Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Google Advertising Businesses

Google Wants Online Ad Improvement Within Months, Not Years (wsj.com) 227

An anonymous reader writes: Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's WSJD Live Conference, Google's senior vice president of adverts and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy has said (paywalled) that advertisers need to address the shortcomings of online ads within 'months'. "This is essential to our survival" said Ramaswamy. "We're talking about getting this in a time frame of months rather than years. We need to get going on this." Ramaswamy was referring to recent commitment from the advertising industry to halt the rise of adblocking services by addressing common reader annoyances such as autoplay video, overly complex and slow-loading content, and excessive tracking.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Wants Online Ad Improvement Within Months, Not Years

Comments Filter:
  • well then (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @06:58PM (#50777813) Homepage Journal

    Well then the first thing Google should do is go back to text ads that didn't drag our poor browsers all over the damned web. You know, the actual reasonable ads that they put out once upon a time. That would be great.

    • Re: well then (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AvitarX ( 172628 )

      This exactly, though I don't mind images, and even a few frames of movement.

      But Google upended advertising by doing less annoying ads than the competition, but targeting them well.

      They remain relatively less annoying advertisers I think, but they should definitely lead by example.

      Of course this benefits them, they're powerful data collection means they can do beat with the simple ads, simpler advertising will give them more market share.

      • i've noticed that it's not just ads that do that in the US. i hate it when i middle click links (to US news sites) in slashdot summaries and then have to quickly go through all the new tabs to see which ones have the annoying women talking about something i've no interest in. it's always a stupid video in a sidebar (completely unrelated to the article). wtf america?

        • Firefox 42 and later show an indicator [mozilla.org] for HTML5 audio and video, as does Chrome. If you cannot wait for 42 to leave beta, install Noise Control for Firefox [mozilla.org]. Set Flash to "click to play".

          • What'd be even better than this is some kind of indicator (maybe after opening a new tab or pop-out or something) in Firefox which shows how much CPU and RAM each tab is using up. I'm constantly running into a problem where one of my tabs gobbles up all my CPU time, and I have to forcibly kill Firefox and restart it.

        • I hate this about CNN, I have a ton of things to try and stop their autoplaying videos on 90% of the articles (even ones that indicate they have no video). I like to middle click on the interesting articles, then go through and read them, but CNN makes me not want to use their site at all as all the videos load and start playing.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        But Google upended advertising by doing less annoying ads than the competition, but targeting them well.

        They remain relatively less annoying advertisers I think, but they should definitely lead by example.

        Considering Google owns all the other advertisers for the most part, I don't think that's true anymore. They could easily "lead by example" since they do own a good chunk of the companies that pioneered popups, popunders, "rich ads" and other things.

        In fact, it seems the amount of people using Google Ads h

    • NO ads are reasonable. The purpose of an ad is to steal a small part of a person's attention while they are doing something else. It is evil, pure and simple.

      (and BTW, humans have lived on earth for thousands of years, and 99% of that time ads didn't exist.)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by gweihir ( 88907 )

        Not quite. There was for example mandatory ad consumption of the worst kind every Sunday in Christianity. And even worse in other religions. At least the cretins today only want to sell you something and are fairly easy to ignore. But this type of plague has been with the human race for a long, long time.

    • They should also go back to displaying ads relevant to the content of the page that I'm looking at, not relevant to some crappy model of what I might be interested in in general. I actually clicked on a few ads back when they did this, because I was interested in the thing that they were advertising at exactly the time that they showed me the ad. It's been years since I've seen a Google ad that's been remotely interesting to me.

      It amazes me that Google managed to disrupt the ad industry by adding non-int

      • by Ashtead ( 654610 )

        This.

        There is nothing as wasted as an ad for something that I just bought... yet that has happened several times: I have just bought something on ebay (or wherever) and sure enough, here comes an advertisement for the same exact thing. That model is simply broken.

        • by jafiwam ( 310805 )

          This.

          There is nothing as wasted as an ad for something that I just bought... yet that has happened several times: I have just bought something on ebay (or wherever) and sure enough, here comes an advertisement for the same exact thing. That model is simply broken.

          They aren't distinguishing between "viewed page about" and "bought."

          I get ads on Facebook (some of the only few ads I see) from Amazon for things I have been looking at on Amazon. Sometimes they actually show the thing I was looking for but couldn't find at first try. Sometimes it's just stuff off my "Wish List."

