Google removed more than 350 million ads that violated its terms of service in 2013, about a third more than the 220 million bad ads removed in 2012, according to a report recently released. The increase in the number of removed ads is due to the overall growing popularity of online advertising, as well as to the more effective screening and removal techniques employed. The actual number of marketers using bad ads has significantly dwindled from 850,000 in 2012, to just 270,000 last year, a decline that Google attributes to its better safety screens.
The Big Offenders
On its AdSense blog, Google has posted data about the worst offenders. Interesting figures include 400,000 ads disabled from sites concealing malware, 2 million ads removed from illegal online pharmacies, and 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, and sometimes their ads and sites are compelling enough to encourage customers to buy from them – Google banned no less than 14,000 counterfeit goods advertisers.
Those nagging get rich quick schemes, which are often no more than a way for unscrupulous individuals to get your email address or even credit card information while providing e-books or on-site content of little value, are also on Google’s blacklist – 10,000 get rich quick ads were disabled. Finally, it’s important to draw attention to the fact that Google is committed to crack down on AdSense accounts than violate copyright, having disabled 5,000 of them.
Google also seems eager to stop ads that fund and promote bad content such as scammy ad-funded software like toolbars for Web browsers and other ad-ridden plugins, poor quality software, and valueless, fake e-books or reports. All these are breeding like rabbits all over the Web and are targeted not only at desktop users but also at mobile users.
Google Committed to Fighting Bad Ads
Google has a team of hundreds of engineers and policy experts who fight bad advertising practices, trying to keep the Web’s most popular advertising platform free from scams, counterfeit or illegal goods, malware, or low quality software such as 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 and disapproving more than 3 million attempts to join the AdSense advertising network.
Avoid Creating Bad Ads
If you’re using AdSense to promote your site or business online, you want to make sure you don’t accidentally use ads that go against Google’s policy. The easiest way to create bad ads is by violating another company or individual’s copyright, unwittingly allowing malware to creep into your site, or inadvertently promoting counterfeit goods. Another way to get in trouble is promoting low quality apps or software. If you’re a marketer, you will want to double-check any product, service, or company you promote before using AdSense.
Just make sure that your ads offer something worthwhile and you shouldn’t have any problems with Google.