If you think you’re going to use Google to help sell your phony designer handbags, over-the-border pharmaceuticals and bogus tech services, think again. There’s a new sheriff in town and he’s not going to tolerate any ads that aren’t forthright and honest.
Google’s busting bad. . . advertisers, that is and it’s working in both real-time and as a deterrent for potential transgressors. In 2013, they removed 350 million bad ads and banned more than 270,000 bad advertisers. Says Google, “To put that in perspective, if someone looked at each of these for one second, it would take them more than ten years to see them all.”
That’s insane. I had no idea there were that many scammers in the world. I guess when you wave a fast buck in front of some people, they just can’t help themselves.
In 2012, they only removed 220 million ads and they attribute the increase to both the general growth in online advertising and improvements in their detection system.
On the other hand, the number of bad advertisers dropped significantly. Google says this is a result of a more thorough screening process which is keeping scammers out of the system in the first place.
What exactly are scammers hawking these days?
Counterfeit goods was a huge problem, but attempts to market them through Adwords decreased 82%. Google says they’re also receiving fewer complaints in this area, so clearly their countermeasures are working.
In addition to removing ads for for illegal goods and scams, Google is also working to stop good ads from funding bad sites. Last year they disabled ads on more than 400,000 sites with hidden malware and 10,000 get-rich-quick scheme sites. Hopefully, cutting off the ad dollars will help put these sites out of business for good. (Not likely, but I can hope.)
Last year, Google blacklisted more than 200,000 publisher pages and denied AdSense access to 3,000,000 people. They also banned 5,000 accounts for violating copyrights and that’s an increase of 25% over 2012. I’m sure that was due to an increase in detection tools.
Did Google ban anyone who shouldn’t have been banned? Probably. But I have to give them props for trying to keep scammers from profiting. It’s better for everyone when people can trust a Google ad.