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Chrome 71 Targets Abusive Experiences – Publishers Given December Deadline

Google’s Chrome blog has set a December 2018 deadline for publishers to take down abusive experiences.

Google encourages publishers to use it’s Abusive Experiences Report tool to identify abusive experiences and take them down. Failure to do so will result in Chrome blocking all ads on those pages.

What Is an Abusive Experience Ad?

Google defines abusive experience advertising as advertising that tricks users into taking an action that the user did not intend. For example, tricking them to click a button that results in a download.

Last year’s Chrome update protected users from popups and redirects. However this new crackdown will affect additional tricks sometimes used by scammers.

Screenshot of an example of an abusive advertisement. Shows a mobile phone advertisement initiating a download and installation of an unwanted app.

According to Google:

“These ads trick users into clicking on them by pretending to be system warnings or ‘close’ buttons that do not actually close the ad. Further, some of these abusive ad experiences are used by scammers and phishing schemes to steal personal information.”

Will Sites Lose Rankings?

Google’s announcement said nothing about rankings. The announcement said that Chrome 71 will block all ads on sites with abusive experiences.

The announcement makes no mention of punitive actions beyond blocking ads, which should considerably impact earnings of sites employing deceptive practices.

It’s possible there could be algorithmic penalties applied after December. But that supposes that Google hasn’t already applied penalties. It’s very unclear at this moment.

How Many Sites are Affected?

Google’s announcement made a reference to a small number of sites that continue to provide abusive experiences. But that word, small, is relative considering the enormity of the Internet.

Here’s what Google said:

“Starting in December 2018, Chrome 71 will remove all ads on the small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences.”

Will Chrome 71 Affect You?

This update coming to Chrome 71 may not affect your site. But it’s likely a prudent idea to check your site in the Abusive Experiences Tool to check if anything is flagged by Google as abusive.

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