Business Technology

Sunday 16 June 2019

Google crackdown after surge in 'bad ads' is paying off

Google has attributed the rise of 'bad ad' removal to new technology it is using
Google has attributed the rise of 'bad ad' removal to new technology it is using
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Google says that the number of 'bad ads' removed from their platform has increased from 1.6bn to 3.2bn. This follows a doubling of the 'bad ad' count from 2015 to 2016.

The search giant has released figures showing the general types of ads that violate its policies.

A 'bad ad' is one that tricks a user as to its purpose. These include ads containing malware, or ads that link to unapproved pharmaceuticals or ads that designed to look like media coverage but which redirect to commercial services.

Google has attributed the rise of 'bad ad' removal to new technology it is using. In 2017, the company removed 320,000 'bad publishers' from its ad network, up from 100,000 in 2016. The company also says that it blocked nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps "for policy violations".

Some of this happens with "page level enforcement", according to the company, resulting in the removal of Google ads from over two million URLs each month.

"Deceptive content is always changing as bad actors try to game the system, so we regularly review, change and expand our policies, evolving what we allow and what we don't as socio-cultural trends evolve and new trends emerge," said a spokesman. "We've had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites with dishonest content."

An example, the spokesman said, is a site where you might buy a fake diploma or plagiarised college paper.

"This matters because policy changes like this update help us to remove the economic incentives these sites have to create and spread deceptive content online," said the spokesman.

"And it's working. In 2017, we saw that this specific type of scam steadily declined on our networks as the year progressed. Throughout all of 2017, we reviewed over 11,000 websites for potentially containing misrepresentative or misleading content and we suspended more than 650 websites and terminated 90 publishers from our ad network."

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