In 2016, Google removed 1.7 billion ads that violated their policies. This year, Google is announcing that they took down more than 3.2 billion ads. This is a staggering number compared to old which has almost doubled.
Ensuring the integrity of our ads ecosystem and ensuring that people who interact with our ads have a safe and positive experience is something we remain committed to. It’s an ongoing investment for Google, and we do this in three ways:
- People: We have thousands of people at Google dedicated to helping us in this area
- Policies: Our policies are our principles around what we allow to be monetized. They dictate what ads are acceptable, what aren’t acceptable.
- Technology: Our technology helps to detect policy violations, new threats and disable those threats, the majority of which we’re able to do before people, publishers and advertisers are ever impacted.
The three main takeaways are:
1) Removing more ads and publishers with new technology
- There has been an increase in bad ads/sites removed in 2017 compared to 2016. This is because we are using new technology to remove more bad ads and sites.
- In 2017, we removed 320,000 bad publishers from our ad network (up from 100,000 in 2016). We also blocked nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps for policy violations.
- For example with page-level enforcement – Page level enforcement allows us to take action on even more violations at the source of the violation and minimise the revenue impact on legitimate publishers – as we take action on the page as opposed to the whole site.
- As a result of this technology, we removed Google ads from over 2 million URLs each month.
2) Fighting deceptive and controversial content in our ad network
- 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.
- As example of that is our Adsense policy introduced in late 2016 to take action on ads on misrepresentative content. We’ve had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites with dishonest content. Example: a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarised term papers but this new policy allowed us to take action on sites for misrepresenting themselves or deceiving users with their content.
- 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.
- And it’s working! In 2017, we saw that this specific type of scam steadily declined on our networks as the year progressed: In a single month in 2016, we reviewed more than 1,200 sites for potentially violating our new misrepresentative content policy and terminated 200 publishers. 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.
3) Changes we will make this year to continue to keep Google’s ads and ads networks safe and effective for people, advertisers, and publishers
- In 2017, we added 28 new advertiser policies and 20 new publisher policies to combat new threats and improve the ads experience online.
- In 2018, we will introduce several new policies to protect users online that will address ads in unregulated, overly complex, or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs).
- We have already updated our gambling policies to address new methods of gambling with items that have real-world value (e.g., skins gambling).
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