Google has said that it removed over 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies last year, which is equivalent to more than 100 bad ads per second. According to the company, this allowed it to block “majority of” bad ad experiences, such as malvertising and phishing scams, before they impact people.
About 79 million ads in their network were blocked for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites, and 400,000 unsafe sites were removed in 2017. Additionally, 66 million “trick-to-click” ads and 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software were also removed by Google.
In 2017, Google also removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for violating publisher policies, and blacklisted nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps. To protect its advertisers, it also removed two million website pages that every month that violated its policies. According to a blog post on Google, this move has been critical in scaling enforcement for policies that prohibit monetisation of inappropriate and controversial content.
Following the expansion of is policy against dangerous and derogatory content in April 2017 to cover additional forms of discrimination and intolerance, we removed Google ads from 8,700 pages that violated the expanded policy.
To protect its publishers against scammers trying to take advantage of the growing popularity of online news to rake in money, Google prohibits websites in its ad network from serving ads on misrepresentative content. This means that content scammers based in a different city from its “legitimate news website” cannot serve ads.
Of the 11,000 websites it reviewed for potentially violating the misrepresentative content policy last year, Google blocked over 650 of those sites and terminated 90 publishers from its network. The company also frequently sees violations of its scraping content policy, which occurs when individuals try to make money as quickly as possible by copying news or content from other sites. The company blocked over 12,000 websites for “scraping,” duplicating and copying content from other sites, an increase from 10,000 in 2016.
Additionally, it also suspended more than 7,000 AdWords accounts for tabloid cloaking violations, up from 1,400 in 2016. To combat new threats and improve the ads experience online, Google added 28 new advertiser policies and 20 new publisher policies in 2017. This year, it also updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products such as binary options, cryptocurrency and foreign exchange markets.
Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads, said that Google’s work to protect the ads ecosystem does not stop here and is ongoing. “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,” he said.
“In order for this ads-supported, free web to work, it needs to be a safe and effective place to learn, create and advertise,” he added.