          So it isn't a foolish waste. Plus, when you just bought the thing, your mind is probably picking it off the page more consistently. The other stuff you looked at but didn't buy is probably t

  • And then ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @07:00PM (#50777831)

    "This is essential to our survival" said Ramaswamy. "We're talking about getting this in a time frame of months rather than years. We need to get going on this."

    And when advertisers do nothing, then what? A sternly worded blog entry?

    Advertisers don't give a shit. That's why there's a problem in the first place

    • Re:And then ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lord Bitman ( 95493 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @09:20PM (#50777883) Homepage

      The question is: Does Google have enough money / clout to piss off its main source of revenue? Are advertisers still its main source of revenue?

      When advertisers do nothing, Google could (theoretically) say "follow our new standards or you are banned from our ad network". I mean, that's the obvious thing they "could" do. Whether or not they have the ability to get away with that, that's another thing.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        The question is: Does Google have enough money / clout to piss off its main source of revenue? Are advertisers still its main source of revenue?

        When advertisers do nothing, Google could (theoretically) say "follow our new standards or you are banned from our ad network". I mean, that's the obvious thing they "could" do. Whether or not they have the ability to get away with that, that's another thing.

        The thing is, it isn't the customers driving the bad habits in advertising. Those who buy advertising want it to be effective, but aren't really too well clued in as to how this happens. Of course the best advertising campaigns are the ones that are inoffensive but to be inoffensive and effective is hard to do so most advertisers deliberately be offensive in order to be noticed. Google needs to target the advertising providers, not the advertising buyers. Very few companies will say "give me an annoying ban

        • The thing is, it isn't the customers driving the bad habits in advertising. Those who buy advertising want it to be effective, but aren't really too well clued in as to how this happens.

          This is due, at least in part, to the opaque systems operated by big advertising platforms like Google and Facebook.

          I run some small businesses. We don't have huge ad budgets, so we've experimented with a lot of different platforms to see what works well. What follows is some of our experience, but of course it's anecdotal and you should imagine a huge "your results may vary" wrapped around this whole post.

          In many cases, we start with a very low budget (maybe $100 for an on-line ad network) just to test the

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Google has already started enforcing better advertising. Beta versions of Chrome now don't play flash ads by default, for example.

        It's in Google's interests to enforce reasonable standards for ads. The more people who block ads the less money they get, so making ads acceptable is a profitable goal for them. They have enough clout to force advertisers to comply too, because those that don't will find themselves kicked off Google networks and demoted in search results.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        Yes / yes
        If you don't comply with their terms and conditions, you will be banned from their ad network, at least until you fix your site. And they tend to be more and more demanding, enough to drive off a few website owners.
        And if Google thinks your site is abusive in some way, it will be considered "low quality" and your search engine ranking will suffer, among with other penalties.

    • You say "duh" and be glad you continued ad blocking? Why would anyone trust an advertiser?

    • 55% of ad revenue is brokered by Google, Facebook and Twitter account for another 30%. That's 85% of all online ads between those three companies. Whichever standards these companies select to make ads less annoying, advertisers will have to deal with it.

  • easy fixes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by laurencetux ( 841046 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @09:24PM (#50777897)

    1 have ads limited to less than 25% of the page

    2 stop cutting articles into index card sized chunks to increase ad slots

    3 NO AUTOPLAYING VIDEOS (unless the page is for a single video)

    4 no more than 3 videos per page

    5 no POP under over in down up (or any of the 8 possible directions)

    6 absolutely no mimicking SYSTEM level elements or hiding existing ones (gimme a proper close button that does so)

    7 No Audio or Animations

    • My one simple rule for ads:

      0. Don't do anything that a dead-tree magazine can't do.

      For me that about covers it since mimicking Windows system elements on my Linux box just makes the advertiser look incompetent.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Seriously? The number one most important issue in advertising is truth or more accurately the lack there of. So truth and nothing but the truth in advertising and all paid advertisements should be subject to legal challenge (based upon the number of citizen complaints) and substantiation, should the claims prove false, than those who provided the ad to the consumer should be prosecuted.

