What constitutes a “bad” ad ranges from phishing attempts and blatantly counterfeit products to straight-up malware.
Just how many people ran afoul of Google’s advertising policies in 2015? A lot. According to a new blog post, Google had to block 780 million “bad” ads last year.
It also blocked advertising on more than 25,000 mobile apps after app developers violated Google’s policies, and it outright rejected 1.4 million apps from websites and app developers who wanted to show Google’s ads but not play by the company’s rules.
“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 keep a lot of what you love about the weblike news sites or mobile appsfree,” Google said.
“But some ads are just plain badlike 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. That’s why we have a strict set of policies for the kinds of ads businesses can run with Googleand why we’ve invested in sophisticated technology and a global team of 1,000+ people dedicated to fighting bad ads.”
A “bad” advertisement, as described by Google, can come in a variety of forms. Rejected ads include those that attempted to sell blatantly counterfeit merchandiselike fake purses or watchesas well as ads for pharmaceuticals that either weren’t approved for people to actually use (not good) or made blatantly false claims about their efficiency compared to prescription-backed alternatives. Google also went after misleading weight loss ads that were just phishing scams ads that tried to encourage users to download malware or other spammy software.
Ads whose content was fine, but whose practices were not, also found themselves targeted by Google.
“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),” reads Google’s blog post.
Going forward, Google will be going after weight-loss advertising a bit more and beefing up its targeting of advertising that encourages people to visit or install malware. Google likely has a few other tricks up its sleeve to combat bad advertising, but it did not elaborate.