Google Removed 2.3 Billion Bad Ads Last Year

Posted on March 14, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Google with 11 Comments

Google is today sharing how the company has helped tackle misinformation and bad ads online today. The company says it has blocked 2.3 billion ads in 2018 for violations of its advertising policies. And although 2.3 billion ads is a lot, the company actually removed 3.2 billion ads back in 2017.

This year, Google says the company has introduced a number of new policies and tactics to help users safe online. The company says it has added up to 31 new policies last year that focus on preventing bad ads in areas like third-party tech support, ticket resellers (banning nearly 207,000 ads for ticket resellers), and cryptocurrency. It also banned 58.8 million phishing ads last year.

The company also launched 330 new detection classifiers to help detect bad ads at the page level, removing nearly 734,000 publishers from its network and bad ads from a total of 1.5m million apps.

Google also talks about how the company’s new policy for election ads has helped the company prevent ad fraud and fake ads. The company says it also removed ads from almost 1.2 million pages last year for misinformation and other low-quality content. “We removed ads from almost 74,000 pages for violating our “dangerous or derogatory” content policy, and took down approximately 190,000 ads for violating this policy. This policy includes a prohibition on hate speech and protects our users, advertisers and publishers from hateful content across platforms,” the company said.

Last year, Google focused on taking the bad actors behind these bad ads down instead of going directly after the bad ads themselves. The company’s “improved machine learning” tech allowed it to identify and ban almost one million bad ad accounts, helping it to get to the root cause of bad ads on its network.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Google Removed 2.3 Billion Bad Ads Last Year”

  1. wright_is

    And that was probably just a drop in the ocean.

    I know that I have had a few malvertising attempts appear on my PC last year. In the end, I just blocked all advertising addresses in my hosts file (currently working on setting up a proxy server for the whole network).

  2. karlinhigh

    More of this, Google!

    Inability to identify and block malvertising seems like negative evidence for the effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, etc.

  3. rm

    Sounds like Google is causing the problem by not vetting / approving ads before they can appear on a computing device.

  4. RonV42

    All the various forms of advertising/malvertising is getting out of hand consuming more bandwidth and slowing down both apps and web browsing.    I was on a well known site and had one of those "Your drivers are out of date" advertisements show up which we all know are a in road for people to install spyware and other access software on your computer. 

    I reached out to the hosting web site and they were unaware that this type of ads were being placed on their pages.  If the site owners have little control of placements we are all doomed.

    I have now installed a pi-hole ad blocking DNS on my home network to try to stay ahead of the cat and mouse game of ads and malware.

  5. ejuly

    The headline should be Google accepted then removed 2.3 billion ads last year.

  6. jacore

    I wish I knew how much Google 'earned' from those bad ads ... and how much was refunded to the advertisers and what Google's net profit on those bad ads was. Seems like the 'sharing' Google has done is incomplete.

    • nerdile

      In reply to jacore:

      I certainly hope that Google billed the malicious actors and did not return any of the money. But I don't know if advertisers are billed before or after their ads run.

  7. markbyrn

    Odd they call a phishing scams an advert. Regarding, "The company’s new policy for election ads has helped the company prevent ad fraud and fake ads.", don't most political ads bend the truth or outright lie? Perhaps Google is more interested in influencing elections.

  8. kingbuzzo

    Isn't that a conflict of interest? How are they going to make $ that way?