      Next up liability for false advertisements should cover all those who profited by it, including the product or service s

      • Ads are always a lie, even if they say "truth, only truth and nothing but". Ads are designed to present a lopsided picture of the market in favour of the ad sponsor. I would love to see the entire ad industry banned as they do nothing constructive for the economy, as their purpose is to mislead.
        • Ads are always a lie

          Perhaps it is different in the US, but in the UK it is illegal for an advert to give false information, and it is quite common for advertisers to be taken to court over it. Court cases are usually by individuals though, so there is not much clout. Perhaps because of this legal threat, mainstream adverts tend, rather than lie, to give no information at all. An advert for beer, say, will show some brainless idiot falling off a ladder and landing on a mattress that someone happens to be carrying past at that

      • All advertisements targeted at minors should be straight up banned, there is no space in any caring modern thoughtful society for adults who would economically target children's pocket money in order to live to extreme excess.

        If taken literally, this would prohibit retail and food service establishments from posting help wanted ads advertising the intent to hire teens for summer jobs. How else should teens find companies willing to hire them in order to have work experience before graduating from high school?

    • 5 no POP under over in down up (or any of the 8 possible directions)

      However, Pop-Tarts [wikipedia.org] ads still okay.

    • Introduce yourself to customers as you would like them to introduce themselves to you.

      • "Hello, I'm a customer with more money then brains."

        I guess that explains a lot of advertising.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      You forgot

      8 No tracking. No cookies. No logging IP addresses. No canvas fingerprinting

      9 No Javascript

      10 No delay displaying the page or causing it to reflow

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, that comes pretty close to describing my blocking habits. And I even go so far as to block in firewall rules if other things do not work.

  • by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @09:25PM (#50777901)

    Not Excessive Tracking -- any tracking. They can put whatever they want in a static, hosted by the first-party domain, text or image ad, with no javascript, and I'll happily allow it past my blockers. Hell they probably wouldn't be able to catch it anyway.

    Just treat it like taking out an ad in Time Magazine or the New York Times, and there won't be any serious number of people blocking you.

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @09:31PM (#50777933) Homepage
    The problem is that nobody is selling their own ads. It's that simple. It's these stupid shitty ad networks (Google, included) that are the problem. And I'm always going to block them. If web sites want to sell their OWN advertising and host it from their OWN web sites, then I'd have absolutely no problem. But, what web site wants to employ salespeople and (ad) designers when you can just copy and paste a line of code into a web site? Well, I think the ones that continue to do that into the future are the ones that aren't going to make money. Whether they stick around or not is up to them. I wouldn't mind having a pre-AOL web back, personally. But sites that rely on ad networks for revenue are going to start drying up as more and more people block these stupid fucking ad networks. Web sites that produce valuable content are going to (have to) employ people to sell advertisements and put those ads into their own content, just like the big boys of the much-scorned "old media" do (ie: Newspapers, TV, Radio).
    • Exactly, but that requires "premium" (somewhat valuable), "original" (somewhat creative) content, which doesn't fit into the "monetize web properties" model of the industry.
  • As I'm watching Shield right now and the only commercials that won't play worth a crap are Google's.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @09:44PM (#50777971)

    Until such time as Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft and the other online ad networks can gaurantee that their ads are free of malware and nasties, I will keep blocking.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      By that logic you should block every web site, because none of them can guarantee that they won't be hacked and start serving malware. Some ad networks are particularly lax in their security practices, but if you don't trust Google's ad servers not to deliver malware then presumably you don't trust google.com not to either.

      Note that Google doesn't let you upload your own ads. You can supply your own plain text or use their online ad builder to do simple graphics, but that's it. You can't insert your own arb

  • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @09:45PM (#50777973) Homepage Journal

    When it comes to the Internet, the biggest problem they're going to encounter is that there is nothing in this world that advertising improves .

    I've sat and tried to think of anything that advertising actually improves (in my mind at least). About the closest I can seem to get is movie trailers before a movie. And that's it. And I don't see how that would apply to websites.

    There is no advertising anywhere that improves the web experience, thus users will always have an incentive to block it. It uses end-user and ISP bandwidth, so it actually costs the consumer (and everything in-between) for its delivery.

    Anything that costs me money which detracts from the overall experience, even by a tiny bit, is going to get blocked when there is an easy technological means to do so. There is absolutely no way Google or anyone else can change that -- being less annoying is still infinitely worse than not being present in the first place.

    Yaz

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @02:15AM (#50779071)

      Something that's made better by ads? ... The Superbowl.

      • Something that's made better by ads? ... The Superbowl.

        We don't get the American Superbowl ads here in Canada, so I really wouldn't know.

        Besides which, if the Superbowl isn't good enough without the ads, why watch in the first place?

