Yandex launches complaint button for annoying ads as adblocking alternative

Yandex launches complaint button for annoying ads as adblocking alternative
Rachael Power writes for TechForge Media, writing about marketing tech, connected cars and virtual reality. She has written for a number of online and print titles including the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, accountingWEB and BusinessZone. Rachael has a passion for digital marketing, journalism, gaming and fitness, and is on Twitter at: @rachpower10.

(c) Keating

Have you ever clicked on a link only to be greeted by a massive pop-up ad that blocks your whole screen?

Or – fess up – were you the marketer on the other side of that ad? 

Either way, there are a whole host of reasons why people use adblockers, and experiences like the one above are just one reason. Of course, blanket banning advertisements is awful news for advertising and marketing departments. Not all ads are bad, but the poorly designed ones are ruining their reputation for everyone. 

Enter Yandex’ solution. The machine learning and mobile company has introduced an interesting new feature: a complaint button for annoying ads. 

People don’t hate online advertisements in general – it’s the bad ads that are annoying

The button’s been added to the alpha version of its browser for Android OS. The company’s seen a 20% jump in users installing adblockers since October last year, and its latest feature allows users to block unwanted ads on any web page visited and acts as an alternative. 

In addition, it enables real-time understanding of user preferences with the help of Yandex’s AI and machine learning tech. Yandex will share this data with advertisers and publishers so they can improve ad display policies and develop more effective campaigns.

Long-term strategy

According to Yandex, the complaint button is part of the company’s long-term strategy “to achieve the golden mean between what users prefer and what publishers seek to achieve with regards to advertising revenue”.

For every ad blocked, Yandex will receive a report and begin filtering irrelevant ads using its machine learning technology, while also gaining an understanding of the reasons behind user ad blocking.

“People don’t hate online advertisements in general – it’s the bad ads that are annoying. Ad blockers, however, block almost all ads indiscriminately, which negatively impacts good advertisers and website publishers.This, in turn, has a negative effect on web users,” said Roman Ivanov, Head of Projects in Yandex Browser.

“Our goal is to identify what type of advertisement is unacceptable for our users so that we can block it in the browser automatically. To achieve this we will be analysing ad blocking reports received from every single user who blocks an ad on our browser, using our pioneering AI-based technology.”

In addition to the new adblocking feature, Yandex Browser supports external adblockers and has the in-built malware protection technology, Antishock, which automatically filters out malicious advertisements.

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