Yandex introduces automatic ad blocking feature

The Russian internet company Yandex has introduced an ad blocking feature to its browser. The ad blocker is turned on by default and aims to block ads that do not meet the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)'s standards. Users can disable the ad blocker, if they wish to, in the settings. Examples of ad types that are now blocked include video ads that play automatically, full-screen banner ads and pop-up ads with a countdown timer. Advertisers and publishers who are worried that their ads might be blocked are encouraged to use a new diagnostic tool that is available within Yandex.Webmaster, which assesses whether or not an ad meets the IAB's standards. Yandex is keen to stress that the ad blocker is only targeting intrusive ads that harm the user experience, and that “relevant ads in non-intrusive, organic formats will still be displayed”. The company hopes that the change will encourage advertisers to be more responsible and create better quality ads that do not damage the user experience.