Google removed over 3bn bad ads in 2017

GoogleGoogle took down more than 3.2bn ads in 2017, equating to more than 100 bad ads a second, as it increased its number of takedowns by 700m.

On the fifth year of producing its ‘bad ads’ report, the internet giant revealed that it blocked in excess of 12,000 websites for ‘scraping’, duplicating, and copying content from other sites – an increase of 10,000 from 2016. In addition, tabloid cloaking suspensions for AdWords accounts grew from 1,400 in 2016 to over 7,000 last year.

“Ads play an important role in ensuring people have access to accurate, quality information online, so we remain committed to removing bad ads from our platform,” said Jessica Stansfield, head of product policy for Google EMEA. “Last year, we took down more than 3.2bn ads that violated our advertising policies. That’s more than 100 bad ads per second. 

Google also removed more than 130m ads that tried to use malicious activity to abuse its ad network and blocked 79m ads for sending people malicious sites – removing 400,000 of the sites in the process. On top of this, it removed 66m ‘trick to click’ ads and 48m ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software.

The company’s work extended to removing 320,000 bad publishers from its ad network, while blocking nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps for violating its policies.

In 2018, Google says it will add more policies in order to address ads in ‘unregulated, overly complex, or speculative financial products’ such as cryptocurrency and foreign exchange markets. On top of this, it has already updated its gambling policies to deal with new methods of gambling with items that have real-world value.

“Our work is not done, as consumer trends evolve and bad actors get more sophisticated, so will our policies and enforcement methods,” said Stansfield. “Improving the ads experience across the web will continue to be a top priority for us.”