Google turning on ad blocker, pushing AMP email feature

With its incipient ad blocker and a new email format, Google is closing one
marketing door and opening another.

The company announced it would turn on its ad blocker tomorrow,
a change that PR pros have known about since December. To help publishers prepare, Google explained how its ad blocker would

The Verge

Google is not planning to wipe out all ads from Chrome, just ones that are
considered bad using standards from the Coalition for Better Ads.
Full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads will
be targeted by Chrome’s ad filtering, which will hopefully result in less
of these annoying ads on the web.

[…] “The majority of problematic ad experiences are controlled by the site
owner,” explains Chris Bentzel, Chrome engineering manager. As a result,
Google is taking a three-step process to tackling these bad ads by
evaluating sites, informing sites of issues, and then allowing sites to
correct problems before a block is enforced.

Google is also teasing a new email format that could be more engaging for
readers and help email marketers capture more leads.

The Verge

Google is bringing its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) capabilities to email
today through a developer preview for Gmail. The feature, called AMP for
Email, will allow developers to make emails “more interactive and
engaging.” Google envisions the feature to be beneficial to users because
developers can embed widgets in emails that are constantly up-to-date and
include actionable functions that work without leaving your inbox.
Google’s existing AMP webpages
are an emerging standard for webpages that load radically faster than
regular mobile pages.

What exactly does that mean for marketers? For one thing, emails could be
far more interactive—and visually creative.

[Free Download: 10 ways to help your email engagement skyrocket]

The Verge

Google says the AMP for Email feature will allow you to do things like RSVP
to events, browse and interact with content, or fill out forms without
leaving an email. […]

An email from Pinterest for example, would allow you to browse through
images and click on them for more details — like how you would on the site
— but through the email itself. It could be a handy feature if you’re sick
of the 20 odd tabs you’ve got open and are easily distracted.

Google announced the features
in a blog post, saying:

Today AMP stories are available for everyone to try on their websites. As
part of the AMP Project, the AMP story format is free and open for anyone
to use. To get started, check out the
documentation. We are looking forward to feedback from content creators and technical
contributors alike.

Also, starting today, you can see AMP stories on Google Search. To try it
out, search for publisher names (like the ones mentioned above) within using your mobile
browser. At a later point, Google plans to bring AMP stories to more
products across Google, and expand the ways they appear in Google Search.

Some aren’t thrilled with the idea of AMP operating in their inbox.

In an opinion piece for TechCrunch, Devin Coldewey wrote 

Emails are static because messages are meant to be static. The entire
concept of communication via the internet is based around the telegraphic
model of exchanging one-way packets with static payloads, the way the
entire concept of a fork is based around piercing a piece of food and
allowing friction to hold it in place during transit.

[…]We know that all an email can ever do is say something to you (tracking
pixels and read receipts notwithstanding). It doesn’t download anything on
its own, it doesn’t run any apps or scripts, attachments are discrete
items, unless they’re images in the HTML, which is itself optional.
Ultimately the whole package is always just going to be a big, static chunk
of text sent to you, with the occasional file riding shotgun. Open it a
year or ten from now and it’s the same email.

Most important, Coldewey argues, users are not clamoring for this feature:

Why do this? Are we running out of tabs? Were people complaining that
clicking “yes” on an RSVP email took them to the invitation site? Were they
asking to have a video chat window open inside the email with the link? No.
No one cares. No one is being inconvenienced by this aspect of email (inbox
overload is a different problem), and no one will gain anything by changing

[…] AMP is, to begin with, Google exerting its market power to extend its
control over others’ content. Facebook is doing it, so Google has to. Using
its privileged position as the means through which people find a great deal
of content, Google is attempting to make it so that the content itself must
also be part of a system it has defined.

Some publishers are already embracing the new tools with demos:

The ad blocker is getting its share of buzz on social media as well, with
users noting the change and a few deft tricks that Google is employing to
spread its message:

YouTube also released this helpful video for marketers looking to get up to

How will Google’s latest changes affect your strategy, PR Daily

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