Google removed 3.2 billion ‘bad ads’ in 2017 – way up from 1.7 billion in 2016.

What is a bad ad?

The ads blocked or removed come from a huge number of websites and apps.

  • 79 million ads in Google’s network for trying to send malware-laden websites – blocked
  • 400,000 unsafe malware sites removed.
  • 66 million “trick-to-click” ads removed.
  • 48 million ads for attempting to install unwanted software removed.
  • 320,000 publishers for violating publisher policies removed.
  • 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps blacklisted.
  • 2 million pages removed every month for policy violations. Google says this is “critical in scaling enforcement for policies that prohibit monetisation of inappropriate and controversial content.”
  • 8,700 pages removed for violating expanded policies related to discrimination and intolerance.
  • 12,000 websites blocked for “‘scraping,’ duplicating or copying” content from other websites. (up from 10,000 last year).
  • 7,000 AdWords accounts suspended for tabloid violations (up from 1,400 last year).

What else is Google doing?

According to Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads “We removed 100 bad ads per second. This means we’re able to block the majority of bad ad experiences, like malvertising and phishing scams, before the scams impact people.”

Google is the online advertising king. It is in its interests to clean up such advertising and stop things like malvertising and click generation.

“Does an ad with the headline, ‘Ellen DeGeneres adopts a baby elephant!’ make you want to click on it? You’re not alone. In recent years, scammers have tried to sell diet pills and weight-loss scams by buying ads that look like sensational news headlines but ultimately lead to a website selling something other than news,” Spencer added.

Google has updated several AdWords policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs).

It has also updated its gambling ads policies to address new methods of gambling with items that have real-world value (e.g., skins gambling).

It will introduce a new certification process for rehabilitation facilities, allowing legitimate addiction treatment centres to connect with people in need.

“As consumer trends evolve, as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams. Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that’s removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us,” Spencer concluded.