Apple, Google, AdBlock … bad weather for mobile advertising?

by bold-lichterman

As the shockwave of ad blocks continues to affect the online advertising market, Apple, Google and AdBlock Plus are stepping up initiatives against online advertising. This concerns the mobile web and applications. The latter are also one of the pillars of the business models of Google and Apple which, with their iOS and Android mobile operating systems, equip almost all smartphones in the world.

Google tackles cumbersome “app-instal” interstitials

Credit: Google.
Credit: Google.

The Mountain View firm has ad that it wants to limit excessively bulky advertisements that entice Internet users to download a mobile application when browsing a mobile website. “Sometimes a user can click on a search result from a mobile device and sees an interstitial (advertising), which hides a significant amount of content, and prompts the user to install an app. Our analysis shows that this does not correspond to a good search experience and that it can be frustrating for users as they wait to see the content of the web page», Explains Google.

The stakes are high for website publishers. In April, Google carried out its “Mobilegeddon”, an evolution of its algorithm which promotes the referencing of sites “mobile-friendly»After a search on mobile and tablet. However, the engine now specifies that after November 1, mobile websites that continue to display interstitials “app-install“Too large sizes will no longer be considered”mobile-friendly“. And therefore less well referenced.

While waiting for the fateful date, Google has updated its “Mobile-Friendly Test”, Which offers publishers to know if their website is affected. But it is clear that Google’s decision is already causing criticism.

Apple makes it harder for advertisers with iOS 9

For example, Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, the site for recommending good addresses, denounces a “conflict of interest”. In a Tribune, he estimates that “The more applications a user downloads, the less likely that user is to search the web with Google (…)”, That is to say where the Californian giant displays its own advertisements.

Google is therefore not in an anti-advertising crusade – its turnover last year having been achieved 90% by advertising – and adopts a stepped strategy, whose argument is the improvement of the user experience. This is how ads on YouTube (one of its subsidiaries) and Spotify have been displayed from the Chrome browser (published by Google), since a recent update, even for users who have installed ad software. block.

For its part, Apple recently introduced in iOS 9, its operating system for iPhone and iPad, a device, “App Transport Security” (ATS), which requires developers to use more secure protocols (HTTPS, rather than HTTP). Thus, some mobile advertisements could be blocked, and therefore not displayed, if they do not comply with these new security standards. The following message would be displayed instead: “Application Transport Security has blocked a cleartext HTTP (http: //) resource load since it is insecure», As revealed discussions on the forum dedicated to developers ofApple.

AdBlock Plus arrives on mobile

Enough to force mobile advertising platforms to adapt… or bypass the system. Google has indeed published on his blog dedicated to advertising developers a tutorial to bypass the device and “ensure that ads continue to be delivered on iOS 9“. But the Mountain View firm specifies that this is only a short-term solution.

Another bad news for the industry, Eyeo, the German publisher of Adblock Plus, the main online ad blocking software, has launched “Adblock Browser”, the mobile version of its solution.

Available on iOS and Android, Eyeo’s application could therefore attract a growing number of mobile users. Worse, Apple would prepare an ad block itself for future updates to its mobile operating system. This would always complicate the task a little more for publishers and advertisers, in a mobile advertising market estimated at 100 billion dollars by 2016, according to an eMarketer study.

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