Desktop ad experiences

The definitions below describe desktop ad experiences that research shows are likely to annoy your visitors. They should be avoided in order to retain your audience and reduce the likelihood that they'll install ad blockers.

We review all content on your site, regardless of whether or not it’s served from your domain. For example, content loaded into an iframe or video player on your site is considered to be part of your site.

When we review ad experiences, we make a determination based on an interpretation of the Better Ads Standards.

Pop-up Ad

Pop-up ads are a type of interstitial ads that do exactly what they say—pop up and block the main content of the page. They appear after content on the page begins to load. 

Pop-up ads come in many varieties—they can take up part of the screen, or the entire screen.

Included in our interpretation

  • Ads that appear only when a video is paused.


  • For interactive content (videos or games): Pop-ups that are in the lower half of the player and take up a quarter or less of the player’s vertical height are not considered to be part of this ad experience.
  • Coalition for Better Ads pop-up advisory, September 15, 2017:

    Interpretation of the Initial Better Ads Standards - Advisory

    September 15, 2017

    As the recently-released initial Better Ads Standards are reviewed and implemented in the
    marketplace, matters of interpretation of the Standards may arise. Until such time as the
    Coalition finalizes an overall framework for interpretation of the Standards generally, or for
    resolution of contested interpretations of a particular Standard, the Coalition may determine that
    certain types of ad experiences are sufficiently unclear as to the tested ad experience to which
    they are associated and therefore are considered in contention.

    In connection with the initial Better Ads Standard for Pop-up Ads (desktop or mobile web), two
    types of ad experiences have been brought to the Coalition’s attention:

    (1) Ads appearing in images or interactive content (videos or games) and that take up 30% or
    less of the image or interactive content; and

    (2) Exit pop up ads that occur after a user has ceased active engagement with content, and
    which occur (a) when the user starts to leave the page (without interfering with the user’s
    departure); (b) if the user has been inactive or idle for more than 30 seconds on a page
    that does not contain video content; (c) once the user has reached the end of the first
    article on a page; or (d) if a user purposely navigates to another tab and then returns to the
    open page.

    The Coalition determines that these two types of ad experiences are in contention, and are
    therefore not presently included under the Better Ads Standard for Pop-up Ads (desktop or
    mobile web). It is anticipated that these ad experiences will be submitted for evaluation.

    View source (PDF)

    A clarification on the Coalition for Better Ads' pop-up ads advisory: as noted  above in (2), within the context of the Advisory, pop-up ads are allowed only if user engagement with the page has stopped for 30 seconds or more. If a user is still engaged with the page and a pop-up ad occurs, it's considered a violation of the Better Ads Standards.
Autoplaying Video Ad with Sound

Auto-playing video ads with sound automatically play with sound, without any user interaction. 

The Better Ads Standard does not include video ads that appear before (“pre-roll”) or during (“mid-roll”) video content that is relevant to the content of the page itself, nor ads that require clicks to activate sound. 

Prestitial Ad with Countdown

Prestitial “countdown” ads appear before the content of the page has loaded, forcing the user to wait a number of seconds before they can dismiss the ad, or the ad closes on its own.

In desktop environments, prestitial ads that can be dismissed immediately are not included in the Better Ads Standard.

Large Sticky Ad

Large sticky ads stick to the bottom of a page, regardless of a user’s efforts to scroll. As the user browses the page, this static, immobile sticky ad takes up more than 30% of the screen's real estate.

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