Irritating pop-up ads to be removed by Google

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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MARCH  14, 2014: Google Corporation Recept

When browsing the web, users can discover new items, easily find and buy the things they want, or simply lose themselves in interesting stories from anywhere in the world. However, the rise of annoying pop-up ads that demand people download certain apps is becoming a problem.

Google was not entirely sure how much of a nuisance these ads were, so they carried out some research. The results of a recent internal survey showed that seven out of ten users were put off by the pop-up ads enough to stop their intended use of the web page altogether.

Jennifer Gove, who works in ads research at Google, said: “This [ad] has been described as the ‘door slam’ … It annoyed all but the most loyal and familiar customers.”

As a result, Google has decided to dispense with this type of ad format and has subsequently turned its attention to other web advertisers, calling on them to follow suit.

The research did have some potential flaws, however. It was carried out using the Google+ app, which was a relative failure as a social network site. The data was unlikely to be particularly high in number, and its reliability could be questioned.

Nevertheless, around 9 per cent of users clicked on the link once it appeared. This figure includes both those who didn’t ultimately download the app as well as those who did. The full-page ad was also compared with a subtler banner ad, with the latter achieving a 17 per cent success rate in generating app traffic.

However, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman is among those who queried the research, saying Google was easing out other ads to further sustain its own search monopoly. This criticism went further, with the business review website and Google rival teaming up with Columbia law professor Tim Wu to write a paper accusing Google of anti-competitive practices.

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