Google has given insight into how it deals with bad ads and malicious actors, revealing it blocked 2.7 billion bad ads last year – equating to 5,000 every minute.
The company also suspended almost 1 million advertiser accounts for policy breaches, while on the publisher side it terminated 1.2 million accounts and removed ads from 21 million web pages.
Google vice president of product management, ads privacy and safety Scott Spencer. explained terminating accounts is an effective way to remove users with a history of egregious behaviour.
“People trust Google when they’re looking for information, and we’re committed to ensuring they can trust the ads they see on our platforms, too,” said Google vice president of product management, ads privacy and safety Scott Spencer.
“This commitment is especially important in times of uncertainty, such as the past few months as the world has confronted COVID-19.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Google has been looking to rid the ecosystem of malicious actors looking to take advantage of the crisis, said Spencer.
“As the situation evolved, we saw a sharp spike in fraudulent ads for in-demand products like face masks,” he said.
“These ads promoted products listed significantly above market price, misrepresented the product quality to trick people into making a purchase or were placed by merchants who never fulfilled the orders.”
Such has been the influx of COVID-19 bad ads, Google has built detection technology specifically to stop these bad actors, Spencer explained.
“We have a dedicated COVID-19 task force that’s been working around the clock. They have built new detection technology and have also improved our existing enforcement systems to stop bad actors. These concerted efforts are working,” Spencer said.
“We’ve blocked and removed tens of millions of coronavirus-related ads over the past few months for policy violations including price-gouging, capitalizing on global medical supply shortages, making misleading claims about cures and promoting illegitimate unemployment benefits.”
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