        Yaz

        • After talking to many Americans about the fascination of the Superbowl that I could not understand.. apparently the ads are the main point for several people and the actual Superbowl being the skip over content..

    • The thing is, I used to find advertising a good thing back in the days before internet was what it is today.

      A lot things like computer/electronics magazines had a lot of ads about products that I would never have found out about without them. The editorial staff could not go through that many different things and write articles about them all.

      And now that I think about it, the same was true for many other things too like newspapers.

      But now in the world of search engines, news aggregators and so on the need

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      I've sat and tried to think of anything that advertising actually improves (in my mind at least). About the closest I can seem to get is movie trailers before a movie

      Well, you've touched on it right there. Some ads are actually for things I'd like to know about. This is particularly true if its a movie, new Netflix show, or cool new item on a specialty shop I visit like ThinkGeek.

      Also, they pay for the content on the website I'm visiting. If I like the site enough, and the ads aren't annoying and/or resource hogs, I don't mind them at all. They are a good thing.

      For instance, I have had enough karma for years to turn off the adds on /. I don't do it because I want to

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Believe it or not, there was once a time when the internet had no ads, and no ubiquitous surveillance.. Yes, less "content", but the signal to noise ratio was about a million times higher then, than today. And virtually all of that "content" is social media crap and mass-market pulp anyway.

    Advertisers took the place over, and now it's filled with suck. Monitization, ubiquitous tracking -> more monitization, fake reviews -> yet more monitization, and "seach engine optimization" -> even more mon

    • by chipschap ( 1444407 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @10:24PM (#50778153)

      "We had an ad-free internet once. We can have one again."

      I wish that were true. Maybe it's possible.

      I run a site for checker enthusiasts ... I've run it almost 11 years with weekly updates and no ads, not ever, not even one. I run it because I want to, and there are plenty of other people doing similar things. Do I feel the need to monetize it? It costs me $10 a month for hosting, and how much revenue could I realistically get? It's not worth ruining it for my readers, even if I could make a little money. The fun would be gone for me and for them.

      That's what most of the internet used to be. There's still some of it left, but the percentage isn't high.

      • The problem is that so many people have different attitudes than you do. If they're on a computer then they feel that they are entitled to be paid for it. It's what we learned from the shareware model; only a nerd uses a computer because they like computers because the cool kids demand payment.

      • We could create something similar(ish) to the socalled dark net: a clean net, where everything is guaranteed to be free from adverts, I suppose. There are already many sites that qualify - what is needed is a sort of google, that only finds clean sites.

      • That's what most of the internet used to be. There's still some of it left, but the percentage isn't high.

        Fortunately, we don't need a high signal to noise ratio, we just need a useful absolute level of signal. :-)

        I too have run various sites over the years just for some combination of personal satisfaction and maybe helping or entertaining others with common interests. It's kind of a shame that ISPs don't seem to routinely supply your own web space as part of the deal any more, so you have to go looking for some separate hosting. That means a lot of stuff gets dumped on sites like Facebook or Medium or Pintere

    • I'd just be happy with BuzzFeed going out of business.

    • Believe it or not, there was once a time when the internet had no ads...

      When was this? When I first started getting on the net search engines were used to pick the information you need out of a sea of porn. The only ad-free time I had on-line was on independently run BBS's.

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      Believe it or not, there was once a time when the internet had no ads, and no ubiquitous surveillance

      No, not really. There were ads being posted on Usenet before there even was a WWW. And the fact is that you cannot have the web we have today without it. None of the websites I regularly visit (/. included) could exist without the full-time employees updating them and generating content. The only ways to do that are with paywalls or ads. You flat out cannot do paywalls; they break the entire linking/sharing paradigm the WWW is built on. That leaves ads.

      What you are probably remembering is not an "ad-free"

  • Online ads? They have online ads? Seriously? Where?

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      Online ads? They have online ads? Seriously? Where?

      I think they're on Android. I don't see them anywhere else.

  • by PeterM from Berkeley ( 15510 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .lhadramretep.> on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @10:04PM (#50778073) Journal

    I never bothered with an ad blocker until the risk of getting malware delivered to me instead of an ad was made clear to me.

    I can put up with annoying: I can filter ads very well mentally. I just look around them automatically.

    But having malware delivered to my browser to exploit some security hole I never heard of? Intolerable!

    No ads for me until the ad networks take responsibility for preventing malware and for the cost of cleanup if they deliver malware.

