In 2013, Google removed more than 350 million ads that violated its terms of service. That’s about a third more than the 220 million bad ads it removed in 2012. This increase is due to the growing popularity of online advertising, as well as to the stricter and more effective screening and removal techniques Google now uses. The actual number of marketers using bad ads has significantly dwindled from 850,000 in 2012, to just 270,000 last year, according to a recent report. Google attributes this decline to its improved screening process.
On its AdSense blog, Google has posted data about the worst offenders. Here are some interesting figures:
- 400,000 ads disabled from sites concealing malware
- 2 million ads removed from illegal online pharmacies
- 4,000 AdWords accounts removed for promoting tech support scams
Many advertisers try to use Google Ads to sell counterfeit goods, including clothing, jewelry, perfumes, and electronics. Sometimes their ads and sites are compelling enough to encourage customers to buy from them. But Google has taken a firm stance against them, banning no less than 14,000 counterfeit goods advertisers.
Another culprit is Get rich quick! schemes, which are often no more than a way for unscrupulous individuals to bait visitors with low-value content while obtaining their email address and credit card information. The ads giant disabled 10,000 ads for such schemes.
Google also seems committed to cracking down on AdSense accounts that violate copyright, having disabled 5,000 of them.
Bad Content Ads
Google also seems eager to stop ads that fund and promote low-quality content. Think scammy ad-funded software like toolbars for web browsers and other ad-ridden plugins, poor quality software, and valueless, fake e-books or reports. More recently, these ads are targetting not only desktop users but also mobile users.
Google Committed to Fighting Bad Ads
Google has a team of hundreds of engineers and policy experts who fight bad advertising practices. This team tries to keep the web’s most popular advertising platform free from scams, counterfeit or illegal goods, malware, and low-quality software like browser toolbars or plugins.
Last year Google fought against bad advertising practices not only by removing ads and AdSense accounts but also by blacklisting over 200,000 publisher pages. It also rejected more than 3 million attempts to join the AdSense advertising network.
Avoid Creating Bad Ads
If you’re using AdSense to promote something online, you want to make sure you don’t use ads that go against Google’s policy. Avoid creating bad ads by not violating another company or individual’s copyright, or allowing malware to creep into your site. Also, be careful not to inadvertently promote counterfeit goods.
Another way to get into trouble is by promoting low-quality apps or software. If you’re a marketer, double-check any product, service, or company you promote before using AdSense.
At the end of the day, just make sure that your ads are created for people and offer something worthwhile, and you shouldn’t have any problems with Google.