Google is implementing a change to its AdSense publisher policies which will prevent fake news sites from serving ads going forward.
The official documentation states:
”Users don’t want to be misled by the content they engage with online. For this reason, Google ads may not a placed on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about you, your content or the primary purpose of your web property.”
The document goes on to provide further examples of what is not acceptable under these new policy changes, mentioning “Enticing users to engage with content under false or unclear pretenses (e.g. deceptively presenting fake news articles as real).”
Other examples of what is not acceptable include:
- Promoting content, products, or services using deceptive practices (Google gives the example of “Get Rich Quick” schemes)
- Promoting fake Google products
- Falsely stating that you’re affiliated and/or endorsed by an organization or individual
Google is joining Facebook in the fight against fake news sites, as the two companies both came out swinging today with changes to their advertising policies. Here is more information about the changes to Facebook’s advertising policies.
These changes do not prevent fake news content from surfacing in either someone’s search results or Facebook news feed. However, it does cut off the revenue flow for the fake news sites that rely on Facebook and Google’s advertising platforms.
In addition, these changes may also discourage other fake news sites from popping up considering it is now more difficult for them to become profitable.
Ultimately this is just a small step in the grand scheme of what needs to be done to prevent the web from being overrun with fake news content. I fully expect further initiatives to be rolled out in the near future.