Google has detailed the type of ‘bad ads’ that it targeted for removal from its platform in 2017. The data was released as part of the company’s fifth annual report on ads that violated its conditions.
The company claims to have removed over 3.2 billion ads in 2017, way up from the 700 million it reported in 2015. That equates to over 100 ads being taken down per second.
The main type of bad ads targeted for removal were websites duplicating content from other sites (12,000), tabloid cloaking (7,000 AdWords accounts), those attempting to trick or circumvent the ad review process (130 million), malware (79 million) and ‘trick to click’ (48 million).
Google also attempted to remove the economic incentives that underpin sites spreading deceptive content by targeting publishers. 320,000 publishers were removed from the ad network, as well as 90,000 sites and 700,000 mobile apps.
Last year saw Google add 28 new advertiser policies, which included measures aimed at minimising “misrepresentative conduct and forms of discrimination and intolerance beyond hate speech protections”.
In a blog post, Google’s director of sustainable ads Scott Spencer wrote:
“Whether it's a one-off accident or a coordinated action by scammers trying to make money, a negative experience hurts the entire ecosystem. That’s why for the last 15 years, we’ve invested in technology, policies and talent to help us fight issues like ad fraud, malware and content scammers. Last year, we were able to remove more bad actors from our ad ecosystem than ever before, and at a faster rate.”
Google also announced that it will be banning all ads relating to cryptocurrency products and services and ICOs from June. The changes to the company’s financial services policy were announced in a blog post published on 12 March.
The post states that Google’s proprietary and affiliated ad platforms will no longer serve ads relating to:
“Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)”
In January, Facebook also announced that it would no longer be allowing ads that promoted products or services associated with cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
In his blog post, Scott Spencer says that the change has been brought in to address ads in “unregulated or speculative financial products”. The company will also be targeting gambling ads, especially those that relate to gambling with items that have real-world gambling.
“Our work to protect the ads ecosystem doesn't stop here—it's ongoing,” wrote Spencer. “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.”