Google Makes New Years Resolution To Crack Down On Bad Ads

You know what really grinds our gears? Bad ads. Online advertising makes most of the free content on the Internet (such as the words you’re reading right now) possible, but there are plenty of bad actors that abuse advertising tools to spam, trick, or deliver malicious content to users. Fortunately, Google has an ongoing full frontal assault on these practices, and it seems to be working.

“We've allocated substantial technical, financial, and human resources to stopping bad advertising practices and protecting users on the web. Hundreds of our engineers, policy experts and others have dedicated their careers to this work,” wrote Mike Hochberg, Director, Ads Engineering for Google.

Google bad ads infographic
(Click for full infographic)

Google removed some 350 million bad ads from its systems in 2013; in 2012, it killed off 220 million, and Google attributes the increase to growth in online advertising and ever-improving detection systems. Google also believes that its safety precautions are working, as it banned just 270,000 advertisers in 2013 compared to 850,000 in 2012. (It’s too bad the actual number of bad ads hasn’t decreased as a result, though.)

Google has also worked hard to kill off “scammy ad-funded software” such as toolbars and has blacklisted more than 200,000 publisher pages, turned away 3 million attempts to join AdSense, and cancelled 250,000 publisher accounts for policy violations.

“This is an ever-evolving and ongoing fight. Bad actors are relentless, often very sophisticated and will not rest on their laurels. But neither will we,” wrote Hochberg. “ Nothing is more important than the security of our users and we’ll continue to work tirelessly to keep them safe online.”

We appreciate the efforts of Google and others to crack down on bad ads and those who post them.