    --PeterM

  • Popups (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jason777 ( 557591 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @10:09PM (#50778089)
    What grinds my gears, are these fucking pop up ads that appear on every fucking news article I click. Who is the retard that thinks that shoving a huge fucking modal html window over top the fucking article im currently trying to read is going to make me stop reading and focus on their shitty ad? Stop this fucking bull shit right fucking now. Put it at the top or on the side, and I'll probably see it eventually. But pop this in my face, and piss me off and theres no way I'm even considering buying your product, even if I'd actually want it.
  • Too late (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2015 @11:21PM (#50778377)

    >"halt the rise of adblocking services by addressing common reader annoyances such as autoplay video, overly complex and slow-loading content, and excessive tracking."

    Too late now, the damage is already done. Besides, more and more web sites are now just as annoying as the ads were with stupid an pointless moving/animated/scrolling content, overuse of numerous overlapping huge backgrounds and usually with transparency, pop-up everything, mouse-overs hidden over the whole page blocking the view of what you want to see, slide-ins, slide-outs, fadein/out on every object, etc, etc. I swear- in just one year the majority of sites are just FLOCKING to this stuff and even my fast machines are coming to a crawl loading and displaying these sites. It is a shame. I try to go places to research or buy things and find nothing but endlessly long pages full of nothing but marketing fluff and eye candy. There is barely any content anymore... the idea of adding ads back into that mix would be enough to push anyone over the edge.

    • by jafiwam ( 310805 )

      >"halt the rise of adblocking services by addressing common reader annoyances such as autoplay video, overly complex and slow-loading content, and excessive tracking."

      Too late now, the damage is already done. Besides, more and more web sites are now just as annoying as the ads were with stupid an pointless moving/animated/scrolling content, overuse of numerous overlapping huge backgrounds and usually with transparency, pop-up everything, mouse-overs hidden over the whole page blocking the view of what you want to see, slide-ins, slide-outs, fadein/out on every object, etc, etc. I swear- in just one year the majority of sites are just FLOCKING to this stuff and even my fast machines are coming to a crawl loading and displaying these sites. It is a shame. I try to go places to research or buy things and find nothing but endlessly long pages full of nothing but marketing fluff and eye candy. There is barely any content anymore... the idea of adding ads back into that mix would be enough to push anyone over the edge.

      That's called "responsive design."

      There is one guy that made a framework of CSS boxes and a method for adjusting content based on screen.

      Every single young trollip in the "design" industry is using it, and every "graphic designer" loves to make those big gaudy productions of the one big graphic to go in them.

      The older method of artfully crafting DIVs to shape the page in the way you want it to look is gone. While it's not very good for smaller tablet screens, it was far less obnoxious and repetitive for

      • It needs to stop. I can't even load some webpages on my iPad (the first gen Mini with Retina display) because the websites are so slow they are unusable. There are websites that I just completely ignore because all their interactive content bogs my device down to the point where I just close the page out of sheer frustration. They're really shooting themselves in the foot.
      • Responsive design is a fairly general design philosophy not a display stack. If you resize the Slashdot classic window the columns still respond to your browser width which is an implementation of responsive design. It's been around for a long time and it used to be done with div tags for years before some CSS libraries made it easier to do more advanced things like hide or swap page elements at different widths, etc.. Twitter Bootstrap is the most commonly used front-end method anyway (or was not long ago
  • Google is one of the worst offenders, as they purport to be "non-intrusive", yet happily accept ads from "companies" that deceive people into believing that they are offering genuine support for any number of companies. Search for Dell Support, HP Support, Gateway Support, etc. (which the elderly and less savvy tend to do) and you will be given a link called "Dell Support" or similar which has a toll free number posted next to it.

    Typical "support" scam follows, including false claims of infection, need for

  • If they weren't such a security risk and such an annoyance I wouldn't have blocked them years ago, including blackholing all ad hosts via the hosts file.
    So some sites won't play? Fuck you, I don't need you, I can get my information from other sites.

  • by whistlingtony ( 691548 ) on Thursday October 22, 2015 @09:34AM (#50780435)
    I hate watching youtube and seeing the Same. Damn. Ad. Over. And. Over. After the fifth viewing, even the cutest ad is !@#$ing annoying.
  • to halt the rise of adblocking services by addressing common reader annoyances such as excessive tracking.

    Contrary to what the advertising industry is trying to imply with weasel words here, there is no such thing as "reasonable" tracking.

    All tracking is excessive.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

Working...