Google Shut 1.7bn ‘Bad Ads’ Last Year

Bad ads
In 2016, Google took down an incredible 1.7bn “bad ads” in an effort to improve safety and internet users’ general online experience.

Bad ads are described as adverts that aim to trick or deceive people into sharing personal information or even to infect devices.

And although Google clearly sets out its guidelines for advertising, the company is continually looking to reduce the number of bad ads seen online.

Over the past year, Google has ramped up efforts to reduce bad ads using two approaches – updating its policies and using new technology to find and shut down ads much quicker.

Using these approaches, in 2016 the company shut down a whopping 1.7bn bad ads – almost double 2015’s figure.

Last year, Google took down 112m “trick to click” ads, such as adverts that download harmful software or malware once clicked, and almost 80m ads that deceived, mislead or shocked users.

In terms of mobile, Google’s systems detected and deleted 23,000 self-clicking ads.

These ads often direct users to the App Store on their phone and begin to download apps without permission of the user.

More specifically, the company also took down 68m ads that violated healthcare violations – a figure that’s up 12.5m from the year before – and 17m ads linked to illegal gambling.

Google said: “When we find ads that violate our policies, we block the ad or the advertiser, depending on the violation.

“But sometimes we also need to suspend the website promoted in the ad (the site people see after they click on it).

“So, for example, while we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads last year, we also took action on 8,000 sites promoting payday loans.

“While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here.

“As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems.

“Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.” 

Find out more about Google’s ad policy here and more about the shutting down of bad ads here.