Large rise in adverts that violated Google’s policies, include major malvertising campaigns
Google dealt with a record number of malicious or damaging advertising during 2015 as continued its crackdown against cybercrime.
The company blocked 780 million bad adverts last year, a major increase from the 524 million blocked during 2014, for violating its policies.
A team of more than a thousand are employed by Google in the battle against bad ads, and the firm has invested in specialist technology to help the cause.
Going in to more detail, Google reported that it blocked more than 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts for attempting to sell counterfeit goods (like imitation designer watches).
It also blocked more than 12.5 million ads that violated its healthcare and medicines policy, such as ads for pharmaceuticals that weren’t approved for use or that made misleading claims to be as effective as prescription drugs.
More than 10,000 sites offering unwanted software were also blocked, reducing unwanted downloads via Google ads by more than 99 percent.
The company also stepped up its efforts to fight phishing sites in 2015, blocking nearly 7,000 sites as a result, and also rejected more than 17 million ads that were designed to look like system warnings from a user’s computer.
The new restrictions also applied to mobile ads, which became an increasingly popular way for companies to target consumers during 2015.
Google says that it stopped showing ads on more than 25,000 mobile apps because the developers didn’t follow its policies – the majority of which concerned practices such as mobile ads placed very close to buttons, causing someone to accidentally click the ad.
Overall, Google rejected more than 1.4 million applications from sites and mobile apps that want to show Google ads but don’t follow its policies
“We’re always updating our technology and our policies based on your feedback—and working to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s SVP of ads & commerce.
“In 2016, we’re planning updates like further restricting what can be advertised as effective for weight loss, and adding new protections against malware and bots. We want to make sure all the ads you see are helpful and welcome and we’ll keep fighting to make that a reality.”
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