Google has unveiled its Bad Ads Report, or “bad ads” report, which lists the measures the company took against deceptive advertising, malware and harmful formats for the user in 2016. In total, Google claims to have eliminated 1.7 billion of ads that did not comply with its advertising policies, more than double those that it retired in 2015. If you use your website as popular as AdSense, Ad-Exchange or Doubleclick, this interests you.
Scott Spencer, Direct of Product Management for Sustainable Ads in Google, told us in video conference that they are very satisfied with the results achieved, although he confessed that much work remains to be done. Why has the number of ads removed increased? Scott explained to us that it is not so much because of an increase in bad publicity, but also because they have improved the procedure to detect and eliminate harmful ads:
We extend our advertising policies to increase the protection of users against deceptive and abusive offers. For example, in July we introduced a policy to ban ads for payday loans, which often result in unsustainable payments and high delinquency rates for users. In the six months since the launch of this policy, we have removed more than 5 million ads of this type. Second, we improved our technology to detect and remove ads faster. For example, “trick to click” ads often appear as system warnings for users to click on them, not realizing that with this action, they can download malicious software or malware onto their computers.In 2016,
A summary of ad type data removed
- Advertisements of illegal products . The number of advertisements related to illegal products that were eliminated grew from 12.5 million in 2015 to 68 million in 2016. This category includes, for example, pharmaceuticals not approved by the relevant authorities.
- Misleading ads . “Are you at risk of having this rare skin-eating disease?” Or related miracle products were also the most commonly eliminated in 2016. In total, about 80 million ads were withdrawn.
- Bad ads on mobiles . Sure you were on a web from the mobile and you have skipped an automatic download of an application or have been redirected to a page that had nothing to do with the content you wanted to consult. Of this type of auto-click 23,000 ads were eliminated.
- Ads that try to trick the system . There are some advertisers who try to trick Google detection systems into advertising banned products (such as loans or dietary supplements to lose weight). More than 7 million of these ads were eliminated here.
Google against fake news
Google has also spoken in its report of the fake news that have given so much to talk on Facebook lately. The company has detected advertisers posing as media outlets, which it catalogs as tabloid cloakers. They took over 1,300 users with this type of actions, which take advantage of the current (elections, for example), to draw the attention of users with ads that seem news, but then are not . All accounts of those users caught were deleted and banned so they do not relapse.
To show the scope of these cloaking as news, Google claims that in December 2016 alone, they detected 22 accounts distributing ads viewed by more than 20 million people.
To this same respect, Spencer tells us that they also detected websites that try to deceive users with their content and take advantage of the corresponding advertising performance:
From November to December 2016, we analyzed 550 sites suspected of impersonating news organizations and could therefore infringe our policies, acting against 340 of them for violating our policies (both for identity fraud and for other frauds) and about 200 publishers were permanently removed from our network.
Here Spencer gave us the example of websites pretending to be CNN, with similar logos and designs.
A race against ad-blocking
Although not directly, it seems more than clear that this cleaning of ads and “user respect” policy has more to do with curbing the phenomenon of ad blocking, ads blockers in countries like the United Kingdom or Germany, are used by 20% of users. Here Spencer responds politically: “We hope that if the advertising ecosystem improves, the use of advertising blockers will decrease.”