Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Ads are great, Google says, except for the 3.2 billion bad ones

Ads are great, Google says, except for the 3.2 billion bad ones

Fraudsters have moved into the cryptocurrency space to defraud internet users, and Google said it took down 3.2 billion adverts violating its advertising policies in 2017, almost double the number it removed in 2016. In fact, after expanding our policy against risky and derogatory content in April 2017 to cover additional forms of discrimination and intolerance, we removed Google ads from 8,700 pages that violated the expanded policy. According to the policy, it will block all the advertisements related to "cryptocurrencies and related content".

There has been an increase in bad ads/sites removed in 2017 compared to 2016.

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And it's working! In 2017, Google noticed that this specific type of scam steadily declined on their networks as the year progressed: In a single month in 2016, they reviewed more than 1,200 sites for potentially violating their new misrepresentative content policy and terminated 200 publishers. That's more than 100 bad ads per second! The company removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for violating publisher policies, and blacklisted almost 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps. Google is also accelerating a push against misleading content. In a policy change update put up yesterday, Google revealed that it will "restrict the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, and financial spread betting", as well as ads for "Cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice)". You're not alone. In recent years, scammers have tried to sell diet pills and weight-loss scams by buying ads that look like sensational news headlines but ultimately lead to a website selling something other than news. The company suspended 7,000 customer accounts for ads that impersonated a news article, what Google calls "tabloid cloaking" and blocked more than 12,000 websites for copying information from other publications. We also updated our gambling ads policies to address new methods of gambling with items that have real-world value (e.g., skins gambling).

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