Google Disabled Over 780 Million Ads for Policy Violations in 2015

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Google’s annual “bad ads” report is out, revealing that the search giant disabled over 780 million ads in 2015 for policy violations. That’s up from 524 million ads disabled in 2014, and more than double the 350 million ads disabled in 2013.

Bad ads are considered to be those that carry malware, block the visibility of content, promote fake/illegal goods, or lead to phishing scams. There are over 1000 people around the world working for Google to help fight these types of ads — most of the ads get blocked before ever going live.

Google provides a breakdown of most the most problematic ad policy violators in 2015:

  • Counterfeiters: Over 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts suspended that were caught trying to sell counterfeit products.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Over 12.5 million ads disabled for pharmaceutical products that were either misleading, or not approved for use.
  • Weight loss scams: Over 30,000 sites suspended for promising weight loss results that would be impossible to achieve.
  • Phishing: Around 7,000 sites blocked for phishing scams.
  • Unwanted software: Over 10,000 sites blocked for offering unwanted software.
  • Trick-to-click: Over 17 million ads rejected that were disguised to look like something else so people would click on them.
  • Bad apps: Over 25,000 mobile apps lost the ability to display Google ads because of developers not following policies. Around 1.4 million apps were rejected from ever being able to display Google ads.

A new type of problematic ad Google has started going after are those that may accidentally be tapped while scrolling through a page on a mobile device.

Google says it has developed the technology to determine when mobile ad clicks are accidental, and will be able to prevent users from navigating to an advertiser’s site that they didn’t mean to visit.

In addition, Google is going to crack down even harder on weight loss ads in 2016 by adding more restrictions on what advertisers can claim is effective for weight loss. The company also intends to implement new protections against malware this year.

Featured Image Credit: tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Lead News Writer
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.
Matt Southern
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