Google released a report on their AdWords blog today detailing just how vehemently they are cracking down on “bad actors” who are abusing the online advertising services.
Mike Hochberg, Director of Ads Engineering at Google, states:
We’ve allocated substantial technical, financial, and human resources to stopping bad advertising practices and protecting users on the web. Hundreds of our engineers, policy experts and others have dedicated their careers to this work.
Even with a team that large the amount of ads they managed to remove last year is still surprisingly substantial. Over 350 million bad ads were removed from Google’s systems in 2013. To put that in perspective, Hochberg says, if someone looked at each of the bad ads for one second, it would take them more than ten years to see them all. By comparison, 220 million bad ads were removed in 2012.
What’s also notable in this report is that the bad ads are coming from far fewer sources. Just 270,000 advertisers were banned in 2013 compared to 850,000 in 2012. Google attributes this decline to scammers being stopped by safety screens and moving on to less secure targets.
The Worst Advertising Offenders
Just what, exactly, are these advertisers trying to sell? Google lists the worst offenders in their report. They are as follows:
- Counterfeit goods: 14,000 advertisers banned for trying to sell these.
- Illegal online pharmacies: 2 million ads removed.
- Copyright infringement: 5,000 AdSense accounts disabled for violating copyright.
- Tech support scams: 4,000 AdWords accounts removed.
- Malware: 400,000 ads disabled from sites hiding malware.
- Get rich quick schemes: 10,000 ads disabled for sites promoting these.
Advertising offenders are relentless, but Google says they are just as relentless when it comes to stopping the offenders. Rest assured Google will continue working around the clock to maintain a healthy advertising ecosystem and keep users safe.