Google comes out fighting against bad ads



Google has significantly stepped up its campaign to identify and remove bad ads, with better technology and more comprehensive guidelines. In a recent announcement Scott Spencer, the Director of Product Management for Sustainable Ads, revealed that Google had removed over 1.7 billion bad ads in 2016 alone! That’s more than double the figure for 2015.

So, what constitutes a bad ad? Google states that bad ads are “misleading, inappropriate or harmful.” Let’s examine this in a bit more detail.


What is a bad ad?

Ads considered to be ‘bad’ will generally fall into one or more of these categories:

Misleading ads: Google requires all adverts to be clear and upfront. Misleading ads often use a false or exaggerated statement or question that tricks people into clicking – for example weight loss scams. Google took down more than 80 million ads it considered to be misleading last year.

Inappropriate content: Offensive adverts are of course banned, such as those that promote intolerance and hatred, or content that could shock or disgust.

Deceptive mobile ads: these are known as ‘self clicking ads’ which automatically cause a user to click through on the ad to an unwanted website or app.

Ads that intentionally try to trick Google: there has been an increase in ads that actively try to bypass Google’s policies. For example, have you ever clicked on a trending news item only to find yourself being taken to a weight loss or payday loan site? These are known as ‘tabloid cloakers’. In 2016 Google got better at removing both the ads and the accounts behind those ads.

Ads linking to bad websites: Google improved its system for detecting both bad ads and bad websites. For example, in July last year, Google decided for the first time to ban payday loan ads, as well as the websites themselves. It removed more than 5 million payday loan ads and more than 8000 websites. Other websites removed include those promoting weight loss, counterfeit goods and hacking software.

How to ensure your Google ad is a great one

The vast majority of businesses such as yourselves would of course never publish a bad ad. However, to ensure you stay on Google’s right side, it’s wise to take a look at their policy guidelines.

If you need help with the content of your ad, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you to write and set up your campaign.

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