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Google: How we fought bad ads in 2015

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2016 11:33

Google: How we fought bad ads in 2015

Google SVP of Ads & Commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, had an interesting post this week going over some of the methods Google employs to fight off "bad ads."
"When ads are good, they connect you to products or services you're interested in and make it easier to get stuff you want. They also a lot of what you love about the web--like news sites or mobile apps--free. But some ads are just plain bad--like ads that carry malware, cover up content you're trying to see, or promote fake goods. Bad ads can ruin your entire online experience, a problem we take very seriously," starts Ramaswamy.

The exec says the company has invested millions in tech to ward off bad ads, and now employs 1000 people across the globe dedicated to doing the same.

In the last year, the company disabled 780 million ads for violating Google policy, a number much higher than past years since Google has improved their detection process.

Here is a rundown of some of the "bad ads" Google nuked in 2015:

We suspended more than 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts for attempting to sell counterfeit goods (like imitation designer watches).
We blocked more than 12.5 million ads that violated our healthcare and medicines policy, such as ads for pharmaceuticals that weren't approved for use or that made misleading claims to be as effective as prescription drugs.
Weight loss scams
Weight-loss scams, like ads for supplements promising impossible-to-achieve weight loss without diet or exercise, were one of the top user complaints in 2015. We responded by suspending more than 30,000 sites for misleading claims.
In 2015, we stepped up our efforts to fight phishing sites, blocking nearly 7,000 sites as a result.
Unwanted software
Unwanted software can slow your devices down or unexpectedly change your homepage and keep you from changing it back. With powerful new protections, we disabled more than 10,000 sites offering unwanted software, and reduced unwanted downloads via Google ads by more than 99 percent.
Trick to click
We got even tougher on ads that mislead or trick people into interacting with them--like ads designed to look like system warnings from your computer. In 2015 alone we rejected more than 17 million.
Creating a better experience
Sometimes even ads that offer helpful and relevant information behave in ways that can be really annoying--covering up what you're trying to see or sending you to an advertiser's site when you didn't intend to go there. In 2015, we disabled or banned the worst offenders.
Accidental mobile clicks
We've all been there. You're swiping through a slideshow of the best moments from the Presidential debate when an ad redirects you even though you didn't mean to click on it. We're working to end that. We've developed technology to determine when clicks on mobile ads are accidental. Instead of sending you off to an advertiser page you didn't mean to visit, we let you continue enjoying your slideshow (and the advertiser doesn't get charged).
Bad sites and apps
In 2015, we stopped showing ads on more than 25,000 mobile apps because the developers didn't follow our policies. More than two-thirds of these violations were for practices like mobile ads placed very close to buttons, causing someone to accidentally click the ad. There are also some sites and apps that we choose not to work with because they don't follow our policies. We also reject applications from sites and mobile apps that want to show Google ads but don't follow our policies. In 2015 alone, we rejected more than 1.4 million applications.

On behalf of all Google search users: Thanks Google.

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