

There is probably no type of online advertisement that makes us quite as insane as the auto-play video ad — the noisy box of moving pictures that pops up unasked for and blares at us, often with no way to close it other than exiting the website.

This type of ad was singled out by Google in June as particularly noxious and deserving of extinction.

“It’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web — like the kind that blare music unexpectedly,” Google’s senior VP of ads and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy wrote in a June blog post.

Ramaswamy said Google was working with the Coalition for Better Ads and that the firm planned to have its Chrome browser stop showing ads that don’t meet the standards of the coalition, which has condemned the auto-play video ads.

“These experiences are especially disruptive to users, as they catch the readers off guard, and often compel them to quickly close the window or tab in order to stop the sound,” according to the coalition.

But Ramaswamy’s comments came in June. It’s July now. And things have changed, apparently.

“Google has begun testing putting one of the most divisive features of the modern web experience, the auto-playing video, directly into search results,” The Guardian reported July 26.

“The videos automatically play for desktop users only, and are shown but require a tap to play for mobile users.”

Why, Google, why?

“We are constantly experimenting with ways to improve the search experience for our users,” the company told the paper.


Photo: A Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou, File)



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  • RegularGuy55

    Sometimes Google crosses that line – the line between observing and recording behavior and trying to modifying behavior.

    I’ll just close the Web page. Causing people to close your Web page seems . . . counterproductive . . . when you want to entice them to buy from that page.

  • lucenatraveler

    I’ll definitely just shut down the page whenever an auto-play video starts

  • Way2MuchGov

    Garbage like this is why I’ve installed adblockers. I don’t mind seeing some ads, but when there are more ads than content on a screen, or when they autoplay, I’m done. Advertisers and webpage designers created the market for adblockers themselves.

  • AfroCOONApe

    The problem is adblockers don’t block these stupid HTML auto play, shifting videos.

  • Ethan Wayne

    CLOSE THE PAGE. I hate Google more every day!

  • nifty

    There are several news and financial market sites that have started to use this…no way to close it and you have to be quick to mute your pc lest your colleague one cube over gets annoyed. What I find really annoying is when around Xmas time I start shopping for stuff for the family and then those ads start appearing all over the household mobiles and pc’s since they have now linked all the devices I use at work and home to me… resulting in everyone in my household knowing what I was buying them it was truly dissapointing. My wife saying…I bet that is the vitamix…I saw the ad pop up- great.