The latest statistics from a PageFair report make terrifying reading for large media companies: 615 million global devices now incorporate ad blocking. Ad blocking usage was up 30% globally in 2017.
Google, which generates more than 84% of its revenues from digital advertisements, has responded in numerous ways, including acting as a founding member of the ‘coalition for better ads’, establishing accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and making the decision to integrate ad blocking into Google Chrome from February 15th, 2018.
Now Yandex wants to get in on the act.
Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia (about 65% market share) and it plans to improve user experience by preventing publishers from displaying “intrusive advertising”.
The search company doesn’t plan to block all advertisements outright, merely those which don’t comply with the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s guidelines.
“Yandex.Browser now blocks full-screen banner ads, pop-ups with a countdown timer, autoplay video ads and other formats of unwanted advertising, or those that do not comply with new advertising guidelines announced by the Russian branch of the IAB last month”, said a representative of Yandex in a press release announcing the launch of the new feature.
Yandex will enable webmasters to login to a console to check whether the advertisements they are serving are compliant. Users will be able to begin using the functionality immediately both on mobile and desktop and providing they have the latest version of the browser installed.
The new ad blocking functionality will only initially be available to Russian users, however Yandex proposes rolling it out to other markets moving forward.
Yandex.Browser is trailing significantly behind Google Chrome for market share in Russia – according to the latest data from statcounter, Google Chrome is currently on 52.12% market share, while Yandex, Russia’s second most popular browsers, sits on 13.22%.
Chrome’s ascendancy in Russia is likely to be of significant concern to Yandex, particularly considering the integration of Google search into Chrome.